Simple Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams


This page is a favor for any person trying to wire switches, lights and outlets together!  The diagrams listed are for your use as a simple reference to use when you are doing your wiring.  They vary from Beginner to advanced (3-way switches, outlets, variations, series, etc…)  I find it most useful if you first draw out your own paper version of the lights/outlets you plan on installing (preferably with colored pencils so you can color coat them) to minimize errors so you don’t have to troubleshoot or spend more time than needed.

Please note that I did not include the ground wires in these diagrams because I wanted them to be very simple for basic understanding.  When you do the wiring, you will definitely want to wire the grounds in!


Simple One Single Outlet

Simple Plug-in Outlet Wiring Diagram


Wiring Two Outlets (Double Outlets)

Double Outlet Wiring Diagram

Double Outlet Wiring Diagram (Simple)


Wiring Three Outlets (Triple Outlets)

Triple Outlet Diagram

Wiring Three Outlets Together (Simple)


Split Circuit Outlet

Split Circuit Outlet (Switched Outlet)

Split Circuit Outlet Where Switch Controls Half of the Outlet


Single Light Wiring

Single Light Wiring

Wire a Single Lightbulb (Simple Diagram)


Wiring a Pull Chain light from an outlet

How to Wire a Pull Chain Light from an Outlet

How to Wire a Pull Chain Light from an Outlet

 


Wiring a 3-Way Switch (Easy)


Basic arrangement of the 3-way switch.  (Shown in the white box is a simple diagram that depicts the function of the three-way switch.)  The main thing to remember when you wire two way switches is that they are the same as wiring in a single-pole switch, except you must have two additional wires attaching the two switches together as illustrated in the picture.

Wiring a 3-way Switch

Simple 3-way Switch Wiring Diagram

Another (perhaps more useful) method for the three-way switch.

3-Way Switch Diagram (Simple)

Simple 3-way Switch Diagram


Wiring Parallel Circuit Lights With Switch on Other End
Be careful cause when there’s a series of lights between the switch(es) and the power supply the wiring is a little bit trickier. Study this diagram to understand what I mean. This type of wiring is also accounted for when wiring 3-way switches with a series of lights between the power box and the switches. A daunting mistake is when the lights are wired all together in the same circuit as a simple series of lights in contrast to a parallel series of lights. This causes the lights to share the same power supply (more resistance to what the amps are designed for.) When you make this mistake the lights will be dimmer. To fix this problem, you will need to wire together a parallel circuit instead of a series circuit! See diagrams below for depictions.

Switch For Parallel Circuit Lights Series

How to Wire A Parallel series of lights to a Switch on Opposite End (Correct Way)

Wiring a Series Circuit of Lights (bad)

Incorrect way of wiring a series of lights with a switch on side away from power supply.


Wiring a 3-Way Switch With Two Lights
The diagram below might not be very useful for copying, but it does a good job of explaining how the 3-way switch works with two lights.

Three-Way Switch With Two Lights

Three-Way Switch Controlling Two Lights Diagram

Take caution when constructing these more complex wiring diagrams. If you don’t study them carefully, it might blow a breaker and not function properly until you rebuild the wiring. It is always best to draw your custom diagram on paper and study it before performing the actual task.

3-Way Switch With Two Lights

How to Wire a 3-Way Switch With Two Lights (Another Method)

3-Way Switch with 2 Lights Between

Wiring a 3-Way Switch with 2 Light Bulbs Between


How a Four-way Switch Works
This diagram describes how to wire a four-way switch, it’s mainly just to show you the basics so you understand how simple four-way switches are in their simplest form.

How a Four-way switch works

How to wire a four-way switch (Very Simple, Basic Form)

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32 Responses to Simple Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams

  1. Tom says:

    Yes, I had incorrectly wired in series and found that the circuit was not complete until I had a bulb installed. Once I installed a bulb I found the lights were dim as described here. Tks for the very clear explanation. It makes sense now.

  2. Paul Taormina says:

    I just got done teaching my kids some basic wiring on a practice wall. I then found your site that I thought was perfect for teaching more examples. After printing them out though I realized the hot wire was going to the wrong side of all the receptacles in the diagrams. If you could fix that it would be great. I’m just going to change the + and – around on the power source for now. Thanks.

  3. kolay says:

    I like it . thank you

  4. Paul Taormina says:

    The receptacles are all wired backwards. I tried to be polite in my comment a few weeks ago but someone is going to get hurt. The hot wires go on the right side of the receptacles. The Taller slot for the taller blade is the neutral (White wire) side.

    • sodzee says:

      Thank you for your patience. I fixed this issue.

      • Paul Taormina says:

        Thank you for acknowledging that there was a problem, however you will need to change the coloring on the wires also. The problem originally was with the receptacles and not the switches. The Black wire or + needs to go to the switch and the white or – wire goes directly to the light fixture. So you might want to change that back the way you had it on the power source for the switches only.

  5. Winston&Ria Worthington says:

    The outside light stopped functioning. When testing the fitting for power, there was none. Live and neutral wires still connected. The earth Green/yellow was lying loose. I checked the parallel switches and found there was no neutral wire, only red (Live) wires connected. For some unknown reason the earth wire is live. This is obviously dangerous. Your advice will be highly appreciated.

  6. Eldon says:

    Yes, it was helpful. I need some understanding of how to wire two sets of two lights that each will be operated from different switches but from one power source. Thanks for your help.

  7. mukesh shukla says:

    yes very helpful b,coz i want to learn electrical work

  8. Anonymous says:

    It was great – keep is simple and to the point, awesome illustrations, andy

  9. eshetu says:

    yes it is helpful to me

  10. don miller says:

    I installed a recepticle on cieling pluged in two hanging flourecent lights in. How do I install pull chain switches to operate each side of recepticle ( or light ) separatly?

  11. Anonymous says:

    How can I separate two lights connected in three way two lights?

  12. Kumara says:

    very usefull

  13. raj says:

    Very useful.and very interesting

  14. it is very important because now a days wev’e always seen electrical wiring..
    and very thankful to your information. i hope that you clearly clarify your wiring explanation because im only starting now studying electrical circuit..but i highly appreciated you because i geat mora knowledge to your presentation
    ..thank you

  15. Lance says:

    Thank you for taking the time to put this site together. I am almost at the wiring phase of my renovations and truly appreciate this information. I have read through a couple of the comments and see there is some confusion out there with your diagrams. Can you please tell me if they have been corrected? I am wiring several different types of switches/outlets and would like to know if I can trust the illustrations.

  16. Trevor says:

    The illustrations should all be correct, but just imagine that the white wire is black, and the black wire is white. Otherwise everything should be hooked up correctly in that case. If anyone disagrees please let us know!

  17. sachin bidgar says:

    usful digrams thanks

  18. Baraka J Sanga says:

    Thank for this,you opened my eyes.

  19. sodzee says:

    I have created a well-laid-out webpage for these diagrams, it can be found here. Simple electrical wiring diagrams http://www.homeelectricalwiringdiagrams.com

    For all of those interested, check it out and please let me know if I fixed the issues that were pointed out earlier? Thanks guys!

    • Brenda says:

      I am renovating my basement. I would like to install switches and outlets to three rooms. Office, gym, bathroom. Presently the rooms all have pull lights. I would like to have the switch operate the light in each room (only one switch per room) and the outlets to be live and not operated on the light switch. Can you advise me what diagram I should be looking at or would you create one for me. I will be replacing all pull lights with fixtures.

  20. annie says:

    Could you please instruct me how to wire a GCFI outlet, Switch to an Exhaust fan and Switch for light from the same power source? Thanks.

  21. Anonymous says:

    thanks it was helpfull!

  22. bobby says:

    Very simply & helpful..

  23. abudharr says:

    i really appreciate it!

  24. dilip says:

    two way power socket complete discription

  25. Why are your wires labeled “+” and “-“? In a residential A/C (alternating current) system the wires are hot, neutral and ground. You labeled them as if they were D/C (direct current) and never show any grounding. Possibly dangerous at worst but spreading misinformation at the very least.

  26. yirgsh says:

    It is very fantastic learn.

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