Residential Wiring Lab

The residential wiring lab is a wood-framed environment consisting of 70+ lab stations where students install wiring and electrical devices consistent with the National Electrical Code (NEC) standards. Devices include: Panels, breakers, receptacle switches, motion sensors, timers, florescent lighting, recess lighting, and many more. The lab is designed to mimic real-world jobsites and safety is strictly enforced; hard hats are always required. Lab instructors and assistants are available to help students as they work on lab projects that incorporate various sections of the NEC.

Programs Using This Lab

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Lab Objective

The labs objective is to familiarize students with the NEC standards as it pertains to residential buildings, such as your home. The NEC is a list of standards developed to promote safe and consistent installation of electrical devices. Many states, including California, required that NEC standards be used when performing electrical installation and maintenance on residential buildings. Examples of NEC standards include:

  • Fitting and securing wires
  • Wiring for proper polarity
  • Wire splicing techniques
  • Techniques for restoring damaged wiring (i.e. Bonding)
  • And many, many more.

"National Electrical Code" and "NEC" are registered trademarks of the NFPA

Project Examples

Students complete multiple projects in the residential wiring lab. Each project gets progressively more difficult and often cover multiple topics.
Projects typically include, but are not limited to, the following:

Single Pole Installation

Usually the first and easiest task - a single control of a light or light switch. Students learn how to make an electrical component (i.e. a switch) break an electrical circuit, which interrupts the current and causes it to divert from one conductor to another (i.e. the light bulb)

Photocell and Motion Controls

Students learn about some more recent innovations of home wiring: motion control. Photocell control is essentially turning on an electrical switch when sun light is detected; Motion control turns on a switch when movement is detected.

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI)

One of the leading causes of electrical fires in the country is faults in the electrical arc. Students learn how to install an AFCI circuit breaker; this type of breaker is intended to detect any unintential electrical arcs that can cause fires. Students learn how to create a breaker that can tell the difference between a harmless arcs and arcs that can lead to fires. Once installed properly, the AFCI will be able to disconect power before a fire occurs.

And More...