[Book Review] Residential Wiring to the 2005 NEC


Senior Member
Residential Wiring
to the 2005 NEC

Author: Jeff Markell
ISBN: 1-57218-153-2

Reviewed by: Squintz
Rated: 5 of 5 (Excelent Book)

I picked this book up at www.amazon.com for $20.46 ($24.45 with shipping). The price stamped on the back of the book is $31.00. The book is a complete guide to installing electrical systems in residential homes.

Chapter 1 starts off talking about the much needed boring stuff. It covers a little bit about the history of electricity and then goes on to talk about the composition of matter and then the formation of molecules. Basically the first chapter is a chemistry lesson which prepares you for the rest of the book. To be honest I skimed over this chapter simply because I had a whole semester about the topics of this chapter in college and did not want to subject my self to the torture again.

Chapter 2 is still a little bit science based but its the fun type of science. It talks about how two disimilar metals that are touching and heated produce small amounts of electrical current which is how some digital thermostats work. It talks about the difference between AC (Alternatic current) and DC (Direct Current) and how they are generated.

Chapter 3 is where the fun begins. Chapter 3 introduces you to all the tools of the trade. It is a very informative chapter and should be read carefully. It will tell you what size screwdrivers are standard and even explains how to sharpen dull tools. Chapter 3 talks about the proper size spade bits to use for cutting your holes for running NM Cable through studs. It even covers some of the basic uses of testing tools such as volt meters and amp meters (Great for finding boxes burried behind drywall on accident)

Chapter 4 Talks about wire. It explains the meaning of all those markings on your cable. It talks about what size wire is needed for what aperage of a circuit. The types of casings are explained which will allow you to make an educated decision when buying wire for underground burrial and such. It is a very short chapter but still a good one.

There are 14 chapters in 321 page book. It took me 3 days at work to read it and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Other topics the book covers:
  • Floor Plans
  • Available Box Types
  • Proper Terminating Fitings
  • Wiring 3-Way and 4-Way switches
  • Load Calculations (To make sure you don't overload a circuit)
  • GFCI Requirements
  • Service Panel
  • Grounding Requirements
  • How-to bend conduit (Proper measuring for perfect angles)
This book references the NEC 2005 in just about every chapter and it explains why codes exist. It goes into enough detail that if you wanted to design an electrical system from scratch you could and it would pass the 2005 NEC inspection. I would recommend that anyone who does a fair amount of electrical work to pick up this book.