At first glance this is a really great book for your coffee table or as an introduction to electrical services.
With over 300 pages Black & Decker tries to cover most areas in the home that a do-it-yourself or just someone that might want to educate themselves in the basics of wiring.
The images and cross-sections are great for explanation. You can tell that they spared no expense on the production and illustration.
You can see where things go and how they are wired and most things are basically covered.
If you are about to attempt a job or thinking about performing some work some time soon you will get a preview of what you will run into when you open a wall or take your switch plate off.
The only drawback of this book is the lack of technical details I can only presume occurred because Illustrators were left to write the book and a Licensed Electrician did not do an accurate review before it was published. This is unacceptable in many ways.
A few glaring mistakes will definitely lead the reader into a dangerous place.
For instance the proper use of underground rated wiring and the use of a plastic bucket to put together an outside electrical outlet was incorrect for almost every location I can think of in the USA. It might be a hacked way to do something if you are living out in the middle of no place where an inspector will not review your work but electrical coded and methods have grown over the years for a reason and that reason is safety.
In another part of the book they show a baseboard molding being removed at the bottom of a wall to allow for drilling of the studs next to the bottom plate to run wires. I can’t imagine who would do such a thing. First drilling so close to the plate on your stud will definitely mean you are going to hit a nail and if that is not bad enough you will undermine the integrity of the wall structure. The proper method for installing a wire is to enter the void through the plate and run the wire through the floor joists in the basement for a first story wall or in the attic for a second story wall. If you live in a 3 story home more power to you and as uncommon as that is in residential building you will just have to suffer the drywall damage and drill your holes through the studs at least a foot up from the floor level.
What this book doesn’t have.
Although the steps are covered the technical aspects of designing and installing electrical circuits are not covered. When you are working with electricity you need to plan your circuits for how they will be used. Some information is covered but I would not expect to purchase this book and be able to wire your whole house from the instruction they provide.
Even though there are a few large mistakes that no 3rd edition should contain YouRepair.com still recommends that you purchase this book. The cross-sections alone make it worth the money. If you buy this book you should also review their processes by checking your electrical code or talking with an electrician. You should use this book in conjunction with a more technical manual or an electrical code book. Again this is a good introduction that should be part of your learning package and the writers at YouRepair acknowledge that mistakes do occur (YouRepair.com never gives Professional Advice) but a multi-billion dollar international tool company should kick in the cost of getting a licensed professional to review their publications.
If you would like to buy this book
it is available in the YouRepair book store.
At the time of writing our cost was about $17
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This review is based on a quick 10 minute browse at the local supply house.
We only try to give you a quick overview of the product and not describe all of the features in detail.