A Comprehensive Guide for Wiring Diagram

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What is a wiring diagram?

A wiring diagram is a visual representation of components and wires related to an electrical connection. This pictorial diagram shows us the physical links that are far easy to understand an electrical circuit or system. One wiring diagram can signify all the interconnections, thereby signaling the relative locations. The use of a wiring diagram is positively recognizable in manufacturing or electrical troubleshooting projects. It can prevent lots of damage that even derail an electrical plan.

In this article, we will learn some interesting facts about the wiring diagram, their importance, and the useful online tool, i.e., EdrawMax, to draw them quickly.

wiring diagram example with wiring diagram symbols

Image Source: smartdraw.com


Why do we use wiring diagrams?

Wiring diagrams are highly in use in circuit manufacturing or other electronic devices projects. The layout facilitates communication between electrical engineers designing electrical circuits and implementing them. The pictures are also helpful in making repairs. It shows whether the installation has been appropriately designed and implemented while confirming the safety regulators.

A wiring diagram can also be useful in auto repair and home building projects. For example, the proper location of light fixtures and electrical outlets can be easily by a home builder to avoid costly defaults or building any code violations.

Benefits of Wiring Diagrams:

Drawing a wiring diagram offers several advantages, as given below.

  • The diagram is easy to share even electronically.
  • The process of creating a diagram is fast and allows for conventional construction.
  • Access to hundreds and thousands of wiring symbols makes the diagram more efficient to be understood.
  • The diagram is simple to edit as per the different conditions.

  • The proper tool provides precise placement of symbols, which is an impossible task to be done by hand or other means.

Type of wiring diagram

With the use of different symbols, an electrical wiring diagram mainly consists of three main types. Everything related to an electrical system can be shown on one of the charts to ensure that interconnections are working correctly. Its three main kinds are as follows.

A. Schematic Diagrams

Schematic diagrams show the circuit flow with its impression rather than a genuine representation. They only provide general information and cannot be used to repair or examine a circuit. The functions of different equipment used within the circuit get presented with the help of a schematic diagram whose symbols generally include vertical and horizontal lines. However, these lines are known to show the flow of the system rather than its wires.

B. Wiring Diagram Diagrams

A wiring diagram represents the original and physical layout of electrical interconnections. Wiring on the picture with different symbols shows the exact location of equipment in the whole circuit. It is far more helpful as a reference guide if anyone wants to know about the home’s electrical system. Its components are shown by the pictorial to be easily identifiable.

C. Pictorial

It is the least efficient diagram among the electrical wiring diagram. They are often photos attached with highly-detailed drawings or labels of the physical components. A pictorial doesn’t even make an effort to be shown clearly or effectively. A person with a strong knowledge of electrical wiring diagrams can only understand a pictorial.


Wiring Diagram VS Schematic Diagram

The concept can be confusing as the wiring diagram points to the physical layout or location of components, whereas schematics show the function of different equipment used in the circuit.

Let’s check out its similarities and differences.






How to read a wiring diagram: Symbols you should know

To read a wiring diagram, you should know different symbols used, such as the main symbols, lines, and the various connections.

The standard or fundamental elements used in a wiring diagram include power supply, ground, wire and connection, switches, output devices, logic gate, resistors, light, etc.

wiring diagram symbols
  1. Switch - A switch in an electrical wiring diagram includes sub-symbols such as a push-to-break switch, push-to-make switch, 2-way switch, DPST switch, DPDT switch, etc.
  2. Battery - A battery represents more than one cell to indicate electrical energy. Moreover, it works on constant voltage.
  3. Resistor - The resistor shows the restriction to the flow of current. It is used along with a capacitor in a timing circuit.
  4. Wire and Connection - Wire and Connections symbols include the wire, wire joined, and the one not joined. Wires joined generally form two-T junctions, whereas the wires not joined are simply the crossing wires not connected.
  5. Capacitor - A capacitor is a storage unit of electric charge. The symbol is used with a resistor and can also be shown as a filter to pass AC signals and to block DC signals.
  6. Logic Gate - A logic gate is a kind of process signal used to represent True (High, 1, on, +Vs) or False (low, 0, off, OV). It also contains sub-symbols such as AND, NOT, NAND, NOR, and OR.
  7. Semiconductor - Semiconductor symbols are smart and commonly used for indicating components such as Bipolar, MOSFET, Controlled Rectifier, Controlled Switch, Diode, Diac, Triac, etc.
  8. Motor - A Motor represents a transducer by which electrical energy gets converted to kinetic energy.
  9. Speaker - A speaker is a digital input turned into analog sound waves. It is one of the essential parts of different products like telephones and TVs.
  10. Inductor - It is a component of an electric circuit possessing the inductance. It also includes different symbols such as position transmitter inductor, half inductor, mutual inductor, etc.


Wiring Diagram Examples

1. 2-way switch circuit

In a 2-way switch circuit, you need to control the power flow (switching on/off) to the load (lamp, light, ceiling fan, outlet, etc.) However, a typical circuit will include a 3-wire cable called Romex. It consists of white wire, black wire, and bare copper wire.

     A. White wire = Neutral

     B. Black wire = Hot or Power wire

     C. Bare Copper wire = Ground

Wiring a 2-way switch requires you to control the hot or black wire to turn on and off the load.

The diagram explains that the power source is coming in from the left. Here, the only wire, i.e., black wire, gets controlled through the 2-way switch. There is an incoming black or hot wire to one screw on the side of the 2-way switch. The black wire is also coming from the other screw on the 2-way switch going to the load. White wires combined help continue the circuit.

2-way switch wiring diagram

Image Source: how-to-wire-it.com

It is also essential to connect the switch with the ground wire as well. The green screw represents the ground wire to connect as below.

2-way switch wiring diagram example

Image Source: how-to-wire-it.com

All the bare copper or ground wires are now connected. The circuit of the 2-way switch shown below will help you understand the basic electricity concept flow to the load. Here, you should assume your controlled load like a light.

2-way switch wiring diagram example

Image Source: how-to-wire-it.com

2. 3-way switch circuit

This 3-way switch also uses a three-wire cable Romex upcoming from the source. There is also a 4-wire cable going in between the 3-wire cable, and 3-way switches. The 3-wire cable contains the same wire as white wire, black wire, and bare copper wire, whereas 4-wire cable contains an additional red wire, which is also hot.

3-way switch wiring diagram example

Image Source: how-to-wire-it.com


The left-box

Here, the left screw in the lower position is standard and gets its black wire from the 3-cond source. However, it’s left screw from the upper area get its black wire from the 4-cond right box.

The right-box

In it, the left screw at the lower position gets its black wire from the 3-cond load. The left screw at the upper position gets its red wire from the 4-cond left box. Its right screw at the top spot gets its black wire from the 4-cond left box.

3-way switch wiring diagram example

Image Source: how-to-wire-it.com

3. Wire an Outlet

Standard outlets are also duplex receptacles. You need to select from a few options while wiring an outlet. You need 3-wire cable in both receptacles to wire an outlet (hot. Also, you need a 4-wire cable is to switch for the top or bottom receptacle.

wire an outlet wiring diagram example

Image Source: how-to-wire-it.com

The black or hot wire coming in from the left is the primary source of power. The wire is tied with a wire going to the black wire and switch, which is further going to the outlet.

wire an outlet wiring diagram example

Image Source: how-to-wire-it.com


How to draw a wiring diagram with Edraw?

After gaining the best understanding of the main concept, we should now continue with the knowledge on how to draw a wiring diagram with one of the best online tools – EdrawMax. To make a wiring diagram online, head over to the official website of Edraw, and continue with the following steps.

Step 1:  The first step is to sign up on https://www.edrawmax.com/online/. For this, you need to use valid email id and a password.

step 1

Step 2:  Select Electrical Engineering and Basic Electrical. As the creation of wiring diagram is an electrical concept, you need to select Electrical Engineering from the side panel. It will lead you to different options on the main interface from where you have to go for Basic Electrical.

Step 3:  Create a template. The next step is to create your template. Firstly, you need to select + icon of Basic Electrical. This selection will lead you to the main interface of diagram creation as follows.

Click on + icon of Basic Electrical to create wiring diagram edraw online


Step 4:  Make your wiring diagram from different tools.

create wiring diagram edraw online


In this window, you can create your wiring diagram by choosing different wiring diagram symbols from the symbol library. There are various symbols available such as transmission path, qualifying symbols, semiconductor devices, switches and relays, and other necessary electrical symbols.


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