I’ve always respected electricians and found the work fascinating, but never really sat down and learned all the ins and outs of how my short-lived electrical engineering education applied to my actual abode. I understand how an outlet works and how electricity flows, but close to nothing about code or safe practices when wiring, or any of the little things that any practicing electrician knows.
I recently purchased a new bandsaw, which has a 220V motor and needs a new 20A dedicated circuit. I’ve wanted to add outlets in my little basement wood shop, so I figured as long as I needed to add the one outlet, I might as well have an electrician add a subpanel and isolate the shop entirely. That way, if I want to add more outlets or hang better lights or need another 220 in the future, I have a dedicated panel to work from. Not knowing what to look for in a panel or how it was supposed to be wired, or what I could actually do, I started doing some research.
Dyami recommended a book, Wiring a House 4th Edition (For Pros By Pros), and I now recommend it too. It’s a very good overview of all of the general wiring you’ll find in a house, with explanations of the basic code requirements for each part. It does refer to the NEC code for actual guidelines on things like wire gauge, but in general, it’s fairly self sufficient, and easy to read.
Definitely pick it up if you have any wiring projects coming up, or want to know what to look for when looking at a possible house to buy.
disclaimer: If you purchase the book via these links, I get a small cut from Amazon for the link. It really is an excellent book, but in no way makes you a licensed electrician. But it will help you know if you’re dealing with someone reputable.