14 Sep 2022

What are Electrical Drawings and Why are they Important?

Image by Colin Behrens 

Are you having trouble troubleshooting, communicating and documenting information about the power systems on your construction site? In that case, you need electrical drawings.

Electrical plans help to ensure that your power systems run safely, efficiently, and smoothly. They can also aid you in identifying potential risks that you can nip in the bud before they become a problem. (However, for maximum risk reduction and safety, we also recommend dedicated BIM clash detection.)

What’s more, accurate and updated electrical plans will make sure that your facility complies with all relevant code regulations.

So, before you hire construction drawing services for all the above reasons, it is best to understand what electrical drawings are. Let’s get started.

Introduction

Electrical drawings, also called electrical plans or wiring diagrams, are a kind of technical drawing that provide visual representations of circuits or electrical systems.

  • They convey the electrical design (which is made by the engineer) to electricians or other workers, who will utilize them to install or repair the electrical systems.

  • The electrical design is represented by symbols and lines. It defines the position of the electrical apparatus.

  • The electrical lighting, power distribution and digital communication will be conveyed.

There are various types of electrical drawings, largely pertaining to the function of the relevant space. These may include, for example:

Generally, electrical plans are drawn at the same scale as floor plans. The most common scale for residential and small commercial projects is the 1:50 metric, or ¼” = 1’-0”. For larger projects, the scale is often the 1:100 metric, or 1/8” = 1’-0”.

Why are Electrical Plans Important?

Precise electrical plans offer valuable benefits to construction projects.

  • The drawings are crucial for documentation, communication, and troubleshooting on-site power systems.

  • This also makes it an excellent planning tool, since you get an in-depth look at the building’s wiring and electrical system.

  • Updated, precise electrical plans ensure that your building complies with relevant codes and regulations.

  • Accurate installation and operation helps efficiently distribute power to equipment and appliances.

  • Electrical plans identify potential risks, so you can make the relevant changes before any damage or injury occurs.

  • You save time and costs by avoiding problems, delays, and unnecessary purchases.

What Do Electrical Plans Include?

Electrical drawings may differ depending on the project, but will generally include the following.

  • Connection of various fixtures & components to the system

  • Main cable, wire runs & associated isolating switches

  • Wiring diagrams showing physical connections & layouts of circuits

  • Schedules

  • A site plan that shows external wiring and location of the building

  • Main switches, fused switches & tiebreaker

  • Power transformers, winding connections & means of grounding

  • Details of power lines such as rating, voltage, capacity & size

  • Interconnection of electrical wires & other system parts

  • Floor plans that display positions of electrical systems on every floor

  • Equipment such as batteries, generators, air conditioning, solar panels, etc., as well as their size & voltage

The symbols, abbreviations and descriptions are provided in the legends. These symbols include things such as switches, distribution panels, lights, and fixtures.

To make system particulars clearer, wall lines are usually drawn lighter than fixtures. Fixtures may also be shaded for further clarity.

The abbreviations, which may differ from plan to plan, are on the first page of the electrical drawings. An example of an abbreviation would be TV for television or MCC for motor control center.

Keys to Making Relevant & Accurate Electrical Drawings

1. Use the Interior Layout as a Bedrock

Ask yourself the following questions when making your electrical plan:

  • Have switches been placed at convenient locations?

  • Are there enough easy-to-place receptacles?

  • Is the electrical load on the circuits appropriate?

2. Do a Walkthrough

If possible, you should walk through the space while looking at the electrical plan. By imagining plugging in and turning on appliances, you will be able to catch errors that may have been missed. It will also help you place outlets and switches in the best locations.

3. Plan for Additional Outlets

Renovations are almost inevitable and can be highly expensive. While purchasing lighting fixtures, side tables, and other things over the years, your client may find they are short on outlets.

Hence, having additional outlets from the get go will save them time and money. Have a chat with your client about this aspect early on for their consent.

4. Consider Furniture Placement

If you know how your client is planning to place their furniture, it is helpful to consider this placement while making your electrical plans. As with the previous point, it helps you avoid placing switches and outlets in awkward places.

5. Use Varied Lighting

To adequately illuminate a house, you need varied types of lighting, from task lighting to accent lighting to ambient lighting. This will hold especially true depending on what your client will want to use their space for, whether there will be a home office, if there will be a lot of entertaining, etc.

Conclusion

Accurate electrical plans form a crucial part of your construction drawings.

However, developing them can be time consuming and expensive. That’s why there’s BluEntCAD. We provide architectural documentation to homebuilders, real estate developers, large architectural and engineering companies, and custom home designers.

Browse our portfolio to see how we’ve helped companies like yours. We pride ourselves on our client-centric approach and adapting to suit your business requirements. Since 2003, we have successfully completed over 10,000 projects, so we have the experience you deserve.

Ready to get architect construction drawings with a fast turnaround time? Contact us now!

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CAD Evangelist. "What are Electrical Drawings and Why are they Important?" CAD Evangelist, Sep. 14, 2022, https://www.bluentcad.com/blog/what-are-electrical-drawings/the-great-wall-of-china.

CAD Evangelist. (2022, September 14). What are Electrical Drawings and Why are they Important?. Retrieved from https://www.bluentcad.com/blog/what-are-electrical-drawings/

CAD Evangelist. "What are Electrical Drawings and Why are they Important?" CAD Evangelist https://www.bluentcad.com/blog/what-are-electrical-drawings/ (accessed September 14, 2022 ).

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