METHOD OF PLANNING A WIRING INSTALLATION The first step in planning a wiring installation, is to gather all the data which will affect either directly or indirectly the system of wiring and the manner in which the conductors are to be installed. These data will include: Kind of building; construction of building; space available for conductors; source and system of electric-current supply; and all details which will determine the method of wiring to be employed. These last items materially affect the cost of the work, and are usually determined by the character of the building and by commercial considerations.
For mills, factories, etc., wires exposed on cleats or insulators are usually to be recommended, although rigid conduit, flexible con duit, or armored cable may be desirable.
In finished buildings, and for extensions of existing outlets, where the wiring could not readily or conveniently be concealed, moulding is generally used, particularly where cleat wiring or other exposed methods of wiring would be objectionable. However, as has already been said, moulding should not be employed where there is any liability to dampness.
In finished buildings, particularly where they are of frame con struction, flexible steel conduits or armored cable are to be recom mended.
While in new buildings of frame construction, knob and tube wiring are frequently employed, this method should be used only where the question of first cost is of prime importance. While armored
cable will cost approximately 50 to 100 per cent more than knob and tube wiring, the former method is so much more permanent and is so much safer that it is strongly recommended.
It very seldom happens that current supply from a central station is arranged with other than the three-wire system inside of buildings, because, if the outside supply is alternating current, the transformers are usually adapted for a three-wire system. For small buildings, on the other hand, where there are only a few lights and where there would be only one feeder, the two-wire system is used. As a rule, however, when the current is taken from an outside source, it is best to consult the engineer of the central station supplying the current, and to conform with his wishes. As a matter of fact, this should be done in any event, in order to ascertain the proper voltage for the lamps and for the motors, and also to ascertain whether the central station will supply transformers, meters, and lamps—for, if these are not thus supplied, they should be included in the contract for the wiring.