Electrical control panel wiring should be organized well or it can be unsafe or hazardous. It is important that wiring be held together neatly using wire ties to ensure that everything is in an organized and neat order. It is advisable for everything to be tightly connected and there should be a logical order for the wire connections.
For easy troubleshooting, a control panel wiring diagram should be available near the control panel in case a technician needs to troubleshoot the wires and controls. If these simple rules are not followed, the control panel wiring may be left in disarray and technicians might have a hard time troubleshooting the control panel in the future.
Step 1 - Prepare the Drawing
Prepare a control panel drawing. The control panel drawing is essential in wiring your electrical control panel. Go over the drawing or have a specialist go over the drawing to make sure it works well on paper. If it works on paper, then there’s a higher chance it will work once you’ve wired the actual electrical control panel.
Step 2 - Determine the Number of Items
Based on the control panel drawing, determine how many items you need to wire the control panel. Make a list and check it twice if it’s complete.
Step 3 - Prepare the Layout
Make a layout of all the components, timers, fuse blocks or breakers, relays, and wire channels on the backboard of the enclosure. You might need a din rail if you are using an IEC control. For ease of installation and wiring, remove the backboard from the enclosure.
Step 4 - Check the Order
Check if everything is in order. Ensure that there’s a terminal strip along the bottom and that it has enough terminal blocks for each external and internal wire that is leaving the panel. Make sure there are several spares for commons.
Step 5 - Tap the Mounting Holes
Begin threading and tapping the mounting holes. Once you are done, mount the components and wire channels. To make the job easier, use a set of center punches. Another tip for making the job easier is by tapping on slow speed with a drill. To ensure that you don’t snap off your tap, use a drop of oil.
Step 6 - Install the Power Wires
Start installing all the power wires. Make sure to mark and label all the wires as you go along. As mentioned earlier, this will help the troubleshooter when future problems arise. Begin with all the commons or neutrals first by connecting them. Mark all of the wires, especially if you’re using wires other than white or gray ones. Most people prefer to use white to make the control panel wiring look cleaner, what’s important is to mark them properly. Other colors may be used, just ensure they are all numbered properly.
Step 7 - Install the Wires
Use the control panel drawing as your guide. Begin by installing the first wire in the drawing to the first rung. Connect and label using a labeler or number pads. On the drawing, mark which ones you’ve installed already. This can minimize mistakes or double installations.
Step 8 - Test the Wires
Apply a test voltage after you’re done installing the wires. Conduct a dry run on the panel.
Step 9 - Install the Control Panel
If everything goes well, you may install the control panel and attach all incoming wires to the terminal strip. Conduct a test operation.