Robinson Engineering, Inc.

Wiring a Panel with a Schematic vs a Wire Chart

There’s more than one way to know which wires go where when you’re wiring an electrical panel. Two of them that I will discuss are wiring from the schematic and from a wire chart.

From a Schematic

When you wire from a schematic, you see a visual representation of the components and how the wires connect them.

A schematic also contains specifications for the system you’re building (like incoming power and what type of motor will be used) as well as information regarding the wire color, size, and what the label should read.

If you wire a variety of panels your best bet is probably just to use a schematic.

From a Wire Chart

A wire chart is a written, point-to-point list of where a wire needs to start and end and also includes the same color, size, and labeling information.

In order to have a wire chart, first someone must wire a panel according to the schematic and write out where wires start and end so that others can wire more of the same panel. After the chart has been made during wiring, the panel must be tested to make sure the chart is correct so you don’t end up wiring a bunch of panels wrong.

If you make a lot of panels that are exactly the same, a wire chart could help you streamline the process.

A Combination of Both

One of our technicians explained to me that while he uses the schematic for most wiring, he’ll also make a wire chart for certain portions (like the ground wires and power distribution) for better organization.

Either way you wire, it’s better to use the schematic for quality assurance testing because you can locate possible errors that were put in the wire chart and so you have important information like the correct power requirements for safe and accurate testing.

What method do you prefer? Is it one of these or an entirely different one? For more information on wiring panels, check out our other blog posts and videos.

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