Practical Electrical Wiring
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Practical Electrical Wiring
Residential, Farm, Commercial and Industrial

22nd edition, Based on the 2014 National Electrical Code®
Frederic P. Hartwell and Herbert P. Richter


Practical Electrical Wiring is back in a new version based on the 2014 National Electrical Code® (NEC®). The advanced level of discussion reflects greater technical complexities, yet the style remains highly accessible to a wide range of readers. Drawings and photos continue to be revised and updated, making instructions easy to understand and follow. Hartwell has been responsible for over one thousand successful proposals and public comments regarding changes in the National Electrical Code over the past ten Code-Making cycles and continues as a principal member of the National Electrical Code Committee. He brings years of experience and practical hints gained during continued employment as a licensed master electrician and former head electrician at a college in Massachusetts.

Intended audience
Practical Electrical Wiring is aimed at the person who wants to make a serious study of the field of electrical wiring:

  • Practitioners—electricians, contractors, designers, inspectors working in residential, farm, commercial, or industrial settings—will find what they need to know in one handy, compact volume that can be easily carried to the job site.
  • Students and apprentices will appreciate the way the book captures all the basics in an accessible way, useful while learning the trade and later as a reference.
  • Seekers of information about careers in the electrical industry will learn what is involved in different segments of the industry.
  • General readers can learn the basics of the trade in order to do things safely and correctly and become aware of what they don’t know so they can make a considered decision about how to proceed.

From the author
Practical Electrical Wiring has achieved the status of a classic over a history that reaches back more than 65 years. First written and continued for ten editions by H. P. Richter, the book has an unparalleled ability to do two things at the same time. First, using everyday language and by avoiding any higher mathematics, it makes the majority of electrical installation practices accessible to the beginner. Second, it includes enough detail to maintain its usefulness as an essential reference work on the shelf of any who continue in the trade.

This edition and the one before it follow seven editions prepared by W. Creighton Schwan, who ably continued H. P. Richter’s original work. Changes in the electrical trade prompted a decision to produce an extensively rewritten and reorganized work to reflect present conditions and emerging challenges. For example, we may have already passed the point at which the majority of electric energy consumed in the United States is processed electronically, and therefore involves substantial harmonic components. Today’s apprentices need some understanding of how these loads affect wiring decisions, or risk being left behind.

Nevertheless, I have tried to keep the presentation accessible to all, for a personal reason. In 1957, at the age of ten, I helped my father extend a branch circuit in our home. My father, although handy, was never in the trade. Yet he correctly understood my intuitive fascination with what we were doing, and the next day I came home from school to a brand new copy of the fifth edition, just out, of Practical Electrical Wiring. I was riveted, and read the entire book cover to cover. It seemed as if I had been given the key to the inside door to a training room of a wonderful profession. Not only did I know why wiring had to be installed in a certain way, I was no stranger to the tools and equipment used to make the installations.

I didn’t actually enter the trade until many years later, but I never got the book out of my mind. After college, I returned to my true calling, and I returned to this book as well, always an invaluable reference. It is now my great honor to carry on a wonderful tradition. This edition is based on the 2005 National Electrical Code, and will continue to be revised with each succeeding edition of that document.      Frederic P. Hartwell

Park Publishing, Inc.
22nd edition, March 2014
Softcover, 700 pages, 475 illustrations
ISBN 978-0971977983
Price $79.95