Reading electrical plan


In electrical plan, all the wires should be connected a main power panel. But in the electrical plan, I see only the wires connecting from switch to the lamps or appliances, aren’t all the switches being connected together then being connected to the main electrical panel?

any reason for doing this?


Hello @jameslixing -

An architect is only responsible for the layout of the electrical wires to the items they are specifying. So in the electrical plan you are responsible for showing the following items;

  • Location of Lights and Type of Light
  • Location of Switches and what fixture you would like them to control.
  • Location of Outlets (per code and client wishes)
  • Location of Outlets connected to Switches should they be controlled by a switch.
  • Location of Appliances and related Outlet (you may need to specify if the appliance needs additional voltage.)

Additionally you will have a key that shows each symbol used and a text that defines the symbol. Remember the number of fixtures and outlets/switches are outlined in the code.

The work that is done to connect the switches or outlets to main electrical panel is done by the electrician in field. The design of that portion of the system on larger projects tends to be in the scope of an electrical engineer. As architects we are only responsible for the layout of the items listed above and showing through the dashed lines what items need to be related or paired.

Let me know if you need further clarification!
-Coach Elise

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Hi, Coach Elise:

Thanks for your prompt response. I used to think we architects don’t do other trades drawing including electrical plan, now I realized we might have chances to draw these plans.

Thanks again for your clarification.

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