Reading electrical diagrams, a differential for the electrician.

When talking about diagrams, we cannot ignore technical standards, since each country rules its own. For you professional in the area to be a highlight, it is necessary to update yourself on technical matters. In the Brazilian territory, ABNT (Brazilian Association of Technical Standards) is the institution responsible for the theme and operates throughout the national technical area, it was adopted by federal, state, municipal and companies in order to standardize and organize drawings, terminology, processes, rehearsals and more… Each country, because it has its own regulatory body, has its own symbologies and processes, some standards are nevertheless accepted in more than one country. An important tip is to always try to update yourself and study the rules in force in the region in which you are operating.

Diagram with symbols that demonstrate some elements in an electrical network.

Every electrician, be it electrical controls, building or industrial, has to develop ways to follow the standards. They tell us what to do, but we have an obligation to comply and follow exactly what is planned and, studying before it becomes clearer and easier to develop and execute. So why not become professional? You as the owner of a project would never hire a professional who was not qualified for that function.

When dealing with electrical diagrams we have an extensive collection of symbols to follow and being aware of these elements is crucial for a good interpretation. In order to make a good reading of diagrams you need to be up to date on technical standards, paying attention to symbols, having a notion of floor plan and architectural design, being an insightful and observant professional, these are marks of a good professional.

There are three types of diagrams :

  • Functional
  • Multifilar
  • Unifilar

Knowing their differences and applications is of great importance. When dismembering each diagram we can observe some similar elements. As an example, the functional and multifilament diagram, although its functions are different, in the first, it presents the connection as it is made without respecting the passage in the conduits. The multifilament, on the other hand, demonstrates the connections in their respective passages and share the designs of the conductors and elements. Unifilar is already a more advanced language in which the designer demonstrates to the electrician the passage of conductors in the conduits, the position of the QDC (Circuit Distribution Board), demonstrates the elements, the lamps that are controlled by their switches, information such as scale and among several other elements that make up a single-line diagram, it is drawn on a floor plan.

Single-line diagram of an electrical installation

With this knowledge gathered, it is up to the professional to perform a good job, as technical knowledge is not enough . The combination of practice, experience and technique will make you a cutting edge professional. With technological innovations constantly advancing, the emergence of the concept of home automation, for example, has added electric to a new market perspective, thus making electricians pay attention to the symbols added in the drawings of electrical diagrams.

Nowadays we have professionals who learned the trade with their parents and with so many technological advances, ranging from technical standards to software for making drawings and diagrams, it is increasingly difficult for these professionals to survive in mid-development forcing them to seek qualification and certification, and one of the important differentials for these professionals is to try to understand and learn with the maximum use of reading and interpretation of drawigs, since such knowledge guaranteed a good execution of the work.