Electric Symbols on Blueprints

If you want to make sense of electric symbols on your blueprints then you’ve come to the right place. The placement of the outlets for all the electrical items in your home can have a significant impact on the design of your home.

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I've included the symbols (along with a bit of explanation) and a checklist. Here goes...

Most of the electrical symbols used on blueprints have become standard. Some architects or designers may use slightly different symbols. Always check with the key on your blueprints.

A few points of explanation...

You’ll notice that some of the symbols have a subscript (that small writing at the bottom of the symbol) that helps explain what the outlet is for. You might some across a symbol with a subscript that isn’t explained here. If so, it should be explained somewhere in the key of the blueprint.

All the outlets refer to wall outlets unless they are contained in square which means they're floor outlets.

Wall and floor power socket outlet symbols

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single power outlet symbol

Single outlet

duplex power outlet symbol

Duplex outlet

multiple power outlet symbol

Multiple outlet (number denotes number of sockets)

duplex switch power outlet symbol

Duplex outlet with switch

quad outlet symbol

Quad outlet

220 volt outlet symbol

220 volt outlet

GFCI outlet symbol

GFCI outlet (more explanation below)

special power outlet symbol

Special Power Outlet (some examples below)

refrigerator power outelt symbol

Refrigerator outlet

clothes washer outlet symbol

Clothes washer outlet

dish washer outlet symbol

Dish washer outlet

clothes dryer outlet symbol

Clothes dryer outlet (note 220v)

range power outlet symbol

Range outlet

floor mounted power outlet symbol

Floor outlet

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter - or circuit breaker for short. These outlets are required in places with water - so that's bathrooms and kitchens and maybe outside - especially near a swimming pool. It's so that if you drop your hairdryer in the bath you won't electrocute anyone!

General outlets

General outlets are where a wire is required to power a fixture where the fixture will be wired in rather than plugged in.

The small horizontal line on the left of the circle indicates that the outlet is wall mounted.

A circle without the horizontal line indicates that the outlet is mounted in the ceiling.

light outlet symbol

Light outlet

blanked outlet symbol

Blanked (unused) outlet

Fan outlet symbol

Fan outlet

junction box symbol

Junction box

lamp holder symbol

Lamp holder

lamp holder with pull switch symbol

Lamp Holder with pull switch

Pull switch symbol

Clock outlet symbol

Circuits and Panels

power panel symbol

Power panel

branch circuit symbol concealed in ceiling or wall

Branch circuit concealed in ceiling or wall

branch circuit symbol concealed in floor

Branch circuit concealed in floor

Branch circuit exposed

More electric symbols...

push button symbol

Push button symbol

bell symbol

Bell symbol

buzzer symbol

Buzzer symbol

Thermostat symbol

Thermostat symbol

smoke detector symbol

Smoke detector symbol

carbon monoxide symbol

Carbon monoxide detector symbol

panic button symbol

Panic button symbol

Electric symbols checklist

  • Make sure you’re happy with the location of outlets – check against your planned furniture layouts. Make sure they're specified at the right height.

  • Are you happy with the location of the main fuse box? Is it accessible? Because the last thing you want is to be struggling with a torch and ladder if a fuse blows.

More house plan symbols for you...