Many homeowners are confident in their ability to do things themselves. Yet when it comes to working with electricity, poorly installed wiring by DIYers is one of the most common causes of house fires.
Certainly, DIYers sometimes purchase older homes to renovate. Older homes may have outdated, improperly installed wiring. If that’s the case, a professional electrician should be consulted as soon as possible.
Electricity can be fatal. Homeowners with basic home repair skills should not attempt electrical projects on their own. At the least, check with a certified electrical contractor. Savings dollars on doing it yourself could put your entire family and home at risk.
For smaller wiring projects, there are five key things to watch out for when you are doing DIY electrical work on your home.
- Use the appropriate tools for the electrical project. There are several tools you need to complete a wiring project. A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is required for a powerful appliance or device since it helps prevent electrocution. The GFCI helps monitor the amount of power being used in an outlet. DIYers will also require a good pair of wire strippers, a circuit tester, and tamper-resistant receptacles for all interior and exterior locations if curious children are around.
- Install the correct size fuse. Fuses are meant to protect the entire electrical system within the home. When the wrong fuse is used, it makes the entire system ineffectual. The main purpose of the fuse is to break the electrical circuit in case it runs above what is safe. The wrong fuse can also result in a dangerous fire hazard since the fuse may not break the circuit.
- Use the right size wire for circuits. Electrical wires come in varying degrees of thickness. Typically, the thicker the wire, the more electrical current it can handle. However, when a thin wire is used on a circuit that requires a thicker one, the wire will overheat and short out before the fuse of the circuit break triggers.
- Cut and strip wires to the correct length. Electrical codes require specific lengths of stripped wires attached to outlets and switches. Wires that are cut too short make connecting them both challenging and unsafe. Whereas too much stripped wire exposed inside an electrical box can result in a dangerous situation.
- Know the difference between safety switches and circuit breakers. On the electrical panel, safety switches can detect electrical shocks before danger strikes. They switch off the electricity before a shock can occur. In contrast, circuit breakers turn the power off if there is too much electrical current in use. Too much current can overheat an appliance or wiring, resulting in electrical fires.
In any case, no one should tackle electrical work if he or she doesn’t have suitable knowledge or training. While DIY electrical projects may sound like a great challenge, electricity is not something to take any chances on.
Hire a licensed and experienced electrician from Walls Electrical. Our experts can take on any project you have in a professional and timely manner.