Just like any other project in your house, fixing electrical wiring is all about safety. If you properly install an outlet, it will be safe to use. On the other hand, it can be extremely hazardous if you don’t properly install it.
Because of this, there are a lot of guidelines surrounding electrical installations and wiring. For some, these guidelines can be complicated. It can also be confusing oftentimes, even for professionals.
However, there are a couple of simple practices and basic ideas that apply to most electrical projects. This is particularly true for DIY electrical tasks.
Working with electricity is very dangerous. This is the main reason why electricians have higher rates compared to other contractors.
Due to the expensive labor cost, a lot of homeowners are motivated to ignore professionals and do the job on their own.
There is nothing wrong with DIY electrical tasks, this is particularly true if you get the right permits and hire a professional to inspect your work.
In addition to that, a lot of basic tasks do not require permits at all. This includes installing lights or replacing outlets. If you think that you’ve got the knowledge and skills required to perform a DIY electrical job, you should go for it.
However, you need to keep a couple of crucial safety guidelines in mind. This will help avoid problems that can potentially be fatal.
Have The Right Fire Extinguisher on Hand
You should not use water when getting rid of an electrical fire. For those who don’t know, water contains sediment that is conductive. If you pour water into an electrical fire, you’re risking yourself a major shock hazard.
Because of this, you need to prepare a fire extinguisher on hand that is specifically made for electrical fires. You should prepare this before you start any project.
Prepare the Necessary Tools
Electrical tasks call for a set of particular tools. These tools include a utility knife, screwdrivers, wire strippers, and pliers.
Every tool should have plastic or rubber handles. This will help protect you in case you accidentally touch a live wire. Also, make sure you store these tools in a dedicated toolbox, together with all other supplies you require.
Other items you might need for the job include a headlamp, a voltage tester, wire connectors, and electrical tape. If you have all of these tools, you will be ready to safely address minor repairs.
Examine Amperage Ratings
Every device and electrical wiring has an amp or amperage rating. This is the maximum amount of electric current the item can safely handle.
Almost every standard household circuit is rated for 20 or 15 amps. On the other hand, bigger appliances might be rated for 50, 30, or 40 amps.
When replacing or installing devices or wiring, every component you utilize needs to have the right amperage rating for the circuit.
For instance, a 20-amp circuit needs to have 12-gauge wiring since this wiring is rated for 20 amps. You’re creating a fire hazard if you install 14-gauge, 15-amp wiring on that circuit.
The reason for this is that the 20-amp circuit breaking protecting that circuit may not turn off before the 15-amp wiring overheats.
Fortunately, some medium voltage switchgear suppliers can help with this problem by offering you the right switchgear for your home.
Update the Index of Your Panel
The control center for the electrical system of your house is the panel. Professionals recommend that you label the circuits that every breaker controls during installation.
Unfortunately, these labels have a way of falling off or fading. In addition to that, they often go outdated as well. This is particularly true if you’ve done a couple of major electrical renovations.
It is a wise move to double-check every breaker to guarantee it controls the correct circuits. If not, you need to update the index for future reference.
When flipping the breaker, stand on one side because it might spark or cause a short circuit.
Turn Off Circuit Breakers Always
If you’re planning to work on a particular wiring system, make sure you turn off the circuit breaker that controls it.
It does not matter if you simply want to replace a light fixture or tighten a loose connection. You still have to turn off the circuit breaker.
If you don’t, you might end up causing a Short circuit. This is particularly true if you use tools that have a metal tip or if you use robotic arms.
The resultant arc that a short-circuit produces is hot enough to start a fire. You can also lose your balance if you are standing on a ladder since you’ll be surprised.
You do not have to worry about these things if you turn off the circuit breaker. With this, you will work with more confidence. Thus, you can do a better job.
Test For Power
The ideal way to avoid electrical shock is to always test devices and wires for power before you work on them. It isn’t good enough to just turn off the power.
This is particularly true if you turn off the circuit breaker. Keep in mind that your breaker might be outdated. This means that everything might be mislabeled.
Always test for power before you work on any circuit wires. With this, you can guarantee that you aren’t working with a live wire.
It can be extremely tempting to try to DIY different issues around your house. However, if you don’t feel confident with your skills, you should leave the job to experts. On the other hand, if you have all the tools and knowledge needed to perform the task and know DIY skills, you should try it. Still, you’ve got to ensure you follow safety procedures.