Top Four Home Electrical Mistakes To Avoid

Top Four Home Electrical Mistakes To Avoid

residential electrical panel, preventing electrical shock

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If you are working with electricity, it is best to have some experience. The fact is, electricity can be fickle and one wrong move may land you in the emergency room. When it comes to electricity, there isn’t much room for errors and if a mistake isn’t fixed, it can lead to serious damage, such as electrical shock, fires or shorts. Getting to know some of the most common mistakes made when working with electricity can help you know what to avoid.

Making a Connection Outside of an Electrical Box

If you are trying to handle a wiring project, such as installing an outdoor light and there isn’t an electrical box, it can be tempting to wire a new connection outside, where a box is needed, or outside the box in another location. Instead, you should add a junction box to the location where the light is going to be installed. These will protect the connection from any damage and can contain sparks and heat. All you have to do is install the box and then connect the wires inside of it.

Cutting the Wires too Short

This is an all too common mistake when you are cutting the wires to install a new switch or outlet. Wires that are too short make it difficult to make proper connections and it may become dangerous. Be sure that you keep the wires long enough so they protrude approximately three inches out of the box. If you find yourself having to work with short wires, you can extend them with six inch extensions on the existing wires.

Leaving Your Cable Unprotected

This may also create electrical issues at some point. According to electrical code, cables between framing members have to be protected. Cable that is run under or over a wall to ceiling framing, may suffer damage. You can protect the cable by attaching a small board beside it to keep any stored items from causing damage.

Loose Outlets

If an outlet is not secured, it may shift and result in the wire coming loose from the terminal. If this happens, the wires may overheat and arc and may create a fire hazard. If you touch the screws on the outlet and they are loose or the outlet shifts – even slightly –then you should add plastic spacers to the screw to help and secure the outlet in place.

Unfortunately, if you have never worked with electricity before, you are putting yourself, your home and your family at risk by trying to handle electrical work and repairs on your own. A better option is to call the professionals. They can inspect the electrical components in place and make any repairs or changes necessary.

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