Top Electrical Mistakes Homeowners Make Too Often
Working with electricity requires knowledge, experience and a delicate touch. Everything involving electricity – from cutting wires and installing outlets to making electrical connections – leaves little room for mistakes, even small ones. While not all mistakes wind up being catastrophic, if the issues aren’t corrected, there’s the possibility of damage and issues, such as electrical shocks, fires and shorts.
Getting to know some of the top electrical related mistakes made by homeowners can help you avoid them. Also, remember – if you are ever unsure you can complete electrical work on your own, contact the pros.
Making a Connection Out of an Electrical Box
If you are handling a wiring project, such as installing some type of outdoor light, and there is no electrical box, it may be tempting to create a wire connection out of where the box should be, or outside of the box somewhere else.
Be sure that you always install a junction box, so you can make the connection. These are the boxes that will help to protect the connection from damage and it will contain any sparks or heat. Simply get the new junction box in place, and then connect your wires inside, which will help prevent any potential hazards.
Cutting Your Wires Too Short
Another common mistake is if a homeowner happens to cut their wires too short when installing a new switch or outlet. If the wires are too short, it will make the connections difficult, and it can actually be hazardous. Be sure you leave the wires long enough that the protrude about three inches out of the box. If you are working with short wires, you can use extensions to lengthen them.
Leaving Your Cables Unprotected
This is another electrical issue, and at some point, it’s going to cause problems. According to the electrical code, it’s required that the cables between any framing members are protected. Any cable that you run under or over a wall to the ceiling framing is exposed to possible damage. You can protect this cable when you attach a small board beside it to keep stored items from causing any damage.
If an outlet is loosely connected, it may shift and result in the wire loosening from the terminal. The wires may arc, and eventually overheat. If this keeps happening, it can become a fire hazard. If you notice the screws on your outlet or loose and that the outlet is able to shift in place, then it’s best to add some plastic spacers to the screw. This will help secure the outlet against the wall it is mounted in.
As you can see, there are several mistakes that may occur with your electricity if you attempt the DIY approach. Be sure to keep this info in mind as you are making any electrical repairs. If you aren’t confident in your abilities, be sure to contact the pros. They can ensure the job is handled properly.