Many people prefer to handle home repairs on their own as much as they can. It’s a good way to save money, as long as you know what you are doing. When it comes to electricity, you must use caution. Before you replace an outlet, install wiring, or do anything else with your home’s electrical system, make sure you follow the safety tips listed below.
Learn About Residential Electrical Systems First
You should know the basics before attempting an electrical repair. Read up on how residential systems work. Some concepts were likely covered in science class years ago, but it is best to brush up before you get to work.
The internet contains a wealth of resources or you can visit the library to find books on home repair and electricity.
Turn Off Power at the Main Service Panel
Never work on a live wire. Always turn the power off at the main service panel. Do not rely on a nearby switch to cut power. You should at least switch the breaker to the area off. If possible, you can also switch off the main breaker. Safety should always come before speed and convenience when handling electrical components.
Unplug Appliances Before Working on Them
If you need to repair an appliance or lamp, unplug it first. Even if you believe the power is off or the device isn’t switched on, you should still unplug it. Many electronics continue to draw power when they are off or in idle mode. This can pose a threat while you work.
Verify That the Power is Off Before You Begin
Do not assume that the power is off because you switched the breaker. You should verify before you begin your project. This can be done safely using a volt tester. Place the output points at the bottom of the breaker or on the receptacle. If the light doesn’t come on, then there is no power.
The tester should come with instructions for proper use. You can verify that your tester is functioning by using it on a live circuit. Make sure the indicator light turns on so that you know it is giving you a correct reading.
Never Work in a Wet Environment
Water and electricity do not mix. Never work in wet environments. That includes areas that are moist, damp or have puddles. This is also why you should never drill holes in water pipes. Doing so could cause water to come in contact with electrical components.
If you are doing work outdoors, make sure it is a dry day with no rain in the forecast.
Only Use Extension Cords Temporarily
Extension cords are handy around the house. However, remember that these are only meant for temporary use. Never use an extension cord as part of a permanent fix. They are not rated for this purpose and will pose a fire hazard if used incorrectly.
Know When to Call an Electrician
One of the most important safety tips Connect Electric wants to share is knowing when you should call an electrician. Complex problems come with obstacles that only a professional can handle. It may cost a little more, but you will get quality craftsmanship and peace of mind.
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