At one point or another, most homeowners will run into an electrical issue. Whether it is an electrical repair or an installation, chances are, you will attempt to make the repair or replacement by yourself. While minor electrical issues can be an easy fix, even for a novice, there are quite a few common mistakes that can happen, which can lead to both safety and fire hazards. To avoid these potential problems, here are five of the most common mistakes:
- Wire Straps
One of the most common things homeowners do with wire straps is nailing the straps too tightly. Anytime you install wiring, it must be supported securely to the home’s wooden studs. These straps are there to secure the wire tightly to the stud, ensuring the wire does not hang limply inside of the wall. While the straps do need to be nailed to the studs, nailing them too tightly could potentially pinch or stretch the wires it is securing, which could be a fire danger.
- Overloading Outlets
Accidentally overloading outlets is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Usually, it is the entertainment area that is overloaded, as there are too many cords from the TV, surround sound, DVD player, and other equipment from your TV packages that need to be plugged in. While many try to solve this issue with circuit extenders or extension cords, a circuit can only handle 20 amps. Instead, disperse the power between circuits.
- Loose Connections in Panels
If you notice your lights flickering or dimming, you could potentially have a loose connection inside of your panel. However, before checking to see if there are any loose connections, be sure to turn the breaker off in order to avoid an electric shock.
- Fuse Replacement
When a fuse continues to trip after being reset, or keeps blowing even after replaced, it is easy to assume the breaker needs to be replaced with a bigger size. However, breakers and fuses are designed with a certain wire ampacity rating, and connecting the wrong ampacity wire to a fuse or breaker that is too large can cause a fire. The issue is probably the wiring in the circuit, not because the fuse or breaker is too small to handle your appliances.
- Wire Connections
If connecting a wire in a junction box, it is important you have enough wire to work with. Typically, you should have about six inches of wire to make the proper connections, because you need enough to strip, connect, and fold over a connection. Additionally, you want enough wire leftover so you can repeat the process. However, having too much wire is just as dangerous as having not enough. When trying to cram too much wire in the box while installing the device as well, the wires could get damaged and short out.
When fixing anything electrical, it is imperative to keep safety in mind.
Image Source: www.shutterstock.com