Is Your Home Electrical Wiring a Safety Hazard?

Be safe! Follow these 5 tips before you do any home electrical wiring.

Even the most experienced and enthusiastic DIYer gets a little intimidated when it comes to home electrical wiring. Unless you happen to be a licensed electrician, electricity tends to make most people more than a little nervous. If you have remodeling or projects that include the electrical wiring in the home, follow these tips and be sure you don’t make these 5 common mistakes

Tip #1 — Cut the power

Yeah, it seems like a no-brainer. Yet, every year thousands receive electrical shocks.
Always turn the breaker box off or remove fuses before you start working. Remember to check for more than one breaker if your home is pre-1940s. In many older homes not all of the electrical ties into one breaker but several.

Tip #2 — Check wiring and fixture compatibility

Pre-1984 homes have wiring with lower temperature ratings. These old wires can’t handle the amount of electricity today’s light fixtures use. Your new light fixtures tell what wire to use. In the package, it will say, “Use wire rated for at least 90C.” This means the wire can handle the maximum temperature of 90 degrees Celsius.

Hooking up new fixtures to old wire greatly increases your risk of fire. You need to upgrade your wiring or only install fixtures rated for the wires you have in your home.

Tip #3 — Say ‘no’ to sloppy splices

DIY home electrical wiring tends to be a little sloppy. Too often, DIYers splice wires simply by twisting them together and covering them with electrical tape. Bad idea. Before you splice wires, make sure the two wires you’re splicing are the same size and type.

Use wiring that’s suitable for your home. Again, don’t overload your wiring with light fixtures and appliances that pull too much electricity. Place all wiring connections inside metal or plastic boxes to reduce the risk of fire.

Tip #4 — Use the right lightbulbs

You’ve installed your fixtures. You’re ready to light it up and see what a great job you did! Wait just a minute. Before you turn it on, make sure you used the right lightbulbs. On your new fixture, there should be a sticker telling you the maximum wattage the fixture can handle.

Don’t use a bulb with wattage too high for the fixture to handle. It might brighten up the room. But it can damage the light fixture and cause a fire.

Tip #5 — Get grounded

Most every appliance in your home that has a metal case, like the refrigerator, stove, etc., uses a three-prong plug. Why? To protect you from getting shocked. Three-pronged plugs and outlets are there for a reason. That reason is your safety. To make sure your house is properly grounded, call an electrician.

Every year thousands get shocked and homes catch fire due to faulty wiring. Be sure and follow these tips to avoid this from happening to you when working on your home electrical wiring.