There are a lot of resources available for homeowners today that help them handle much of their own maintenance work. DIY stores are in most cities. Even big box stores carry DIY products. There are tutorials and other tools available to help you with your question for DIY projects. One area where it’s a good idea to pay close attention to what you’re doing is DIY electrical wiring. The electricity in your home can be dangerous, and if you’re not careful, you could harm yourself or damage your home. Here are some tips to keep in mind when handling DIY electrical wiring projects to help keep you safe.
What Are Some Tips When Attempting Wiring Projects on Your Own?
Make Sure It’s Off
One of the first things that you need to do when handling your own DIY wiring project is to test for power. You want to make sure that you really did shut off the power source to the area you’re working in. Just turning off the light switch isn’t enough to protect yourself from an electrical shock. Turn off all of the circuit breakers that are powering the cables in your area. A voltage tester is a perfect way to make sure that none of the cables you’re working with at that time have power. The person that installed your wiring or fixtures may have used the box for the fixture you’re working on as a junction box, so you may think that you got all of the circuit breakers off when you really don’t have them all off.
Make Tight Connections
The connections that you make in your wiring is what electricity uses to travel throughout your home. Not having a tight connection between the different conductors can cause problems. It may slow down the electricity traveling. It could restrict it, which in turn, can create heat and friction. This problem can become a fire hazard. Use wire nuts when splicing wires together.
Pay Attention to Amps
There’s a reason that wiring and appliances have a rating for a specific amount of amps. This rating specifies the maximum amount of amperage they can carry safely. Most of your small appliances and electronics are 15 to 20 amps. Larger appliances, such as dryers, can rate 30 or more amps. You want to make sure that you have the right amp rating for all of the parts that you’re using in the circuit. Creating a 20-amp circuit will require wiring that’s rated the same. If you were to put 15-amp wiring on that circuit, you could be creating a fire hazard. This hazard is because the circuit breaker might not shut off in time if the wiring rated at 15-amps overheats.
All wiring connections must be made in an electrical box. It can be tempting to just create a connection without one because that’s one less piece you have to install, but electrical boxes are put into place for you, your family, and your home’s protection.
What Are the Dangers Associated with Attempting It on Your Own?
One of the biggest dangers associated with attempting wiring on your own is that you can give yourself a dangerous electric shock or burn. In a worse case scenario, this shock could kill you. Even if it’s not that bad of a shock or electrical burn, it can be very painful. There’s also the possibility that one of your family members could get a shock if something goes wrong. You may even cause an electrical fire in your home. In a worse case scenario, you could burn down your home and potentially cause fires in your neighboring homes. Even a small fire can be a large setback financially and emotionally. Another danger that could happen if you handle this on your own is that you could damage your wiring to where you need a professional to come in anyway to repair it. This can cost more money than it would’ve been to just have them handle it the first time.
What Are Alternatives to DIY Electrical Wiring?
Not everyone is great at handling all of their own DIY needs. That’s okay. It’s always good to know your limitations, especially when handling the electricity needs of your home. A great alternative to handling your own wiring projects is to get the help of a professional. A professional electrician has all of the right tools and knowledge to get the job done right. They typically can finish a project much faster than someone working on their own. Using a professional can give you the peace of mind that you and your home is safe.
Thinking of doing a DIY electrical wiring project in your home, but have decided that you may want to defer to a professional for help? Call us today to discuss your project. Let our experts help you to stay safe when dealing with the electricity in your home. You may find it’s in your best interest to save your DIY efforts for other types of repairs in your home.