6 Common Electrical Mistakes That Most Homeowners Make
Fixing electric components in your house alone can be dangerous if you don’t have prior electrician experience.
While DIY-ing your way through wiring, you can make some big mistakes that can create a fire hazard or electrocution risk.
In that case, getting Electrical help for homeowners is the best solution, but if you are not up for hiring an electrician for the task, at least avoid the mistakes we discuss below.
Without further ado, here are six common mistakes you should be wary of while wiring your entire house yourself.
Cutting Wires Short
When the wires are cut too short, it is harder to make the electrical connections. These poor connections will pose a potential hazard of tripped breakers and overheating.
This can be avoided by simply giving any wire at least 3 inches extra length from the junction box. If there’s already a shorter wire present, add 6 inches extension to the same wire to make it long enough.
Do not work with wires that are too short. Instead, always measure up to 3 inches extension while cutting them.
This is imperative to keep your home out of any dangerous situation.
Overloading the Junction Box
Overloading circuits and wires in a small junction box can be a fire, shortcircuiting, plus overheating hazard. Junction boxes only support a certain amount of electricity.
The maximum capacities and outputs are present on the junction box. Do not exceed it.
However, if that is not enough, get a bigger junction box than overloading the same small one. Do not forget to calculate the volume of the metal boxes, which won’t be given on the box itself.
Not Installing a GFCI Outlet
Not many people realize that a GFCI outlet is a necessity, not an option.
The GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is a lifesaver in areas with moisture. It can protect from electrical shocks in the kitchen and bathroom.
The GFCI outlet trips independently if there is any overheating. For that reason, it is also beneficial outdoors.
It is rather tricky to install a GFCI outlet. It has two sets of terminals which, if not connected properly, will be connected backward, thus, giving no security protection at all.
Hence, if you want to install a GFCI outlet, as you should, reach out to an electrician for help.
Grounding removes potential electric shock hazards for the people residing in the house.
The grounding wire directs the electrical surges to the earth without any harm.
In order to bond it, you have to connect the system ground and the electrically conductive equipment. Ensure that the electrical outlet is correctly grounded before installing a three-slot receptacle.
There remains a danger of short circuits and the breaker not tripping when there is excess flow of electricity.
Use a tester to check if the outlet is already grounded. If it is not, call an electrician to fix it before installing the receptacle.
Reversed Polarity (Hot and Neutral Wires)
Probably the biggest hazard while wiring your house on your own is posed by reversing the hot and neutral wires.
Reversed polarity not only damages your electrical appliances, but it can also pose a huge risk of a severe fatal shock.
The problem arises when you may not realize this causes harm as the lights and plug-in devices still work but not safely.
You need to connect the white wires to the outlet’s neutral terminal. The neutral terminal is markered with a white or silver colored screw.
A green or copper wire represents the ground. Connect it to a ground wire, grounding screw or grounding box. The hot wire is for the other terminal.
Leaving the Plastic Cables Unprotected
The plastic sheath cables are easily damaged. In fact, these exposed wires risk a potential fire hazard, especially when running these wires through ceiling framing and under or over interior walls.
A fire inside the wall can spread rapidly to other parts of the house. Hence, all the wiring will need a conduit, even if you hide them.
If there is a plastic sheath cable, you can nail a 1.5-inch thick board along the cable. However, driving screws or nails in the wall can further risk exposing the wires. Hence, refer to an electrician for the safest way to protect the wires.
Should You Do It Yourself?
Electrical mistakes risk the safety of your family while also destroying your property. Therefore, if you are not an expert on electrical wiring, refrain from doing it yourself.
Get the help of an electrician to look after the junction box, grounding wires, protecting the wires, and installing the GFCI outlet.
A small mistake can have severe consequences, so it is better to refer to someone who will surely do a good job setting up your house’s electricity circuits.