Common Electrical DIY Mistakes
Electrical work is dangerous. The Electrical Safety Foundation reported that electricity is the cause of more than $140,000 fires each year, resulting in 400 deaths, 4,000 injuries, and $1.6 billion in property damages. Many DIY (Do-It-Yourself) electrical projects violate building and safety codes and could harm the resale value of your home or business. Unfortunately, people still try to perform their own electrical work despite the dangers.
Here is a list of the 5 common DIY mistakes:
- Incorrect sized wires and cables
Electrical wires come in a variety of sizes also referred to as gauge. Using the incorrect wire size can cause overheating or a short in the fuse or circuit breaker.
- Incorrect fitting of outlets and switches
Outlets and switches that are loosely installed can cause arcing and overheating which can lead to an electrical fire. Also, if you are making a connection in a junction box, the length of the wire is very important. Having the wires too short or too long can both be dangerous and cause damage.
- Replacement of fuses
Simple replacing a blown fuse or tripping breaker instead of having your electrical system inspected is extremely dangerous. These are signs that there is a problem in the circuit wiring and needs to be inspected by a silenced electrician. Incorrectly replacing the fuse or breaker will cause an electrical fire.
- Wattage of light bulbs
Every light bulb has a wattage limit. Just because a bulb fits into the socket does NOT mean it is the correct wattage. Using a bulb with a high wattage than recommended will cause the bulb to overhear and potentially cause a fire. For your safety, always use the recommended wattage bulb in any light fixture.
- Outlets being overloaded
It is very common to make the mistake of overloading an outlet. Many times someone will use an extension cord or notice an empty outlet and assume the outlet can handle for power. However, every outlet can only manage a certain amount of amps and will cause the breaker to trip if it is overloaded. It is important to make sure that all appliances are on their own dedicated circuit and that you do not overload power strips, which is very common during the holidays.