When working on home electrical projects, it’s vitally important to take proper precautions. Failure to do so or use the right tools can lead to electrical issues or injuries, death, or even destroy your home.
Luckily, you can prevent common risks like electrocution and electrical fire by understanding how electricity works and following the right steps to stay safe when working on home electrical projects. At Grounded Solutions, we strongly advise working with an expert to get your home electrical projects done smoothly and safely. However, if you’re confident you know what you’re doing, the following steps will help you stay safe while working with electricity.
Before you start, ensure you turn off the mains. Always verify that the power is off or electrical connections are completely dead with a voltage tester before working on the project. It’s also a good idea to inform everyone in your home about the ongoing electrical project or put up a sign on the service panel to prevent anyone from turning the main switch or circuit breaker ON by accident.
Be Careful What You Touch
Avoid water when working on any of your home electrical projects. Avoid repairing or touching any electrical circuits or equipment with wet hands. You should also avoid touching gas pipes or plumbing as they are often used to ground the home electrical systems.
Use Appropriate Tools
Before you start, ensure you have all the right equipment, including but not limited to electric and right-angle drill, continuity tester, voltage tester, fish and colored tape, cable and wire stripper, wire cutters, needle-nose pliers, screwdriver. You can rent some of these tools from your local hardware store.
Always dress appropriately and use the right Google and insulated rubber gloves. Avoid using equipment with broken plugs, damaged insulation, or frayed cords. Aging or damaged power cords or cables can spark and lead to electrocution or electrical fire.
Keep Your Tools and Electrical Appliances Away from Water
Electricity and water don’t mix. While you might be aware of this fact, overlooking the hazards in everyday situations is sometimes easy. Ensure you keep your tools, safety gadgets, and electrical appliances away from water. Keep electrical devices at a safe distance from sinks and gadgets that use water. Install GFCI compliant breakers and receptacles in areas with high potential water splashes like garages, outdoor wall plugs, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchen.
Use The Right Parts
If you want to install new outlets or receptacles, ensure that they match your home’s wiring. An AL-CU rating means you can use that new part on copper and aluminum wiring. You should only use an outlet or receptacle if there’s a slash through the AL or if it is unmarked.
Also, selecting a fuse circuit or breaker with the appropriate current rating is essential. Fuse and circuit breaker are designed to automatically discontinue the flow of electric current when a condition of overcurrent or short circuit occurs. Generally, a fuse rated 150% of the current rating in a circuit is used for protection against a short circuit. For instance, in a circuit with a current of 10 amperes, a fuse of 9.5 amperes will blow out, whereas a fuse of 15 amperes will protect against direct short circuits.
Outlets and extension cords are designed to supply a certain amount of electricity. Overloading them (plugging too many devices into them at once) can lead to a fire or small explosion. If you have many devices to plug in, consider using an energy-saving power strip that can safely accommodate your needs.
Avoid The Use of Extension Cords as Much as You Can
Consistently leaving cords out in the open while running them throughout your home can lead to electrical accidents and tripping hazards. Running a cord under a carpet, door, rugs, or window is a fire hazard. If you notice you’re using extension cords very often, consider hiring an electrician to install new outlets around your home to ensure your safety and convenience.
Avoid Repairing Energized Equipment
Before proceeding with any electrical repair or installation, always check with a tester to ensure the equipment is de-energized. Check the service panel metallic covering, the wires, and other hanging wires to ensure that current is not flowing through them.
Avoid Using a Steel or Aluminum Ladder
Do not use a steel or aluminum ladder when working on receptacles at height in your home. Use a fiberglass, wooden, or bamboo ladder instead. These are poor electrical conductors that can help prevent grounding or stop electric current from flowing through your body during an electrical surge.
Call A Professional
If you smell rubbery or burning odors, you see sparks, your circuit often tripped, or your light flickers, it’s time to call a licensed electrician like our team at Whites Electrical for your home electrical needs. These issues could be an indication of a larger electrical problem that requires the expertise of an experienced professional. Rather than Learning on a temporary solution or waiting it out, an experienced electrician can troubleshoot your home electrical system and quickly address the issue at the source.
Your Best Electrical Contractor in Indianapolis
Hiring a licensed electrician like White Electrical is your best protection against electrical fires and electrocution when you need electrical work done at your home or place of business. However, if you like to tackle your home’s electrical projects yourself, ensure to follow the steps above to keep yourself and your family safe.
If you have electrical issues you don’t feel comfortable handling yourself, need an expert opinion, or have bigger projects like replacing electrical panels or installing outlets, we’ve got you all covered! Our hardworking, talented team of electricians is always available to inspect your home and provide quality electrical services to ensure your home’s electrical is running safely and smoothly.