Many homeowners and property owners decide to take on DIY electrical projects, but make sure DIY does not stand for "don’t injury yourself." When it comes to electrical projects, there is a lot of risks both to your body and to your property. So, be mindful of what can go wrong so that you can reduce the risks. To this end, Mr. Electric of Fort Worth has put together this quick article on some of the common electrical mistakes when performing do-it-yourself projects. If you prefer to leave electrical work to reliable electricians, then call Mr. Electric of Fort Worth to speak with a live representative and schedule an appointment or request an emergency dispatch.
Connecting Wires Outside Electrical Boxes
You cannot just pull wires and connect them willy-nilly. You can probably imagine the disaster when rainwater or even plumbing leaks get acquainted with exposed wires. Junction boxes, also called J boxes, protect wires from the elements and accidental damage. They also contain sparks and heats from potential loose connections and short circuits. Don’t worry if you have connections which are not in an electrical box. It’s easy to install a box and reconnect wires inside of it.
Cutting Wires Too Short
Short wires make connecting them difficult. Even if you do manage to connect the short wires, the connection will likely be poor and dangerous. You should leave at least 3 inches of wire protruding from the box. Don’t worry if you run into short wires, though. The fix is simply a matter of adding six-inch extensions onto the existing wires. You can purchase these extensions at your local hardware store.
Failing to Protect Plastic-Sheathed Cables
The plastic sheath covering the wires and cables offer some protective properties, but that protection is slim. It is way too easy to damage this plastic sheathe and expose wires. So, we recommend you use metal conduit or some sort of 1.5-inch board to protect exposed plastic-sheathed cables. In fact, the national electric code requires these cables to be protected in many areas.
Loose Switches and Outlets
Switches and outlets that are not secured to the wall look bad, but they are also dangerous. These loose switches and outlets can move around and cause wires to loosen from the terminals. If these loosened wires overheat, then you might be exposed to a fire hazard. Shimmy under the screws to create a tight connection. You can find special spacers or washers at your local hardware store.
Three-Slot Outlet Without a Ground Wire
It’s tempting to replace two-slot outlets with more practical three-slot outlets, but this is not a matter of replacing the outlet. You should only install a three-slot outlet if you are sure there is a ground wire available. You can purchase a tester to see if your outlet is grounded. If there is no ground wire, then stick with a two-slot outlet.
If you prefer to leave electrical work to a licensed electrician, then call Mr. Electric of Forth Worth to consult with a representative. We can schedule an appointment or arrange an urgent dispatch today.