Every homeowner knows that repairs come with ownership. Fixing burnt bulbs and replacing light fixtures does not require much electrical knowledge. However, the power electricity holds is dangerous, and handling maintenance requires expertise. Before starting any repair work in your home, keep the following factors in mind.
Warning Signs Should Not be Ignored
People are notoriously bad about ignoring warning signs because it often means more money. Sortedelectrical.com lets you know about problems present, much like a check engine light on your vehicle. A few symptoms include popping noises, circuits tripping, or unused outlets that are warm to the touch. Some issues are quick and easy fixes, but all repairs prevent house fires.
Know Your Limits
While having the skills to perform handyman work around your house is acceptable, you need to know your limits. Electricians complete schooling and certifications that give extensive knowledge on electricity and the components. When you skip steps or incorrectly finish a procedure, problems may arise later. If you are unsure how something should be connected, it is better to contact a professional to assist.
GFCI Knowledge is Vital
GFCI, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt, is what protects outlets from water. Any outlet that is within a six-foot radius of liquid (think bathrooms and sinks) requires an interrupting device. If you have only one circuit, then you only need one GFCI device. However, most homes have several circuits. Understanding the GFCI device is best left to the professionals who can map the currents.
Color Meanings Vary
Most people believe that white means neutral and black means alive, but looking at jumper cables will tell you that is not always true. When working with electrical equipment and appliances, always read the wire to determine which is live and which is ground. There are voltage testing devices that dictate whether a line is alive or dead, removing the risk of shock in finding out.
Low Voltage is Still Dangerous
Many think that working on outlets does not require turning breakers off because they are low-voltage. However, treat all electrical devices as high-voltage. The damage comes from the current running, not how strong the voltage is. This means you can still suffer a severe shock if you do not make sure all systems you work on are dead before starting a project. Also, you reduce the risk of a fire sparking during the job.
Personal protective equipment is only worthwhile if it is certified for the work you are doing. It is common to attempt to use poor-man’s techniques, but this is just as dangerous as wearing no gear. Professional electricians rely on rubber that is designed to prevent electrical charges, and homeowners should do the same. Finally, consider high-quality insulators as a standard when it comes to protective equipment.
Doing work in your own home will give you a sense of pride and self-sufficiency. Electricity is dangerous, but that does not mean you should never do the work yourself. With these six tips in mind, simple repairs can be accomplished by any handyman safely. However, if you are unsure or have questions, contact a Melville electrician for assistance.