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9 Ways You Can Get Hurt Doing Electrical Work Yourself

Let’s face it; we’ve all tried to fix things on our own to save the hassle of hiring someone to do it. Sometimes it’s success, but most of the time it is a crash and burns failure, right? There are certain things that we should never try to fix by ourselves and just leave it to the professionals. A great example is an electrical work. You may think you have a good understanding of how electricity works and how to fix electrical problems, but that does not mean you should put your handyman belt on and start connecting wires. Here are a few examples of why doing your electrical work, instead of leaving it to the professionals, can do you more harm than good.

Not Checking the Wires

It is very easy to make the mistake of assuming all of the wires are not live (has active electricity) or believe none of the wires are damaged because you can’t see visible wiring errors with your naked eye. Damaged electrical wires can easily cause sparks that very likely will cause a fire and, of course, can electrocute you.

Using Incorrect Sized Wires

There’s a multitude of wire sizes, which are split up by the “gauge,” that you need for electrical work. Each size has a particular use and place. So the wrong size, if not done correctly during installation, can cause shorts in the fuse or circuit breaker. Choosing the correct wire gauge should always be left to a professional electrician.

Incorrect Light Bulb Wattage

Installing a light bulb that has a higher wattage than the socket can handle is very dangerous. This will cause the light bulb to overheat (causing extensive wear to the bulb and the socket). Overpowering the bulb and socket may also cause the bulb to break or even catch fire.

Insurance

Your insurance company will not cover the damages you endure from an electrical fire if there is proof that the electrical work in the home is not up to code by a professional electrician.

Overloading Outlets

Everyone is guilty of it. Just about everyone has one or more of the plug power strips in a power outlet in their home. Usually for entertainment centers and computer desks. While these power strips are convenient, they’re also highly overpowering for the outlets you plug them into. Some may even experience fuses blowing or overheating on the power strip. Overheating occurs because of the overload of energy brought to the outlet. For a better explanation of outlet overloading: http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/243873/electrical-power-strips-and-current-overloading

Replacing Fuses

Replacing fuses or breakers with the wrong size fuse is one of the leading causes of home fires or residential electrical fires. Circuit wiring is typically the real reason for breaker trips and blown fuses. This is why a commercial electrician or emergency electrician should always be called to evaluate the problem and give a full system analysis. A professional inspection will ensure you from running into any further damage or possible deadly emergency in the future.

Electrical Tape

Electrical tape is said to be the duct tape for do-it-yourself electricians. Many electricians will tell you the electrical tape horror stories they’ve had to clean up. Electrical tape, when put in the correct spots, can do magic. When the electrical tape work is incorrect, it will cause bad connections that can later turn into potential fire hazards.

Improperly Labelled Breaker Boxes

Many older homes have shoddy electrical work throughout them. It is not uncommon for an older home to have incorrect labeling on the breaker box. Over the years the home most likely overcame multiple repairs to the electrical system. It is likely a non-professional’s electrical work. Never assume work is done by a professional unless you have proof. So, when you may think you’re turning off the power in the bathroom, you’re turning off the power in the hallway. This sort of error can cause a deadly outcome. It is not uncommon for someone to just start to flip through each breaker until the lights turn off in the area they need to work in. DO NOT DO THIS! This is an incredibly dangerous mistake.

Codes and Regulations

Lastly, a huge perk of hiring a professional commercial electrician is that they know all of your state’s safety codes and regulations. When making the decision to do your electrical work in your home, you are setting yourself up for trouble. DIY electrical work will not pass a safety inspection. Every state holds its set of safety regulations that all homes must adhere by to ensure the safety of the ones living in the home and the people in the proximity of the home. All of these points said should show that it is in your best interest to always hire a professional commercial electrician to do all electrical work in your home. Putting yourself, your family members and your home at risk are not worth trying to save money. If these hazards do not prove the danger of do-it-yourself electrical work, nothing will.

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