Homeowners often have difficulty performing electrical repairs and spend a significant amount of money each year hiring professionals for even the most basic electrical repairs. One of the primary roadblocks of do it yourself electrical repairs is the safety risk. However, there are a variety of tips and tricks that can help improve your safety and allow you to perform basic electrical repairs without professional assistance.
Safety tips. It is good sense to be wary of working with electrical devices in your home. However, by taking the proper precautions, you can eliminate the risk of electrical shock and have more confidence when you perform repairs. It may seem like common sense, but you should never work with an electrical device that is live until you have disabled its power source. Before making any electrical repair, you must locate and disable the power supply. Most new homes have a circuit breaker box that controls all of your electrical devices. Locate the circuit breaker and turn off the device you will be working with. Older homes will likely have a fuse box, but they serve the same function as a circuit breaker.
Using the right tools. In addition to safety considerations, using the proper tools can be very important when you are attempting to repair electrical devices in your home. When you are working with electricity, you should always use tools that have a rubber or plastic handle to prevent accidental electric shock. There are four primary tools that can help you perform basic electrical repairs in your home:
Long nose pliers. These pliers are primarily used to reach tight places and manipulate wires. Long nose pliers are an essential tool for electricians because they allow you to bend wires with a high degree of precision. Wire stripper. Wire strippers are useful if you need to remove the plastic coating around a wire to adjust a connection. Wire strippers have a variety of settings that allow you to fit the gauge of the wire into the holes of the wire stripper. As a result, they can be extremely effective for fixing nearly any electrical connectivity problem. Receptacle tester. Receptacle testers are used to ensure that your AC wall outlet is properly wired. As a result, you can verify whether or not the problem is caused by the outlet or the device you are using in the outlet. Screwdriver. The screwdriver is a basic household repair tool but it is especially important for electrical repairs. Screwdrivers are necessary for removing most outlet boxes that are used to hide wires.
Replacing a light switch. Replacing a light switch is one of the most common electrical issues that homeowners face. To begin, simply turn off the power to the light fixture through the circuit breaker. When the power is off, remove the screws holding the light switch and pull out the switch. Disconnect the black wires that are connected to the switch. To install a new switch, simply repeat the same process in reverse.
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