Thanks to the internet, do-it-yourself (DIY) projects have become very popular in recent years. There is nothing wrong with doing electrical repairs by yourself. In some cases, it can save you a lot of money. At the same time, it’s a great pass-time activity.
However, it can be dangerous, especially if you’ve never done any electrical-related task before. Most people prefer not to take the risk and opt for the services of an electrician Northern Beaches or anywhere in your area. Hiring one means you can assure that your electrical system will be fixed as they’re skilled in addressing such concerns and are equipped with the right tools and equipment.
Unfortunately, many new homeowners only know the basics but ignore the safety side of it. As such, some of them have incurred unnecessary damages in the process. So, what are these people doing wrong? Here are some common popular electrical-related mistakes new homeowners make:
Poor Earthing And Bonding
Earthing and bonding are two critical safety features that every electrical system must have. The primary purpose of earthing is to provide a low-resistance route for any excess current to flow to the ground.
On the other hand, bonding connects extraneous-conductive parts to the earthing terminal. This prevents the risk of hazardous touch voltage from an unprecedented potential difference. Some parts that require bonding include uninsulated walls or floors, water pipes, and metallic conduits.
An electrical system that lacks these installations is dangerous for the users and property. Excess current due to power surges and electrical faults can lead to fatal electrical shocks. Therefore, make sure your domestic wiring system is grounded correctly. If you’re unsure how to do this, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.
Ignoring Junction Box Best Practices
A junction box is a simple electrical enclosure used to house wiring connections. In layman’s terms, it acts as a ‘junction’ for your wiring lines. It might be a simple box, but its role in electrical wiring systems is significant. Unfortunately, many new homeowners don’t use it properly or ignore it altogether.
One mistake in DIYs is overloading their junction boxes. This can lead to short circuits and fire risks. So, as a precaution, choose a junction box that can handle your project. The maximum values supported, including the output, are usually stamped at the back of the box. Make sure you check that information before installing the junction box.
Some homeowners also choose not to use the junction box at all. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily affect the system’s operation, but it can threaten your safety. Junction boxes help protect fragile wiring connections from external damage. Most of them also come with fixed terminals, making it easier to connect live wires without worrying about short circuits.
Circuit overload, as the name suggests, means connecting electrical loads that draw more current than the circuit is made for. An example is using a six-ampere-rated circuit breaker to drive a 10-ampere-rated appliance. Doing so will trigger the overload protection and cut the power supply to the rest of the outlets in that line.
But there are other signs or results of circuit overload, some of which can be damaging. Here are the most popular:
- Warm switch covers or outlets
- Dimming lights
- Burning marks or smell from socket outlets and switches
It can also lead to overheating wires, which can deteriorate the insulating material. This can result in a short circuit, which is the primary cause of electric fires. Unfortunately, many new homeowners don’t check their wiring system’s capabilities before installing new features. So, if you’re planning a DIY wiring project, ensure you confirm all electrical components’ specifications.
Cutting Wires Too Short
This is another mistake many people make when connecting new outlets, switches, or repairs. Cutting the wires too short makes it difficult to make proper connections without straining the cables. It’s risky because the wires can disconnect from their terminals, especially when mounting the outlets and switch cases on the wall. As a rule, the wires should protrude three inches for easier and safer connection.
As a homeowner, doing electrical wiring and repairs by yourself can be exciting and cost-saving. However, you must be careful with the connections because any slight mistake can be fatal. Improper earthing and bonding, junction box misuse, and circuit overload are among the most common mistakes made by new homeowners. Follow the recommendations discussed above to avoid unnecessary damage. Of course, seeking the expert’s advice would be best to ensure the safety of your electrical system and home.