Tips & advice from Kelowna Electricians at Epic Electric
Having a handy man around the home, is well, handy – until it’s dangerous! Every year a whopping 4000-6000 people are injured due to an electrical problems in the home. This shocking – no pun intended – statistic has encouraged electrical contractors to reach out to their clients and say “Electrical DIY is absolutely a DI Don’t.”
Common electrical problems in the home include flickering lights, out of control electricity bills, or a circuit breaker that keeps breaking; some electrical problems may not even seem like an electrical problem, such as plugs that continuously fall out of the outlets.
Sometimes seemingly simple electrical jobs require an experienced electrician. For example, take installing new plugs and light switches, the electrical outlets in many older homes need to be upgraded for safety reasons. Outlets that spark, can’t hold a plug or lose power can indicate loose wires which can arc, overheat and create a fire hazard.
DIYers may also take a few shortcuts, unaware of the potential dangers and why the regulations have been put in place. Clamps on cables may seem like an over cautious safety procedure, but cables that are not secured can strain connections, and the insulation on the wires can be worn through due to friction.
Sometimes it can be tempting to stuff an extra wire into a box, but too many wires causes dangerous overheating, and due to the commonality of this problem the National Electrical Code has specified box size to eliminate this fire hazard.
Reversing hot and neutral wires is a potential lethal mistake, but one that is all too easy for the unlicensed and untrained electrician to make. Colour coding helps identify what goes where, the white wire always connects to the neutral terminal, usually identified by a light-coloured screw.
Unprotected cables, cutting wires too short, and making connections outside the electrical box are all common problems when it comes to electrical DIY.
And this is exactly why electrical rules and regulations have been developed throughout the years. As electrical fire hazards were identified, regulatory boards stepped in to protect citizens from shoddy workmanship and dangerous DIYers.
Electrical work that is not completed by a professional electrician may not pass the standards of a home inspector, and could require a complete rewiring of your home. What saves you money in the short term can cost you more in the long term.