Electrical wiring is an essential component in any home or office. It allows electric current to travel safely through the building and is designed to prevent shock and fires.
However, if it is not done correctly, electrical wiring can pose severe risks to your safety and health. That is why even seasoned electricians follow these five essential tips for safe and effective wiring solutions.
Know Your Wiring
A well-designed wiring system delivers power, heat, and light safely and efficiently. It also prevents fires, injuries, and other faulty wires and equipment hazards.
Wires in your home are usually nonmetallic cables containing one or more black “hot” wires, plus a white neutral wire and a ground wire. They have markings stamped on the insulation or outer sheathing to identify them.
The size and gauge of a wire determine how much current it can safely carry. A 14-gauge wire can handle up to 15 amps; a 12-gauge wire, 20; and a 10-gauge, 30.
Know Your Tools
Using the right tools for a job can save time and effort and prevent injury. Moreover, the right tools can also promote a professional image and demonstrate that you are serious about your work.
Whether working on your project or a construction site on some wiring solutions, knowing your tools is vital for safety and efficiency. It’s also essential to understand how to use them safely and how to store them properly.
When examining power tools, check for loose cracks, broken plugs, and exposed wires. Likewise, be on the lookout for signs of corrosion and worn-out springs.
Check Your Outlets
Having correctly wired and installed outlets throughout your home is essential. You’ll want to use outlets that are tamper resistant, with a lock that keeps out children and other unauthorized people.
Tamper-resistant outlets also have shutters that open only when they receive even pressure across both sides. This prevents small kids from accidentally plugging objects in or pushing the outlet.
If you suspect a problem with your outlets, you can test them using a non-contact voltage tester. This device will measure the current flow through three outlets: red (hot), neutral, and ground.
If the outlet is too hot, it may be a sign of a problem with the wiring inside the outlet. In addition, it could indicate a dangerous short circuit.
Install Surge Protectors
If you have any electronic devices in your home that an electrical surge could damage, you should invest in a surge protector. These are inexpensive and help prevent damage to your electronics, including computers, televisions, stereo systems, media centers, and other electronic products.
Surge protection can also protect your electrical appliances, such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and heaters. Without a surge protector, these expensive appliances could break down, costing you thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements.
To avoid these problems, use a surge protector correctly and safely. For example, don’t plug a surge protector into another or daisy chains them.
Test Your Wiring
Whether installing new wires or upgrading your existing ones, ensuring they work correctly is essential. This can prevent problems from occurring in the future and save you a lot of money on your energy bill.
You can quickly test your wiring using a multimeter. Start by placing one of the red probes on the live or hot wire and the black probe on the neutral wire. The meter will then read the voltage that’s coming from the wire. If the reading is 120V or 240V, it’s likely that the wire is hot (live) and needs to be replaced. Alternatively, if the wire doesn’t show any current, it could be dead or have something blocking it, like insulation. Then, you’ll need to call an electrician to examine it closely.