Regardless of the type of home you have, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind in order to ensure that your home’s electrical system is running smoothly and efficiently. Because the electric circuitry of your home often runs behind the walls and on the ceilings, issues and problems with the system are not easily noticed or observed. And often times, the only way to tell there is a problem is when a fire has started or when someone gets injured.
Although it is highly recommended that you leave all electrical repair and work to your local electrician, there are still some things you can do to ensure the safety of your home and your family.
Don’t Do This To Your Electrical System
1. Do not use loose outlets or switches.
Loose outlets or switches may be due to repetitive use or unsecured installation. Whatever the cause of having loose outlets or switches, you should not let them hang loose as they can be extremely dangerous. One of the members of the household might mistakenly use them and that can easily lead to electrical fires.
Aside from this, the wires from inside the outlet or switch would have more space to move around and come loose. As a result, they could overheat easily and potentially catch fire.
To prevent this happening, make sure all switches and outlets are tightly and securely sealed. If there is still space or a gap left even after securing them into place, you may use plastic spacers to close that gap and secure the installation. If the screws are a bit loose, use small washers to tighten them.
2. Do not cut electrical wires very short.
The rule of thumb is that wires should stick out at least three inches from the electrical box. Any less than that, the wires can become extremely dangerous as wires that are too short have poor electrical connection. If you want to extend your wires, invest on wire connectors. These are available in many local home depot stores.
3. Do not place your electrical box near or alongside a combustible material such as wood paneling.
Sparks and heat coming from the electrical box can easily cause fire and the wood paneling since it is very near the electrical box can easily catch fire. If you have no other place to put your electrical box, you can opt to add a plastic or metal box extension before placing the box on the wood paneling.
4. Do not replace a two-slot outlet with a three-slot outlet without grounding.
A lot of homeowners think that replacing their two-slot outlets with three-slot ones so that they can use their three-pronged plugs is an easy task. What they don’t know is that they need to ground the outlet first before installing a three-slot receptacle. This is an important step of the process to ensure smooth energy distribution and flow all throughout your electrical system Myrtle Beach.
Before installing a three-slot outlet, use a tester that you can get from many hardware stores and local home depots to find out if the outlet is grounded or not. If it’s not grounded, call your electrician for assistance. If you have three-slot outlets at home that are not working, test them if they are grounded, if not, replace them with two-slot receptacles so you can still use them.
5. Do not put too many wires in your electrical box.
An electrical box that is too crowded can be a fire hazard. Remember that wires can easily catch fire especially when they are overheating and rubbing each other as a result of cramming too many wires in a small electrical box.
To resolve this, you can opt to buy a larger box which is often available in plastic or steel. Also, to ensure you are not cramming too many wires inside your box, have your electrician calculate the right number of wires that can be accommodated by your electrical box. Your electrician will also tell you how many clamps you need and what gauge to use.
You can opt to do this on your own just be sure that you have the right size of box for your wire needs. You can even bring a picture of your wires and clamps to show the store owner so they can recommend just the right size of electrical box.
6. Do not forego the use of electrical boxes.
Electrical contractors strongly warn against connecting wires outside an electrical box. In every infrastructure, regardless of whether it’s residential or corporate, it is important to always have an electrical box. In fact, for huge buildings and residential homes, it is often recommended to have more than one electrical box.
Keep in mind that wires can give off sparks and heat especially when they are overused and rubbing on each other. And if they are not enclosed in an electrical box, it could create a dangerous fire hazard. So be sure to always get an electrical box, specifically the right size for your electrical system.
7. Do not connect hot black wire to neutral terminal.
What you should connect to the neutral terminal is only the white wire. Do not connect the hot black wire to the neutral terminal because that can result in a deadly electrical shock. You will know it is the neutral terminal because it is marked with silver or light-colored screw.
Most people don’t realize how deadly the consequences are until one member of the household is shocked. The primary reason for this is because there will be no indication that you’ve made a wrong connection in the functioning of the outlet or fixture. You will only know you made a wrong connection when someone has unfortunately suffered from electrical shock.
For more tips on properly handling and operating your electrical system, contact MB Electrician Pros now.
MB Electrician Pros
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577