Home makeovers look easy on television and there are many home improvement projects that you can tackle yourself. But when it comes to the electrical wiring of your home, DIY can be dangerous for you and your family.
Art Plumbing, AC & Electric’s licensed electricians are trained to work safely so they don’t electrocute themselves or leave your home with wiring that is a ticking time-bomb. Here are some of the most common problems that can be caused by incorrect electrical installations.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, an average of 51,000 electrical home structure fires occur each year, claiming almost 500 lives, injuring more than 1,400 people, and causing more than $1.3 billion in property damage. Electricity wired wrong causes sparks and overheating, both of which are responsible for home fires. Common wiring mistakes that lead to electrical fires are:
- Overloaded circuits
- Faulty connections
- Incorrect materials, for e.g. the wrong gauge of wire
DIY accidents happen, but when it comes to electricity, mistakes can be fatal. In severe cases, electrical shock can cause burns, painful muscle contractions, seizures, and loss of consciousness. A simple mistake like touching incorrect wires together or not making sure the current is off before starting to work is all it would take.
Not Up To Code Standards
You may save a buck upfront by doing your wiring work yourself, but when it comes to putting your house on the market, your work will need to pass an electrical inspection. Work that isn’t up to standard will be costly to redo. Our licensed electricians work with a full understanding of the National Electrical Code requirements and will ensure you avoid costly repairs later on.
Electrical Box Overcrowding
When building on to an existing home, it’s tempting to simply add the wiring to the electrical box that is already servicing the rest of the building. Boxes would rarely be installed with extra space so the quickest solution is to double up. This is a bad idea as wire over-crowding increases the risk of overheating, short-circuits and fire.
Any outlet that is installed outside needs a ground-fault interrupter button. This will trip the outlet if there is water close to the outlet. A common mistake among home DIY-ers is to use a regular outlet. Water and electricity are a lethal combination.
How Can You Tell If There Are Problems With Your Wiring?
When a building is wired correctly, the electrical infrastructure will be like a slick backstage crew at a theater performance – silent, invisible, and efficient. If you become aware of your electrical system, it is a clear sign that something is going wrong. Here are some telltale things to watch out for.
- You have to rely on extension cords to meet your needs.
- Lights flicker or glow dimly.
- Smell something funky near plug points or appliances? Electrical malfunctions have a peculiar odor that is a clear warning sign.
- When sparks fly, there is trouble.
- If outlets and switch plates are warm or hot.
- Do your fuses blow regularly? Do breakers keep tripping?
- Any buzzing noise should be immediately seen to.
- The kitchen and bathroom outlets should be special shock-resistant ones that look different from those in the rest of the house.
Call In The Troops
As hard is it can be for a staunch DIYer to call in the pros, the safety of your family is our first priority. When you’ve lived around electricity that has been managed correctly, it’s easy to forget just how dangerous it can be. So whether you are remodeling, upgrading your electrical system, building on or dealing with a fault, don’t risk it. Give us a call at 1-800-475-1504. We are ready to help with all your electricity needs.