Short Circuit: Electrical Problems You Can Fix Yourself and When to Call the Professionals

Posted on Jan 8 2016 - 11:19am by Jamie

With how dependent most people have become on electricity in their homes, it can be hard to manage when the power goes out. However, knowing how to remedy small electrical woes yourself can save you time and money. Included here are a few DIY electrical home repairs to make yourself, and a few instances where you should call in the professionals.


Knowing How to Cut The Power

The first thing every do-it-yourselfer dad should know, is how to cut the power. With a well-labeled breaker, you should be able to flip the switch and shut off power to the house; before you begin working on that faulty circuit. For localized repairs, turn on lights in the home and flip off breakers until you find the one linked to your outlet. If you cannot locate the exact breaker attached to your electrical problem, shut off the main breaker and use a flashlight during repairs.

Keep in mind, you will not get electrocuted when there is no power to the area you are working on. Breakers should be shut off and all appliances should be unplugged before you begin working on them.

Replacing a Light Switch

There are three different kinds of light switch you will likely deal with in your home, including: single pole switch, double pole switch and three-way switch. The most common is single pole, which will control one light in a single room. Doubles handle higher circuitry and have multiple switches. Three-way light switches control one light from multiple areas, examples being the top and bottom of a staircase.

Installing a Light Fixture

If you are removing the old fixture first, you will get firsthand viewing of the attachment of wires to the light itself. Most fixtures have a self-explanatory unscrewing process, but the re-installation can be tricky. Installing a new light fixture requires proper placement of the wires and should be done before screwing the fixture into the ceiling.

Call the Professionals:

Rewiring a Breaker Panel

In some homes, you will discover that you do not have enough power to run the entire house. This can mean you need to install a higher-powered electrical panel or rewire the breaker. This is not a job you can do yourself. Call in the professionals to handle it; it must be done precisely to avoid risk of electrical fires and there are likely permits that must be submitted to the city.

Repairing Faulty Wiring

When wiring goes out in one area of your home, you may be tempted to dig into the walls yourself to mend the issue. Unfortunately, if you do this job incorrectly, you could create dangerous fire hazards and be breaking the law. Much electrical work is illegal if not done by a professional, and, if any fire should happen to your home, your insurance company will not pay out if evidence of your DIY is available.

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