When it comes to DIY projects in your home, mistakes are bound to happen. But with electricity, even little mistakes can be dangerous. Here are five of the most common DIY electrical mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
Making Connections Outside Electrical Boxes
Never connect electrical wires outside an electrical box. The junction box protects connections from accidental damage and contains heat and sparks from short circuits and loose connections. This is one of the electrical mistakes you definitely don’t want to make. To avoid this, install a box wherever connections aren’t contained in one and reconnect the wires inside it.
Cutting Wires Too Short
Make wire lengths right for the job you’re using them for. When you cut wires too short, they make connections difficult. If the connections get ripped apart due to minor tensions, it’ll cost you more money to hire an electrician to fix your DIY mistake. Not to mention poor connections can be dangerous. To avoid this, make sure your wires extend at least three inches from the box.
Not Using GFCI Outlets in the Bathroom or Kitchen
Remodeling your bathroom or kitchen can be a fun challenge. But electrical mistakes are all too common in DIY remodels. One of the most common is forgetting to install required GCFI outlets.
GFCI is short for ground fault circuit interrupter. Unlike an ungrounded outlet, when a GFCI detects any imbalances in power, it automatically cuts the power off. If you don’t install them in your bathroom or kitchen, you make yourself more susceptible to electrocution. Make sure these places are electrically safe and don’t forget them during your remodel.
Not Grounding a Three-Slot Outlet
This electrical mistake comes when a three-slot outlet is wired without making the connection for the ground wire. The ground wire provides the stray electricity from appliances an alternate path to move into. This reduces the risk of electrical shocks and electrocution from appliances. It also lets surge protectors protect electrical appliances like your TV and desktop computer. If you’re not grounding your three-prong outlets, make sure you do!
Not Hiring an Electrician Because You Think You Can DIY
You might feel inspired by watching tutorial videos that make DIY electrical projects seem easy. That couldn’t be further from the truth, as it takes a lot of proper training. You’re guaranteed to make some electrical mistakes if you haven’t attempted any electrical projects before, and that could put you in danger.
If you ever feel unsure about doing an electrical project, call us at Speck Family Electric and our team will be there to assist you! No job is too big or small. We’re always here to help our beloved Tennessee homeowners. We service those in Sparta, Chattanooga, Cookeville, Crossville, Gallatin, Lebanon, McMinnville, Mount Juliet, Murfreesboro, and Smithville.