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Dangers of DIY Electrical Projects: How to Prevent The

March 1, 2021
by dmirza
dangers of diy electrical projects

Annually, several thousands of Americans get fatally injured while doing electrical DIY around the house. While some jobs and home repair projects are suitable for anyone, electrical work needs in-depth knowledge. You can prevent all potential dangers of DIY electrical projects by being cautious.

So, here are some top electrical wiring safety tips to help you successfully finish the tasks:

Unplug Unused Cords and Appliances

As a general rule, unplug all devices and appliances that you are not currently using. Don’t just switch them off and leave the cord in, as the phantom power load increases your bills. You can also protect the devices from power surges and overloads.

Likewise, store away the power cords that you don’t use during the DIY. Your home looks tidy, and there is no risk of pets or kids tripping over or playing with them. Also, never wrap cords tightly around any object, as it can stretch and break the insulation.

Maintain Power Tool Safety Measures

One of the most common dangers of DIY electrical projects you can encounter is electrocution. Like any do-it-yourself job, electrical projects also require you to use power tools and other equipment. A trained technician with adequate instruction can handle the tools with ease, while you, a novice, may not. Hence, there is a need to take electrical wiring safety tips.

When the power tools touch live electrical wires, or the extension cord comes in contact with water pipes, you can receive a shock. So, make sure to keep the cord tightly wound, and use extension cords that are less than 100 feet in length.

Ensure the Right Wattage for Fixtures

Wattage or amperage is the maximum amount of power that can safely pass through an outlet or fixture. Whether you are removing your old bulbs and installing new LEDs, or replacing faulty wiring, make sure to use the correct rating.

Using inappropriate wattage is one of the most significant dangers of DIY electrical projects as the wiring gets overheated. For instance, if there is an unmarked outlet, you can safely use bulbs with a 60-watt rating or lower. Likewise, for ceiling fixtures with no rating, install 25-watt bulbs.

Points to Remember

  1. Use portable, outdoor GFCI outlets (ground-fault circuit interrupters) while working near damp areas. They will protect you from electric shocks by tripping when there is an unwanted circuit or power leakage.
  2. Test all wires before you start working to ensure that the power is off.
  3. Never tug at the cords plugged into a socket to remove them. It can lead to frayed cords, and eventually, electrical shocks.
  4. Remove frayed cords under the carpet immediately to prevent a house fire.

Stay Safe from the Dangers of DIY Electrical Projects

Whether you are trying to avoid the dangers of DIY electrical projects or going about your daily life, use the above tips.

Speaking about something related, you can save money by performing a DIY home energy audit. Learn about the process on our Shop Texas Electricity platform. You can also find low-rate energy plans for homes of all sizes.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. March 8, 2021

    Thanks for explaining that using the wrong wattage is dangerous since it leads to overheating. My brother and his wife mentioned they want to install new overhead lighting fixtures in their single-family home this May. I’ll share this info so they can see why hiring a residential electrician for the job would be worth the cost.

  2. March 16, 2023

    Great point about testing the switches beforehand. My basement lights won’t turn on. I’ll have to consider hiring an electrician to help out.

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