When to Fix-It-Yourself and When to Call an Electrician

Messing with electrical appliances and components is serious business. Hello, my name is George Tanner. I’m a retired electrician. I can’t even begin to tell you how many horror stories I heard over the years of working as an electrician. People who thought they could quickly fix something in their homes but never should have even tried. Some got hurt and others were lucky. My goal here is to provide you with some guidelines as to what electrical malfunctions are easily fixable by nearly any adult, and what you should never attempt on your own. One thing you are going to hear me stress more than once is that electrical components are not to be taken lightly. We protect our children from them; we also have to protect ourselves. I hope you find this blog to be helpful!

The 6 Top DIY Home Wiring Mistakes


When installing your own electrical wiring, you may save money, but you will want to make sure that you do not avoid the common mistakes that homeowners make. Otherwise, you could increase the risk of starting a fire in your home. Here is a list of the top six home wiring mistakes and how to not fall victim to them.

1. Connecting wires outside an electrical box

Never connect a wire outside of an electrical box. The junction boxes protect the connections from unintentional damage and heat that results from a loose connection. When you discover a connection that is not within an electrical box, install an electrical box and connect the wires there. Also, make sure the box isn't too small.

2. Nailing wire straps too tight

Do not nail NM wire straps too tight. While you do want the straps to be somewhat tight so the wires do not hang loosely, you also don't want to pinch the wires. Also, make sure that no nails or screws penetrate your wires.

3. Having an old ungrounded receptacle

If you have an older home, you may have an ungrounded receptacle. This is a receptacle that has holes only for two slots rather than for the third slot. The point of the ground slot is to provide a place for electricity to go. 

4. Installing improperly sized wires

Make sure to know the size of the wires you are using. Wires of different gauges are used for different reasons. If you use the wrong-sized wire, you might short a fuse or start a fire. Do not cut your wires too short because you will not be able to make good connections with short wires. Also, cable and phone wires should be kept separate from wires designed to deliver electricity.

5. Having loose wire connections

Do not make loose wire connections. This is when two wires are stripped and wrapped together to establish a connection, which can cause a fire. Instead, wires should always be connected with a wire nut.

6. Overloading the outlets and drop cords

You may find it easy to purchase multiple adapters and powerboards that come with many outlets, but you shouldn't plug too many appliances into an outlet or drop cord. This will cause the outlet to overheat and can cause a fire. A single outlet may not be able to provide as much power as you need.

If you are concerned and need help with your home wiring, consider hiring a professional electrician. Electricians will not make the simple mistakes that would place your home in danger, and they will ensure you pass your building inspection.



24 March 2018