Everyone likes to save money by performing do-it-yourself projects. Hiring an electrician to come and do a task for you can be very costly, so a lot of people attempt to do their own electrical work.
Any major wiring projects should always be done by a professional, but there are a few minor projects you could do yourself. Even though they’re minor tasks, there’s still a danger of electrical shock involved with them.
While getting shocked is a prime concern with electrical projects, an electrical fire can also be involved if you don’t take special precautions to protect yourself and your home.
Here are some tips on how to stay safe the next time you work around wiring:
Always make sure that you cut off the power to the area you’ll be working on. Don’t rely on just the power switch is off. Go to your fuse box and either remove the appropriate fuse or flip the right switch to cut the power off completely.
Alert anyone in the house about what you’re planning to do (and keep children away from the work in progress). It would also be a good idea to place tape over the circuit switch in case someone else comes along who doesn’t know what’s going and tried to turn the circuit back on.
When you begin to work on the area, you should always treat it as if it were still a live wire. Work slowly and take your time doing the work. You should be free from any distractions. There’s no room for mistakes, so don’t try to hurry through the project just to get it done.
Use a fiberglass ladder if you need one because they’re non-conductive ladders and will absorb any electric shocks that may come through. Wear heavy rubber-soled shoes as well to help absorb as much of the electric shock as possible should one occur.
Use a power tester to test the wires you’ll be working on. Make sure there’s no power going through the wire. It’s possible that you could have hit the wrong switch on the fuse box, so take that extra precaution and test the wire before working on it.
Don’t work in damp, wet areas. Electricity and water do not mix! Try to dry the area first before performing any projects with electricity. You should do this with any damp areas that are close by where you’ll be working – even if they aren’t in the precise vicinity.
Make sure you know what you’re doing before you do it. Taping the wrong wires together can result in a major electrical fire when the electricity is turned back on. Do it correctly the first time and you can avoid that kind of catastrophe.
You can save quite a bit of money by doing some of your own minor electrical work, but don’t take these tasks too lightly. If you worry that you’ve gotten in over your head, call in a professional and don’t risk your life or your home.