Hiring professionals to come to do work in your home is not usually fun. First off, it means that you have a problem, which is never cool. It also means that you will likely be paying money, sometimes a large amount, to get it fixed.
Luckily, many home repairs can be handled with a little handwork and YouTube. Seriously though, people put videos of everything on there. We recommend doing thorough research before trying to fix something at home to avoid making the situation worse.
Home electrical repairs definitely fall into that category. You need to make sure that whatever you do is not going to cause a fire or other damage. Electrical repairs can also be dangerous, and can even be deadly if you don’t know what you are doing. It is best to consult a professional for complicated electrical issues.
There are some simple repairs, however, that can usually be done very safely. Such repairs include replacing a light switch or doorbell. Here are some ways to make sure you and your family stay safe when performing DIY electrical repairs.
Turn off Circuit Breaker
This should always be your first step. Go find your circuit breaker, these are many times located in a garage or laundry room, somewhere out of the way. It will either be specifically labeled with what breaker is controlling which area in your home or you might have a cute little home map on the inside with numbered sections.
You want to flip the breaker, or switch, that controls the electrical flow in the room you are working into the off position. This will stop the flow of electricity and allow you to safely remove covers and disconnect wiring.
Test for Live Circuits
Electricity can be fickle, it is not necessarily bound by the restrictions we assume. Just because you turned the breaker off, it doesn’t actually mean there is no electrical flow still in the wiring you are working on.
It is important to have a voltage tester. A voltage tester is usually used to see if there is an electrical problem by using the metal probes to create a complete circuit. If the wires or outlet you are testing work, it will cause the circuit to be completed and usually make a activate a light on the voltage tester. When performing an electrical repair, you can use this to ensure there is no electrical flow through the area you are working on. If there is an electrical flow even with the breaker being shut off, contact an electrician for assistance.
Even if you know a lot about electrical work, you can be limited if you don’t have quality electrical supplies and tools. A subpar fuse will blow super quickly, just like a cheap voltage tester will not give you the most accurate readings.
Don’t be cheap here, you need to make sure it’s good stuff. Otherwise, just have an electrician come and handle it. Having quality equipment and supplies can ensure that you and your family are safe, during and after the home electrical repairs.
Leave No Trace
Make sure that when you are finishing up your repairs, that you put everything back exactly how it goes. The functionality of electrical equipment and wiring is directly impacted by the accuracy in which the parts are connected. The safety of everyone in the home is as well, don’t do a rush job.
Tutorials are great if you forgot how everything went together, or just need a reminder of which wire attaches where. Use the internet, it’s a great DIY aide.
There are some easy and simple electrical repairs that will have you feeling like a first-class handyman. Make sure to take all necessary precautions to prevent injury, damage to your home, or much more serious accidents. I can’t state this enough if you are unsure or the repair seems major call an electrician!