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5 Mistakes DIYers Should Avoid with Electrical Projects

by Peter Marah

Today, more than ever with free information from the web. Many people are turning to DIY projects for various things. Electrical projects are also part of the DIY projects most people are practicing. However, electricity is a sensitive activity to indulge in, and one has to be sure what they are doing is safe. Also, if they need to buy used or surplus industrial partsensure they are genuine parts for your electrical project that will work effectively and successfully. Below are common mistakes most DIYers make working on an electrical project. 

Not securing the outlet 

 

Securing an outlet is a simple thing to do. Ensure the outlet is secured in place and use a screwdriver to tighten the screws. One screw is at the top, and another screw is at the bottom. When the outlet is not firm, it will move easily. As a result, it causes electrical arcing that can cause a fire. Also, it can cause damage to what you plug into them. Plus, when securing an outlet. Put it on the plate to ensure everything lines up nicely. 

 

Reversing hot and neutral wires 

Connecting the neutral wire to the hot wire creates the potential for a lethal shock. This mistake is common, but again it is avoidable. Always connect the white wire to the neutral terminal when working with electrical projects. To know the neutral terminal, it has a mark you can identify with light or silver-colored screws. To the other terminal, connect the hot wire. If there’s a copper or green coated wire, that’s ground. So, connect it to the green grounding screw on the receptacle or switch, the junction box, or another ground wire. 

Not knowing the difference between circuit breakers and safety switches 

 

To understand electrical panels, you need to know the difference between safety switches and circuit breakers. Safety switches detect any electrical shock before it occurs and thus switch off the electricity before anything happens. So, it helps prevent any electrical issues before they happen to someone. It happens if there are issues with wiring or a faulty electrical appliance is in use. Circuit breakers turn off the power when the load draws too much electrical current. Too much electrical current can cause electrical fires when it overheats the wiring or the electrical appliance. 

 

Not using GFCI outlets 

When working on electrical projects, always use a Ground fault circuit interrupter. These outlets monitor power leaving and coming back to the outlet. So, if a short circuit routes current through someone to the ground, they sense the drop and cut the power. Also, if it detects a slight variation, the GFCI receptacle will cut off the power. An example of where the GFCI should appear is the proximity to a water source. Therefore, learn how to install GFCI outlets to use them in your next electrical project.

 

Not installing a junction box 

 

Most people find installing a junction box an expense and pointless at first. But, learning to avoid this wiring mistake saves you a lot in damage. The use of the junction box is to hold the connected wires together. It isolates any sparks, prevents accidental damage, and isolates heat that can occur from a short circuit or loose connection. Thus, it is vital to install a junction box as you DIY various electrical projects. Check it more.

Not using a non-contact voltage tester

Whether you are doing an electrical project in your home, office, or industry, make sure you turn off the affected circuit. But most DIYers, make the mistake of not using the non-contact voltage tester to test the wires in the electrical box before working. It is a mistake, and yet testers are affordable to buy. So, ensure everything is dead before moving forward by testing everything in the box.

 

To sum up, as a DIYer, it is vital to avoid the above mistakes as you work on your different electrical projects. Some of these mistakes are minor, yet they can cause harm if you neglect them. Therefore, be careful using electrical parts and equipment. Plus, where the expertise is past your DIY knowledge, contact a professional. 

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