Electrical systems are extremely delicate and require the proper tools, experience, and safety to be properly maintained. Performing maintenance without the correct safety measures can lead to serious damage, including fires or electrical shock.
This is why it’s so important to avoid these 7 common mistakes when doing electrical maintenance. It will save you time and money, as well as keep you and your family safe.
1. Not Wearing the Right Equipment
Whether it’s a small electrical issue or a big problem, you need to have the right equipment to fix it. Having the wrong equipment can be dangerous and can also make it more difficult to complete your work.
Working with electricity is a hazardous and risky job, especially for workers who don’t wear the proper safety gear. This includes protective clothing, insulated tools and rubber blankets.
If you are not wearing the proper equipment, you can be in danger of a serious injury, even death. Electricity is a good conductor of energy, so any contact with it can cause an electric shock.
This type of injury can be very severe and may lead to amputations, broken bones and other life-altering injuries.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that only qualified persons can work on energized circuits or equipment. During maintenance, all parts and equipment must be de-energized before the worker begins work.
NFPA 70E, the standard that governs industrial workplace safety, requires that all workers wear appropriate personal protective equipment when performing maintenance operations. This can include gloves, boots and helmets.
2. Not Using the Right Tools
When you’re repairing or restoring electrical systems, there are some tools that can help you get the job done faster and easier. It’s important to use the right tools so that you don’t end up making mistakes that could have dangerous consequences.
Some of the most popular tools for electricians include insulated screwdrivers, long-nose pliers and side-cutting pliers. These versatile tools are easy to carry and make it easy for you to do your job.
Another tool that electricians can’t work without is a tape measure. This device helps you take measurements of everything from wiring to breaker boxes and light fixtures.
It’s also a life-saving tool that will ensure that you don’t accidentally overheat or damage your equipment. It can tell you if there are frayed wires, broken insulation or other safety issues with your equipment.
Other tools that are often used for electrical maintenance include a voltage tester, a multimeter and an LED flashlight. These handy tools will help you get your job done quickly and safely so that you can focus on the next task.
3. Not Checking the Wires
Despite the fact that your electrical system is protected by a number of safeguards such as circuit breakers and GFCI protection, faulty wiring can still cause serious damage. In fact, faulty wiring is responsible for a large portion of fires in homes in the United States.
Fortunately, the signs that your home’s electrical wiring needs work are easy to spot. Tripping breaker switches, brown or discolored wall sockets and even an electrical shock when plugging in appliances are all signals that something is wrong with your wiring system.
Faulty wire connections are also a major concern, particularly in older homes. These connections are not insulated and can make contact with each other, sparking and creating fires in your home.
Some of the most common places that a wire connection problem occurs are when screw terminals at wall switches and outlets become loose. This can be fixed by simply tightening the screws down on the wires. However, if you find two bare copper grounding wires or hot wires wedged under one of the screws on a switch or outlet, it’s a code violation and you should have them re-connected properly by a licensed electrician. Moreover, check all pass-through wire connections that are made with wire nuts or another type of connector to make sure they’re tightly joined.
4. Not Using the Right Outlets
While outlets are incredibly useful for powering appliances and other electrical devices, they can also pose serious hazards if used improperly or ignored. That’s why it’s essential to take proper care of yours and to recognize the warning signs that they may need replacement or repair.
For example, an outlet that is hot to the touch is a sign that it’s struggling to control the flow of electricity. This can happen for a number of reasons, but it’s best to take it seriously and call an electrician as soon as possible.
Another red flag is when the outlet is showing signs of discoloration or melting. This is a sign that it has experienced a short circuit, causing a spark or fire.
A final tip is to make sure your home’s outlets are equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). These outlets cut the power to the outlet if it detects an arc-fault. They can be especially important in areas like kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms where water is an issue. They can prevent accidental electrocution or fatal house fires. Having them installed by a licensed electrician is a great way to keep your family safe.
5. Not Using the Right Junction Box
When doing electrical repairs in a home or building, it’s important to follow the necessary safety standards. That’s why you should call in a professional electrician to ensure all wiring is installed and secured properly.
The right junction box can keep wire connections safe and prevent future problems. These boxes can be made of various materials, including metal.
Mismatched wires can lead to fires and overheating. In addition, improper connections can cause your circuit breaker to trip.
For this reason, a junction box should be used for every electrical connection in your home or building. It’s also a good idea to use these boxes when installing new outlets and switches, as well as for any other electrical work that requires an enclosure.
7. Not Using the Right Conduit
An electrician needs to use the right conduit when doing electrical maintenance. It can prevent accidents and injuries, especially when working with live wires.
Conduit is a plastic or metal tube where wires are run. It is often used in exposed areas like outside walls or in attics and crawlspaces.
It can also protect a wiring system from harsh weather conditions. It also helps to make junction points for the wires in a system.
Not using the right size of conduit can also be dangerous, as it could overheat or break if it is not correctly sized. The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires conduit bodies to be a certain size depending on the number of wires that are in the conduit.
The NEC recommends a minimum of 1/2-inch conduit for five or fewer wires, and a maximum of 3/4-inch conduit for more than five wires. It’s also important to note that conduit bodies can be purchased in a variety of sizes.
We recommend hiring Columbus Ohio residential electricians, rather than trying to make the fixes yourself.