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Common Tips for Your Electrical System

One of the more dangerous parts of your home is the electrical system that powers everything that lights up a room, cleans, entertains, heats and cools without use of a battery. That means electricity is important to each and every one of us, and that is no sooner recognized when a storm knocks your power out and you are subjected reading a book by candlelight. Of course, since electricity provides so much for your home and can be a danger to your health if mistreated, knowing simple tips can make the difference between an electrical job done correctly and a trip to the hospital while your partner calls an electrician.

  1. Knowing How Gauges Work for Wiring
    The one thing you need to have for your electrical system, other than the electricity, are the wires that transfer the power around your home. Everything that needs electricity is hard wired or they are connected through wall outlets. This means that the right kinds of wires are needed to carry the right kind of power. The larger the wire, the more energy it can handle before getting too hot and catching fire. In that case, you would want to use 22-gauge wires over 12-gauge wires, right? This is actually a false assumption, as gauges actually work backwards when it comes to numerical identification and sizes. The smaller the number the bigger the wire’s gauge will be.
  2. What Do the Colors Mean?
    If you have ever worked on any wiring in your home, you may notice a barrage of colors looking back at you. Normally in your home, most of your wires are going to be black, white, and either green or just a copper wire without a color sheath. These colors are actually telling you which wire is which. The black wire is going to be your hot wire, the white wire is the neutral wire, and the green or bare wire is your ground wire. Confusing any of these wires and placing them in the wrong connection can be disastrous. You may come across red, blue, and yellow wires as well. These are appliance-specific and all considered hot wires like your standard black wire.
  3. Staying Safe Up in the Air
    You should never, ever, ever work on your home’s electrical system with the electricity turned on. Turing off the power at the fuse box is always your first step when it comes to electrical work. Now, in some circumstances you might have to install a light that is high up or work on any number of electrical projects that would require a ladder. The electricity should be turned off, but just to be safe one should never work on an electrical project on an aluminum ladder. Instead use an insulated ladder made of fiberglass. With unforeseen circumstances you can never be too careful, and even with the power off something could happen. Using a fiberglass ladder means that at least you won’t be standing on a metal rod next to exposed wires or other dangerous electrical equipment.
  4. Test Before You Commit
    Just like anything else, testing something before using it seems to be the best option. Of course, how many times have you tested the wiring in your home to make sure it is providing a constant flow of electricity? How many times have you found that the wires are exposed and not providing enough electricity you need or too much causing a power surge? A noncontact voltage meter is an excellent way to test groups of wires in your wire box and it lets you fix any problems you have, saving time and money later on down the road.
  5. Organizational Skills can Save Headaches
    What is worse than opening up a wire box and then a large clump of tangled , multicolored wires comes falling out in a heap, and you have to untangle them? Wires are flexible for a reason, but that reason can backfire if you ignore the chance to bend and fold the wires in a certain way to provide you with the clean workspace you want. The idea is to gather all the corresponding wires together, so the grounds match up, the neutrals match up, and the hot wires match up. This will allow for you to work efficiently when you need something done.

Electrical work doesn’t have to be hard, but when you don’t care much about it or you might only be doing it every once in a while it is easy to forget these common tips. By remembering what was offered here, you can save time, stay safe, have the right tools and equipment, and know what you need to do more efficiently. Then again if you would rather have a professional work on your electrical system, these steps will provide a safe and easy work environment for them as well saving time on the job and putting money back in your wallet.

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