Safety Tips on Electrical Installations

Residential Electrician in VancouverHomeowners may be constantly faced with basic electrical problems. These include replacing defective light bulbs, using electrical tapes to cover open electrical wires, and even replacing damaged electrical outlets.

Yes, it’s true that you don’t have to be a licensed residential electrician to complete such tasks. However, knowing the safety tips on any electrical installation is essential, especially if you’re living alone or when a residential electrician isn’t always available.

These safety tips can help prevent accidents while you remedy your electrical problems, and wait for an available residential electrician to check your electrical wiring.

Know When Your Electrical Wirings Were Last Inspected

It is recommended that you know when your electrical wiring was last inspected before doing any electrical updates on your own. If you aren’t aware, then it may have been when the house was built, or when renovations (with proper permits pulled) were done. You may even call your municipality to find out what they have on record for your property.

One of the most common causes of household fires is faulty electric wiring and overloaded circuits or outlets.

Prepare The Materials & Tools Necessary To Carry Out The Task

This includes the right wires to use, marrettes, proper switches and outlets. These things are available at any of your local hardware or electrical store. You can even consult your residential technician for some safety tips on electrical installations and the materials to be used.

Make Sure That The Light Switch Is Turned Off

Install bulbs with the right wattage for each socket and secure it properly. Once done, you can now turn on the light switch, and check if all the lights are coming on with no flickering.

Changing Outlets Make Sure The Breaker Is Off

If changing outlets then the first thing to do is to make sure the power to the outlet is turned off, and then test it with a meter to confirm the power is off.  You can then remove the existing cover plate and outlet.

Make sure that it is only two insulated wires and a ground wire going to the outlet. If you have more than this, you may have two live circuits at this outlet, or the top half may be switched. If this is the case, then you will have to break the tab on the brass coloured side of the outlet, as this will now separate the top and bottom half of the outlet.

The top half is the switched half and the bottom half has power on to it all the time. If it isn’t switched, then you will have two circuits that will be live all the time, and the tab still needs to be removed so as not to cause a dead short between two live circuits when turned on again.

It is better to make a ‘U’ shape on the end of the wire, and put it under the screw. Ensure that the ‘U’ shape is placed so that when tightening down the screw, the ‘U’ shape will close tighter around the screw. If putting it on the opposite way, the ‘U’ shape will try to open.

You can use the quick wire method of pushing the wires into the back of the outlet, as this is also an approved method… but not the first choice of a professional residential electrician.

The black or red wire ( Hot ) goes to the brass coloured screw – the white wire ( Neutral ) goes to the silver screw. The bare ground goes to the green screw or ground terminal.

You now will attach the outlet to the box, put the cover plate back on and then turn on the power.  You can plug a light fixture in to make sure it all works.

Keep A Copy Of These Tips As A Guide

These safety tips on electrical installations are simple and easy to follow. Keep it as a guide for basic installations.

If In Doubt, Call Your Residential Electrician

Following these tips will assure a safe electrical installation and upgrade. Furthermore, never underestimate electrical problems. If in doubt, always call your residential electrician immediately.

It is still best to have a licensed and professional electrician check your electrical problems than to do it on your own, to prevent further damages.

Mel Gerein
Meggar Electrical Inc.

Residential Electrical Project

Vancouver Electrician ~ A completely gutted interior and exterior with just the shell and foundation to go foreward on.

This residential home had to be totally gutted. So, windows, doors, roof, etc, all had to go, or be redone. Existing breaker panels had to be relocated, a new sub panel installed and all new branch circuit wiring done.

See more photos and details here.