There are a lot of common electrical issues homeowners will face in the home. Once you become a homeowner it is important to learn how to safely complete some of these tasks and fix issues ourselves in an emergency. Some of the problems commonly faced are harmless, but others can carry a much higher level or risk.
Today though we are going to look at a few problems you can fix yourself in a safe manner – and the problems that are generally most common.
Tripping circuit breakers
A circuit breaker is a modern version of a fuse and it is present in all of our homes. The job of a circuit breaker is to literally ‘break the circuit’ and stop the flow of electricity to one or more destinations. Circuit breakers ensure that appliances aren’t hit with too much voltage and it keeps your electrical system in check. However, a common problem homeowners face is the circuit breaker tripping repeatedly.
If it only happens a few times you simply need to reset the breaker’s switch, although if it happens in repeat instances you may need to address the underlying issue; how many appliances are connected to this switch? If you are using a lot of appliances within one circuit this could be the problem. Unplugging some of your appliances usually fixed the issue and will allow your home electrical system to run smoothly. If not, you may need a professional opinion.
One of the most common issues you will face as a homeowner is lightbulbs burning out. Everyone needs to know how to change a lightbulb safely, and today we want to take a look into the process and guide you through it.
- Turn off the power – it is important to note that when changing a lightbulb you will have to remove it from a live fixture meaning there is a risk of shock if the circuit is still live. Switch off the powerpoint that controls the burnt-out lightbulb is prority before you start the process and this will ensure you don’t get a nasty shock when you take the lightbulb out.
- Use natural light – when changing a lightbulb it is important for you not to wait until the evening or low light to carry out the job. When changing a lightbulb you will have to cut the power so you will not have a light to help you see what you are doing. Work during the day when the sun is out so you can see clearly what you are doing.
- Use a stepladder – it is all too common for people to try and change a lightbulb by balancing precariously on a chair or another piece of furniture but this is incredibly dangerous. Instead, use a sturdy stepladder to change a lightbulb and stay steady on your feet. You can even have another person in the house stand at the bottom of the ladder for extra peace of mind
- Remove the bulb – now is the time to remove the bulb safely from the socket. Before you grab the bulb in your hand lightly tap it to make sure it is not hot. If it’s a screw-in bulb, then twist the bulb anti-clockwise to loosen it and pull it out. Alternatively if it’s a push-in bulb, then gently push the base of the bulb down and twist slightly anticlockwise, this should loosen it enough for you to pull it out.
- Install a new lightbulb – before you replace the lightbulb you need to make sure that you buy the right one. Different bulbs have different codes for voltage and size so ensure you get the right one. Position the bulb under the socket and push it in before turning clockwise. Keep texting until it is tight and you are done. Test the new bulb and continue your day.
A common issue in older homes particularly is bad wiring. It is important when you notice issues in your electrical system to contact a professional to come and take a look. Bad wiring can cause a whole lot of issues for you and your family such as:
- Loose connections – you can face both electrical box connections and panel connections becoming loose which poses a risk of an electrical fire if not spotted in time
- Ground faults – the definition of a ground fault is when the electric current takes a path that was unplanned due to the ground wire being faulty. This can run anywhere on the path from the panel and causes a risk of electric shock.
When using power boards it is important to use safety switches which will ensure the system is protected from surges of power.
If you are currently renovating your house and you want to change some of the old wiring – there are a lot of things to consider and safety concerns. Older wiring is more prone to issues so when working with it you must be cautious. Live wires if not properly handled can cause a severe electric shock to the user and could lead to injury or even death. It is incredibly important to know the dos and don’ts of wiring and here we want to show you how to replace wiring safely.
- Test for Power – the first step in your pursuit of safe wire changes is testing for power. You must test both wires and devices for power before you start working with them or close to them. Shutting the power off is only the first step and testing is a step you must not miss.
- Check amperage – when examining your electrical wiring and devices you will notice an amperage rating written on it. It is important to check this before working with the device or wiring because it will impact what you do with it. Most houses have 15/20 amps however large appliance circuits might be more like 30/40. Know what you are up against before you start working
- Create tighter connections – electricity travels along conductors such as wires or sockets and the connection between these needs to be solid to allow for efficient flow. It is important to create a tight connection between conductors so that the electric current flows along the right path and to your devices. Loose connections can cause friction as well as heat and this, if unchecked, can cause a fire.
- Ensure proper grounding – grounding an electric system ensures a safe path for any stray electricity away from the user. It is important to understand grounding and to make sure yours is up to standard
A lot of us like to try and fix common issues around the house, when it’s actually much easier & safer to hire a professional. A Brighton electrician will give you peace of mind, certification and provide quality work that will last for years. Contact Carda Electrics today.