Why You Should Hire a Professional for an Electrical Repair in Los Angeles
If you have a minor electrical repair to do in your Los Angeles home and you have an afternoon free, you might think that a spot of DIY will save you some money. You can have a look on the internet and find instructions and videos on how to do those little jobs – it can’t be that difficult, can it? The problem is that electricity is inherently dangerous and, if you don’t know what you are doing, it is easy to leave your property in a more dangerous state than how it started. It is much safer to hire a professional in the first place and cheaper for an electrician to come and do a simple job than having to fix your mistakes as well.
Some of the most common DIY mistakes when working with electricity are outlined below.
Not Turning off the Power
The number one task when undertaking electrical work is to make sure the power is off. Trip the breaker for the relevant circuit, unplug the appliance and make sure you can’t receive a shock.
Wiring Mismatch and Splicing
When joining together two wires, make sure they are a match in terms of gauge and type. Use a proper wire connector rather than twisting the ends together and covering them with tape. It does not take long for tape to degrade, become brittle and fall off, leaving bare wires exposed which pose a fire hazard.
Connections without a Box
It’s all very well to think out of the box but electrical connections should always be in one. The box acts to keep any sparks or heat generated away from flammable materials and protects the connections from being knocked and damaged.
Too Many Connections in One Box
Squeezing too many connections into one box so that wires are touching each other greatly increases the chances of creating a short circuit or overheating – both these occurrences pose fire risks.
Wires Cut Too Short
Cutting the wires too short means either you can’t make a connection or that wires are put under strain, which is dangerous. You can use a wire connector to add a small extra section of wire.
Replacing 2-slot Outlet with 3-slot
Fitting a 3-slot outlet in place of a 2-slot outlet so you can plug in your appliances with 3-prong plugs does not provide grounding. 3-prong plugs are fitted to appliances and power tools so that any leaking current is carried into the ground away from you. Not having this safety precaution opens you up to the possibility of an electric shock.
Outlet Wired Incorrectly
If you mistakenly connect the black hot wire to the neutral terminal and the white neutral wire to the hot terminal, the outlet will still work but it is not safe and creates a shock hazard. Connect the black wire to the brass or dark colored screw and the white wire to the silver or light colored screw. If you have a third wire that is bare or covered with green insulation, that is the ground and it connects to the green screw.
New Lighting Fixtures fitted to Old Wires
New lighting fixtures are marked with the minimum temperature that the wiring needs to be able to handle. Wiring in older homes often has a lower rating, which is not safe to use with a higher rated fixture. Always check the rating of your wire and choose a lighting fixture to match or have the wiring upgraded.
Many of these mistakes not only create dangerous situations, but also contravene the electrical code. The code has developed over many years establishing standards for work designed to keep people and property safe. Even if code violations do not cause an immediate problem, you may have difficulty in obtaining home insurance and are very likely to face bills for remediation work when it comes to selling your house. A much better option is to have the work done right in the first place. So, rather than spend your time on DIY, hire a professional for that electrical repair needed in your Los Angeles home.
Find out more about Hiring a Professional Electrician