Planning a renovation or some simple repairs around the home? You are probably thinking that they won’t be that hard and you can save money by doing them yourself. And while that might be true for some basic jobs around the home, when it comes to electrical work there are some mistakes you certainly don’t want to make.
Mistakes with wiring are common when homeowners decide to DIY and have the potential to cause short circuits, shocks and even house fires. Hiring a qualified electrician is always your best option when it comes to electrical work in the home, no matter how easy you think the job is.
8 Common Electrical Mistakes Homeowners Make
- Exposing electrical connections to weather
Something that is very common during wet weather, incorrectly fitted light fittings fill with water, non-weatherproof power sockets short out from wet weather, electrical appliances and leads left exposed trip RCD’s and damage appliances.
- Leaving switches and outlets loose
Loose or broken power sockets and light switches highlight bad work done by homeowners or handymen. Not only are they unsightly but they are unsafe. When loose, these outlets and switches move which can cause any wires to become loose – a potential fire and shock hazard.
- Leaving cable unprotected
Unprotected and exposed cable is just asking for a fire and shock hazard in your home. Cables should be located within your home’s walls and ceilings and they should never be left exposed. Conduit is an easy fix that protects the wires from damaging your home or from being damaged.
- Using incorrectly sized wires and cables
There is a reason that there are different sized wires available on the market. Different jobs require different gauges of wiring, and each are used in different areas of the home. Speaker wire is NOT used for electrical wiring. Using the incorrect sized wire can cause overheating, and shorting of the fuse or circuit breaker. Using the correct sized wire is imperative.
- Replacing fuses without inspection
If fuses in your home keep blowing or shorting out, there is no point in replacing them over and over again, or worse, installing fencing wire. This is also not a time to install a bigger circuit breaker (doing so is a big cause of house fires). If you have a circuit breaker that continually trips out, you need a qualified electrician to attend to the issue.
- Loose connections in the fuse box – switchboard
Connections at the fuse box need to be tight and correctly placed. Loose connections cause appliances and lights to flicker and cut out. This can also cause wiring to overheat and catch fire. We certainly don’t recommend repairing the loose connections yourself.
One of the most common issues electricians see is overloading of the outlets. While using a power board is a good way of being able to connect more appliances, say when connecting a television and gaming machines, overloading the circuit with multiple adaptors and power boards can cause the breaker to trip or fuse to blow. Usually this is an issue with larger appliances such as coffee machines, kettles, washing machines and dishwashers being connected on one circuit.
- Not using a qualified electrician
One of the best things you can do with any electrical work in your home is to use a qualified electrician. With the knowledge and experience to fix everything from the basic light switch to cabling and wiring your home, you won’t have to worry about a fire starting in the middle of the night or pests eating into your cabling in the wall.
DIY is a great way to get work done on your home, however often homeowners don’t realise how much having a licensed and experienced electrician on hand can help. When handled incorrectly, easy fixes can easily turn into big mistakes. If you don’t feel comfortable handling electrical work in your home, or have even the slightest amount of doubt on some work you have done, call the team at PRF Electrical. With over 35 years of experience, you can bet we’ve probably seen it all!
Our experienced and professional team can assist you with your home renovation and building projects, keeping you and your family safe.