Person working on wiring

Dealing With DIY Electrical Work in Central & Eastern PA

Whether you’re a do-it-yourself type or looking to cut costs, you may have considered wiring your home yourself. While it’s possible to wire your home successfully if it’s a simple job, DIY electrical wiring can be quite dangerous if you’re not extremely cautious. Even the smallest mistakes can result in electrocution, shorting your entire home electrical system, or even a home fire. If you’re going to try DIY wiring, it’s important to avoid these 8 common wiring mistakes.

Using an Extension Cord as Permanent Wiring

Extension cords are great temporary solutions if you have too few outlets, but they are not meant for permanent installations like garage door openers or wall air conditioners. Those installations need to be wired using the proper wiring, terminators, and by a licensed electrician. Most extension cords are for temporary use only, unless marked otherwise. Using an extension cord long-term can result in electrical fires or shorting wires.

Leaving an Open Splice or Unprotected Wiring

Leaving wire connections exposed is another common wiring mistake. This is a huge fire hazard, especially if the splice is within sparking distance of flammable material. If you’re splicing wire as a step to create connections for new areas of your home in need of electricity, make sure to cover it after the connection is made. If you don’t, the electricity will flow completely unsheathed and can result in an electrical fire.

Moreover, most towns and municipalities have strict codes to dictate what you can and cannot do with wiring and what you can cover and where. You’ll need to perform all splicing in a UL listed box with a cover and make sure all boxed splices are readily accessible.

Installing Too Many Outlets On A Wire

Overloading the amount of outlets on a wire can result in a number of problems. If you turn on too many appliances at once, the circuits will likely be overwhelmed and lower in voltage. This can cause a utility blowout or prevent items from working properly.

If your circuit breaker does not malfunction, it will continue to trip. If it stops operating correctly, it can lead to permanent failure, damage, and even fire.

Cutting Wires Too Short

If your wires are too short, it will be difficult to make connections, which can enhance the risk of electrocution when you make connections or electrical shorts in the future. Make sure the wires are long enough to come out three or more inches from the electrical box.

The length of your wires needs to be checked by code and if your wires are too short, you’ll have to run them again. While you can add length to your wires as long as you’re using proper wire terminators, dealing with wire length can be tricky. That’s where Haller comes in, offering excellent electrical services in Central & Eastern PA that ensure your wiring is cut correctly the first time around.

Leaving Cable Unprotected

It’s not enough to secure electrical cables to the wall. If your cables occupy areas where your family members can touch or damage them, you’ll want to protect or cover them.

Be sure to pay attention when you’re securing these wires to prevent nicking the insulation and causing a potential short or spark point that can pose as a fire hazard.

Using an Ungrounded Electrical Socket

If you live in a a pre-1960 home, you may have receptacles with only two slots, lacking the slot for the grounding plug. Placing a three-slot receptacle where that grounding slot isn’t connected to anything won’t fix the issue and can create a hidden safety hazard. It’s best to call one of Haller’s electricians if you need to replace your two-prong outlet with a three-prong outlet.

Installing the Box Improperly

If you need to install an electrical box in the wall, make sure it’s flush with the face of the wall, rather than protruding out into the room. This reduces the risk of the box being jostled and connections being pulled or broken. If the box protrudes, you run a greater risk of potential electrocution or damaging the connections.

Using the Wrong Wire

If you’re taking the DIY approach to your home’s wiring, make sure to know the appropriate wires for the job and when the job is too big to handle, requiring an electrician’s expertise. Using the wrong wires is one of the most common wiring mistakes. If a wire is rated for fewer amps than the breaker or fuse you’re attaching it to, you may face continuously shorting breakers or even an electrical fire.

Hiring a professional electrician may cost you more, but it will keep you, your home, and your family safe.

For expert electrical work in Central & Eastern Pennsylvania, contact Haller Enterprises. They’ll do the job right the first time and offer appealing budget options to keep your home safe and your finances protected.

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