There are some small electrical repairs that you can comfortably handle on your own without the help of an emergency electrician. The only things required to manage these kinds of electrical maintenance is carefulness and the right equipment. You also need to have the necessary safety measures in place before attempting any electrical repair.
Safety tips for an electrical repair
Electrical issues are prone to causing injuries, and before you venture into any electrical repair, you need to consider your safety. These few tips will ensure your safety.
Before you start working on an electrical device, keep the power off because the electrical appliance may have an internal fuse-in problem or short circuit, and this may cause the unexpected. You can unplug the device, but be careful with an electrical appliance with capacitors inside as this can give you a shock.
Also, ensure that there is no electricity while you are working, and switch off the power supply.
How to replace a damaged light switch
If your light switches no longer work as it should or the switch is old fashioned, you can change it without calling an electrician. If you have pliers and a screwdriver, replacing a switch will be a walkover.
Before you replace your switch, you need to know what type of switch it is and if it’s one you can handle its repair or replacement.
Types of switches
There are different types of wall switches, and they include:
- Dimmer switch– it is similar to the regular switch, and the installation is also the same
- Single pole switch– it is the traditional home switch and controls one appliance like a light bulb or fan.
- Double pole switch– you may not be able to repair this kind of switch because replacement of a double pole switch requires the expertise of an electrician.
- Three-way– this type of switch helps you control an electrical appliance from two different locations.
- Four-way switch– a four-way switch helps you control a gadget from three different locations. You could use a four-way switch if your room is big and you want to access the switch to a device from different corners of the room.
How to repair an outlet
Repairing an outlet is similar to fixing a light switch, and you also need to know the different kinds of outlets.
Types of outlet
There are three different types of outlet.
- Ungrounded outlet– this type of outlet is different from those found in an old house. It has only two holes. The third hole for grounding is not present.
- Grounded outlet– this is the common type of outlet, and it has three holes.
- Ground fault circuit interrupter– this type of outlet has a built-in breaker that helps to disconnect the switch when a short circuit occurs. You can find them in constantly wet places like workshops, bathrooms, and garages.
To replace an outlet, you need a multimeter, replacement outlet, needle-nose pins and screwdrivers.
How to replace a light fixture
To replace a light fixture, first, switch off the light breaker then remove the old fixture. After that, take off the shade and the light bulb. Next, unscrew the small screws holding the electric bulb and fixture together.
Look out for the three wires connecting the fixtures to the ceiling. The wires are white, black and green. The black wire is for power, the white is the default, while the green wire is for ground. All these wires go into the one coming out of your ceiling. The connection is secured with nuts which you can unscrew with your screwdriver.
The next step is fitting the new fixture, which is sometimes challenging but an easy task. After replacing the fixture, repeat the above process but in the reverse order. Start by connecting the nuts and fixtures, then connect the three wires to the screw that secures them to your electric box.
Note of the following to ensure your safety.
- Try not to fix any electrical problems if you do not know how to do it. If you are scared of carrying out any electrical repair, its best to avoid it because fear can make a lot of things go wrong. Fear also arises if you have little or no idea about something.
- Try not to rush any electrical repair even if you are an expert at the repair. You should carefully find the cause of the electrical problem, analyse it, before attempting to fix it.
- Always have a flashlight close by whenever you are carrying out an electrical repair.
- Do not usealuminium ladders. The best alternative is non-conductive ladders like those made of fibre-glass.
- Do not work on any electrical gadget in a wet area or when you have direct contact with water like when it is raining.
- Wear shoes with rubber soles while working, and try to stand on a dry floor, especially if it is wooden.
- It is best to tape off the breaker before you turn off the power to the breaker.
- Ensure that you inform someone before you attempt an electrical repair.
It’s best to contact an expert to carry out any electrical work if you do not feel comfortable doing it and when you have no idea about the electrical repair.
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