How to Work with Home Electricity


Most electrical repairs should be car­ried out by a skilled electrician and carefully tested. Remember: electricity can kill, so be careful. In some countries it is illegal to install or to alter electrical systems without a professional qualifi­cation. Always check regulations before you attempt electrical work.

Working with electricity

The list below warns you about some of the perils of working with electricity.

General

  • Always turn electricity off at the mains if you are working on fixed electrical equipment or where electric cables are sited
  • Never touch electrical equipment with wet hands
  • If water begins leaking into any electric fittings, turn off your power supply at once. Water conducts electricity and can cause fatal shocks
  • Never use water to put out any fire in an electrical appliance unless you have turned the mains off. Everything the water touches will become live
  • If electrical fittings have got wet, do not turn the electricity back on until the wiring is absolutely dry or you will get an electric shock when you touch the switch

Appliances

  • Make sure any electrical appliances you buy are approved and only buy the best quality
  • Correct any faults in electrical ap­pliances immediately
  • Never cover or obstruct the air vents on electric heaters
  • Unplug electrical appliances before cleaning or examining them
  • Make sure each appliance is fitted with the correct fuse
  • Have major appliances checked annually

Flexes, plugs and sockets

  • Never plug flex directly into a socket: always use a plug and make sure it is correctly wired
  • Do not use wet or worn flex. Do not try and patch worn flex: have the entire flex replaced
  • Never staple flex to a surface or let it run under floor coverings
  • Make sure the flex comes from behind you and goes over your shoulder rather than lying in front of you when lawn-mowing, ironing, etc

  • Replace cracked and chipped plugs and sockets immediately
  • Install additional socket outlets rather than relying continually on adaptors or long flexes
  • Keep any outdoor socket outlets under cover or use a special water­proof box

Light fittings

  • Do not exceed the maximum wattage recommended on fittings and lampshades
  • Never run an electric appliance from a light fitting

Wiring

  • Wire plugs correctly and never re­place a cartridge fuse with fuse wire
  • Always use earth wire with metal-cased equipment
  • Have house wiring tested every five years; also check the earthing system
  • Have house wiring renewed every twenty-five years

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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