Home wiring is not something to fool
around with. It is literally a life and death matter. Poor wiring can lead to
personal injury and electrically caused fires, both of which you want to avoid
at all costs. In order to ensure your home wiring is done correctly, there are
a few basics that you need to be aware of.
No Power = No
The key to safe basic house wiring is always keeping in
mind that electricity packs a big, and deadly, punch. Even the most trained
professional takes their life in their hands if they don't follow basic safety
procedure. The best preventative measure you can take, whether you're
installing basic electrical wiring, or just examining the wiring you do have,
is to always make sure the power is turned off from the get go. Whether you're
re-wiring your entire home or just replacing a faulty outlet, be sure to take a
trip to the control panel and cut the power to the area you're working on.
Know Your Electrical
With electrical work there is never an excuse not to follow
rules and regulations. As mentioned before, electricity can be a dangerous
animal if it isn't treated properly. Your locality's codes and regulations
regarding residential wiring have been put in place for a reason: to protect
you, the homeowner. Anytime you are working with basic house wiring, study up
on standard procedures so you don't put your family or yourself in jeopardy.
And if you're undertaking a major home wiring project, get familiar with your
local inspector. Don't view them as a hurdle to overcome, but as a valuable
resource you can draw on to get the job done right.
Components of Basic
Besides safety considerations and regulations,
the other thing you want to familiarize yourself with is the make up of your
home wiring. It boils down to three basic components:
Service Entry. This
refers to the point in your home where your electrical service goes from the
main grid into your home. Your service entry is critical and there are a few
things to keep tabs on. First of all, make sure any entry lines are at least 10
feet above the ground, inaccessible from windows, and free of obstructions such
as tree limbs. Besides that, make sure your service entry is properly installed
so no water can penetrate the access point.
Panel Board. Your
panel board is your control center when it comes to electrical wiring. Whether
you're installing a dishwasher or running wiring to a new addition, this is the
place you visit to ensure electricity is cut off when you start your work, and
where you install new breakers if you're undergoing a major remodel.
This refers to the isolated areas of areas of your home where your panel board
directs electrical currents. It's the reason you can cut power to your kitchen
while leaving the rest of the house operational. Understanding where and how
each branch circuit operates is critical to performing any basic house wiring
Call in an
With most home improvement jobs you can do it yourself
with a little elbow grease and patience. Electrical work is one of the
exceptions. Unless you're experienced in home wiring, you don't want to do this
job yourself. The safety risks are just too great. Add to that the need to meet
local rules and regulations, and it's a good idea to hire someone who is
experienced in basic house wiring to tackle this job for you. It will mean
you'll have to jump through fewer hoops before your work is approved, and you
can rest easy knowing all your basic electrical wiring has been done with your
safety in mind.