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Electrical Repairs – Installing a New Electrical Outlet

June 21, 2011 at 11:32 am | Category: Electrical Tips

The electrical wiring of your home is can be extremely dangerous if not done properly or by a person who is not a licensed electrician. Electricians are qualified to make proper repairs to wiring and are able to safely install new light fixtures or electrical outlets. Not hiring an experienced electrician could result in damage to your wiring or a devastating fire, and this goes for even the seemingly simple procedures such as installing a new electrical outlet. When installing a new outlet, you must take all the necessary steps to ensure your safety.

The most obvious and important is to shut off the power at the breaker because an electric shock can kill you. Never perform any maintenance on a hot wire. There are also voltage testers available that you can place on a wire and it will let you know if electricity is running through it. These are available at any hardware store, and are recommended if you are doing any electrical work. You also will want to take into account the tools you are using and if you have a nearby gas line, as to not produce a spark that can ignite the gas. If you are replacing an older outlet, you may notice that it only has two wires, and does not have a grounded wire. To replace old outlets, you’ll need to make sure it is grounded. You can use the metal outlet box as a place to attach the ground wire if it is connected to a grounded conduit.

Make sure it is not just attached to the wood, because this will mean the conduit is not grounded and can be extremely unsafe. Be sure to check with your local electrical codes. There are certain specifications for electrical outlets, especially in kitchens where microwaves and other major appliances are plugged. Outlets will need to meet or exceed your local electrical codes to ensure the safety of your home and family. Although it may seem easy to attach a few wires and flip a switch, it is imperative that the procedure is done properly to avoid danger.

Something as simple as installing an outlet box to the wall stud can be done improperly, causing the outlet to be uneven or at the incorrect depth. Make sure the box is level and fits nicely against the stud. You can use either nails or screws, but make sure the box is not tilted to give off a professional appearance. If you have colored wires, remember that red wires connect to red wires, white connect to white, and black to black. The green wire is the ground wire – make sure it attached to a grounded piece of metal. If you only have one color of wire, you’ll need to check and make sure you connect the proper wires together.

Once the outlet is screwed into the box and the cover is over the outlet, you can turn the power on to check it. If it doesn’t trip the breaker, you can connect an electrical appliance or device to it and see how it works. If you have no experience with electrical wiring, you should hire an electrician. They can do the job quickly, safely and properly – giving you peace of mind that your house will not be damaged by electrical fire.

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