Getting Started with Home Wiring
Home wiring is one of those jobs which most people will say is best left to the experts. It’s not that home wiring is particularly difficult, over complicated or time consuming. Rather, it’s the potential for danger which makes the majority of people cautious about doing their own wiring. Whereas with other jobs there is always a risk of injury, with wiring there is a heightened risk of something much worse happening if you get it wrong.
Nonetheless, many people happily carry out their own home wiring projects every year, with plenty of success and very few accidents. The key element seems to be respect. If you respect the capacity of electricity to do you real harm and go about your home wiring jobs accordingly, you are much more likely to stay safe.
The Tools You Will Need
As with any job, you will need a certain set of tools for carrying out your own home wiring. These include, but are not limited to:
- Wire Pliers: These handy pliers come in two varieties, flat-jawed and needle nose. Wire pliers come with a built in wire cutter.
- Screwdrivers: Your usual set should have a good range, but make sure it definitely includes at least a large head and small head in each of your slotted and flat head varieties.
- A Circuit Tester: This will help you to find out where you need to turn off your power source.
- A Power Quality Tester: This will help you to figure out what’s causing your tools or appliances to degrade or fail.
- Electrical Tape: Check for the UL rating before you buy
- Wire Nuts: Again, go for good quality nuts and always check the label for ratings/recommendations.
When working with electricity it’s advisable that you take as many precautions as possible to keep yourself safe. Working with good quality tools is one of them, and wearing protective gear is another. Understanding insulation will help you to make wise choices with regards to both tools and clothing. For example, only ever use wire pliers which have insulated handle grips, and make sure you are wearing shoes with insulating material – such as rubber – on the soles. This is because when electricity passes through you it will be looking for a way to ground. If it can’t ground, it will be much less dangerous.
Do Your Research & Go Slow
The best way to understand your home wiring is to pick up a manual, which can explain in detail the different types of wiring, circuitry and power in your home. It’s never advisable to jump in when working with electricity. Take your time, and remember that a professional is only a phone call away.