7 Common Electrical Repair Errors and How to Avoid Them

Did you know that electrical fires in homes account for more than 50,000 fires each year in the United States of America? The electrical systems in your home are complex, and the power that surges through those cables and wires allows you to live a modern and convenient life.

There are some common electrical repair errors that you need to know about before you tackle repairing electrical systems at your home. While connecting electrical wires is important, it’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to electrical systems maintenance.

The good news is that you’ve found the right guide to learning more about the errors associated with electrical issues you might face. Keep reading for more!

1. Loose Electrical Outlets

Electrical outlets face a lot more wear and tear than many people realize. Each time that you plug in an electrical device or remove it from the outlet you’re putting it through an ordeal. It doesn’t take much for the fasteners to start to come loose or get worn down.

This also makes it easier for the plug to slip out when you’re using your electronic devices. Not only is this an annoying thing to deal with, but it also makes for an unsafe area. You could experience electricity arcing if you don’t fix this issue sooner than later.

You can solve this issue by replacing the electrical outlet. It will set you back a few dollars when it comes to electrical repair costs for your home.

2. Ungrounded Outlets

Another common error when it comes to electrical repairs is the ungrounded wall outlet. This is most common in older homes that have dated electrical systems. 

The problem with an ungrounded outlet is that it results in electricity that has nowhere to go. A sign that your home has an ungrounded outlet is if it doesn’t allow for three prongs. The best way to remedy this issue is to purchase new outlets that are grounded for safe use in your home or building.

3. Cutting Wires Too Short

Many people who take on electrical system maintenance projects also make the mistake of cutting wires too short after connecting electrical wires. The shorter the wires are, the more difficulties you’ll face in getting them connected in the future.

It’s difficult to make a strong wire connection if your wires are too short. While it will result in less efficient use of electricity, it’s also a big mistake when it comes to the safety of your household. You need to make sure that your wires protrude at least three inches from the electrical box for the best results.

If you’re not comfortable connecting electrical wires, then it’s a good idea to hire a commercial electrician to help you out. The electrical repair costs are a small price to pay for efficiency and safety.

4. Putting Electrical Boxes Behind Wall Materials

It’s important that you remember to keep all electrical boxes flush against the wall surface if you’re using wall materials that are combustible. Avoid using an electrical box in a recessed fashion if you’re mounting it against wood, as this could lead to an electrical fire in your home.

The wood will get exposed to heat from the electrical boxes as well as potential sparks. You can avoid putting your family in harm’s way by investing in a box extension. A plastic or metal box extension will allow you to avoid the common electrical repair errors.

5. Installing Cables Without Clamps

Having the right electrical repair equipment is almost as important as having the right knowledge to handle electrical system maintenance. A big mistake that many people who are new to handling electrical issues make is the failure to use clamps when installing electrical cables.

Failure to secure the cable will put a severe strain on the electrical connections. Make sure you’re investing in clamps for your cables if you’re using metal or plastic electrical boxes. Many boxes come with clamps, but if yours doesn’t then you’ll need to go to your local hardware store and invest in some.

6. Overfilling Electrical Boxes

You should also avoid making the common mistake of overfilling the electrical boxes in your home. The best way to avoid making this mistake is to invest in an electrical box that is large enough to house all of your connected wires.

Using a box that is overpacked with wires will lead to overheating within the electrical box when you’re using electricity in your home. You can also short-circuit your home’s electrical system and cause a preventable house fire.

The best solution, if you have a full electrical box, is to invest in a larger box. Make sure that you have room for all of the ground wires, cable clamps, and outlets for your electrical devices.

7. Making Connections Outside of the Electrical Box

One of the worst common electrical repair errors that you can make when repairing electrical systems is to connect wires outside of the electrical box. Always use a junction box as this will contain the heat from the electrical wiring and it will contain any arcing or sparks from your electrical system.

The solution to this error is simple and affordable. You’ll need to purchase and install a box where you can start connecting electrical wires in your home. Connecting the wires inside the box will keep your family and your home safe from the risk of an electrical fire.

Avoid These Common Electrical Repair Errors Today

Handling DIY electrical system maintenance is no walk in the park, but it’s important that you know the common electrical repair errors to avoid when you set out to tackle your home’s electrical issues. Always use a clamp with cables to provide the support that they need. You should also avoid cutting wires too short as it makes connecting electrical wires difficult and dangerous.

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