Taking care of your home’s electrical needs is best left up to your local electricians. However, sometimes, people are tempted to engage in a bit of DIY electrical work. This inexperienced electrical work can leave your home vulnerable to potential issues, which may cause power surges and electrical fires.
Below are some of the seven most common electrical code violations that we find when performing electrical inspections on homes from Salt Lake City all the way down to Southern Utah.
1. DIY SPLICED WIRES
Splicing electrical wires is allowed, but only if the spliced wires are inside of a junction box. The junction box also needs to have an access cover in case electrical work needs to be done. If these steps are not taken, the wiring is not up to code and has the potential to start an electrical fire.
Unfortunately, if these things were done by a previous owner, it may be impossible for you to find all the issues on your own. That’s part of why it is essential that you have an electrical inspection done prior to buying a new home, if possible, or at least as soon as you finish the purchase process.
2. INCORRECT CIRCUIT BREAKER OR FUSE
Another dangerously common electrical issue is when the wrong circuit breaker or fuse is placed in the electrical panel. With a professional performing an electrical replacement on your electrical panel, you can be sure that the right size and voltage of the circuit breaker or fuse is being used. Because, if the wrong type is installed, it can cause electrical flow issues within your electrical system.
With too little power, you may find that your circuit breakers pop more often. On the flip side, if too much electricity is allowed to flow due to a too large fuse or circuit breaker, then the electrical flow can surge and cause an electrical fire, as it was not properly restricted. By having a licensed electrician take care of your circuit breaker or fuse replacements, you can be sure that the correct replacement is installed.
3. CONTACT BETWEEN RECESSED LIGHTS AND INSULATION
As the housing of a recessed light sits further into your ceiling that other types of lighting housing, it is easier for recessed lights to make contact with the insulation in the ceiling. This contact is highly undesirable, as the heat from the light fixture can melt the fiberglass insulation, or set other types of insulation on fire.
The problem is, when a general handyman or homeowner takes it into their hands to install recessed lighting, they are not aware of the proper distance needed between recessed lighting and insulation. Rather than run the risk, our electricians can come and take care of your recessed lighting installation needs.
4. NEW LIGHTS WITH OLD WIRES
There is a lot of charm to an older home. However, before you install a chic new chandelier to help highlight that classic look, you may want to consider the wiring in your home.
Electrical wiring found in older homes that are older than 1987 may not be able to hold up under the heat that new lights can draw. These older wires were designed to hold up under 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while modern lights can heat wiring up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have older wiring, not all of it needs to be replaced to have a new light installed. Our electricians can replace that particular set of wiring to allow for a more modern light fixture.
5. INCORRECT OUTDOOR OUTLET
Your outdoor outlets are also a significant source of common electrical DIY mistakes. For one thing, installing an outlet can be dangerous for an inexperienced homeowner. Improper connections can lead to electrical overloads and an electrical fire. And, when it comes to your outdoor outlet, it is essential that the correct kind of outlet is installed.
First, there should be no older-style two-prong outlet outside. These outlets are no longer up-to-code and should be replaced. Along with having a proper three-prong outlet, you will need to ensure that the outlet has a waterproof cover.
These covers protrude out a bit, allowing you to have something plugged in while the cover is still over the outlet. Also, you may want an outdoor outlet cover with a lock, if electricity siphoning is an issue in your area.
6. OVERCROWDING ELECTRICAL WIRES
It can be tempting to jam multiple wires through the same opening, as you don’t want to multiple holes into your walls. However, by overcrowding your wires, the insulation in the wall can become damaged.
Also, wires can generate a good deal of heat. If they are bundled too closely, the insulating casing can melt and expose the electricity conducting wires that were formerly encased. This exposure can lead to an electrical fire.
You can protect your home from this danger—and save yourself the hassle—by having our electricians take care of running the wires in your home.
7. LACK OF GROUNDING ELECTRODE
Grounds are important to any electrical system, as they allow for excess electricity to be dumped safely into the earth. In older homes, metal plumbing acted as grounding electrodes to dispose of excess electricity in the home’s electrical system.
However, since many modern homes use plastic piping now, it is essential that you are sure that your home has a grounding electrode. An electrical inspection can uncover whether or not your home has a grounding electrode connected to your electrical system.
If you are concerned that your home may be concealing some shoddy or DIY electrical work, you can contact us to arrange for an electrical inspection. And, if you already know where the problems lie, we can get some of our electricians to your home to repair the problems. No matter what you need, you can count on our high-quality electrical services!