Do-it-Yourself Electrical Precautions: Electrical Safety Do’s and Don’ts

Electrical DontsWhen it’s time to take on a DIY electrical project there are some really important tips you should know. Tips that can help you avoid pitfalls before you start, boost your confidence, and save you time and money.

First and most importantly, never take on a do-it-yourself electrical project unless you have a full understanding of what you are about to do. Otherwise please call a licensed electrician.

Remember, the amount of power coming into an average home is easily enough to injure or even kill you.

The Complete Guide to Wiring
The Complete Guide to Wiring

If you have any doubts about your ability to handle an electrical project, stop,
email your questions to me and/or call a licensed electrician.

Having said that, once prepared, you can safely and easily take on an electrical project successfully and save money too. Being patience and methodical will keep you safe and produce great results.

So here we go.

DIYism: Remember, it always takes more time to complete a project if you rush.

DIY Electrical: What NOT to do.

  • Don’t strip electrical wiring with your teeth (you may break a tooth). Use wire strippers.
  • Don’t use anything other than wire strippers, as you may nick or damage the wire. This can cause increased resistance, breakage or arcing. All bad.
  • Don’t trust the labels in your breaker panel unless you were the one that marked each breaker. If you haven’t labeled your breaker box then, for your safety as well as your family and friends, do so now (instruction and circuit breaker labeling kits are available at your local home center or through [amazon ISBN=B0012MIHEG][/amazon].

DIY Electrical: What you should do.

  • Do test the circuit, after you turn the power off, just to be sure.
  • Do use a Multimeter to test circuits — it is safe and accurate. You can learn about multimeters here
  • Do have a flashlight or battery powered lantern handy.
  • Do test all switches before beginning work, as there is a chance that a multi-switch box may be controlled by more than one breaker.
  • Do tape and label wires, after removing any switches or outlets, as a reminder of where they go. This makes it much easier when reinstalling the switches and outlets. It only takes a minute and is always worth the time (especially with three-way switches).

If you have to run a new circuit from your breaker panel, call a licensed electrician.

Even though I know how to run a new circuit from a breaker panel, I always call my electrician because his experience allows him to see things that I may overlook, thus avoiding any problems and additional cost.

You may also know how to do a particular electrical job but, believe me, it’s money well spent for the piece of mind that a professional brings to the job. Their knowledge and experience will get the job done quickly and correctly the first time.

As I said in the beginning — and this holds true for all DIY projects — do the research so you; understand of the steps involved to complete your DIY project, know the necessary materials and supplies required, have the correct tools, and be aware of any possible pitfalls for your project.

Check out “The Complete Guide to Wiring”
This fantastic DIY reference and learning guide and has over 700 easy to understand photographs and diagrams, making it an invaluable tool for tackling most DIY electrical projects.Learn More