Advice on Avoiding Mistakes When Installing Electrical Wiring
Electrical mistakes are the most dangerous kind when you renovate a basement. Although it seems simple enough, it is very easy to wire even an outlet incorrectly. The primary concern is that your electrical system will operate safely.
Fires caused by overloaded circuits or misuse of materials are a definite concern. While it is possible to wire a renovation project yourself, it is advisable to seek the advice of a professional. Electrical work should be properly completed, inspected, and approved. The cost savings to do-it-yourself may be far outweighed by insurance problems down the road; furthermore, should you decide to sell a house that has not been properly inspected, the sale could be blocked.
Wire Size Is a Common Mistake
A common error is using the wrong size wire for the job. Wires are rated according to the allowable amperage load. If you were to run a line using wire rated between 15-amps and 20-amp to a circuit breaker, it could overheat and cause a fire. It is essential to be certain that you are using the correct wire for the job.
Make Connections Properly
Use wire nuts to secure any wire connection that is not terminated to either a circuit breaker or an outlet. While it may be tempting to simply twist the wires in tape, it is not the proper way to make the connection. The tape will become brittle over time and break; moreover, the adhesion of the tape will reduce over time.
When making an end-point connection in either a circuit breaker or an outlet, always leave enough wire during the rough-in phase to allow for cutting, stripping, and making the connection. Too often, a wire must be stretched to make a connection.
Always strip the insulation from the wire and bend the stripped portion into a semi-circle. Place the bent over the connector so that the end of the wire is on the right hand side of the screw. That way, when you tighten the screw, the wire will follow the threads and provide a perfectly tight connection.
Set Your Boxes Correctly
The correct way to set an outlet or light box during the basement renovations in is to make the face of the box flush with the finished wall. You must determine the thickness of the wall to set the boxes correctly. When wiring the boxes, remember to wire correctly. For outlets, the hot (power) side of the outlet is the small slot. It uses the brass screw for its connection. The large slot is neutral and uses a silver screw. Connect the ground wire, which is always at the top or the bottom of the box.
Never Overload an Outlet
Check the amperage rating of the circuit breaker to assure that it will not happen. Ceiling fixtures always have a maximum wattage. It is usually indicated with a sticker. Do not exceed light bulb wattage. The information is not a recommendation; it is a maximum limit for safe operation of the fixture.??Unless you are a certified professional, be very cautious when taking on any wiring job. The potential damage from improper wiring is certainly not worth the money saved up during the basement renovations.