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Important Things to Consider Before You Start an Electrical Project

An electrical project can come in all different sizes. There are small wiring jobs and switches to replace and then there are services to upgrade and extensive rewiring to tackle. As technology takes over a larger part of our homes and lives, electricity and electrical work becomes even more important.

Planning and safety are two of the most essential elements of working with electrical systems, but there are plenty other things to consider before you start an electrical project.

Consider Your Current Services

Have a good idea of the available services currently in your home. Find out whether you need to work with a fuse box or a breaker panel. Get an idea of how each room and all of the major appliances are wired. With a multi-meter and a series of simple tests you can get a fairly accurate layout of the wiring and electrical systems of your house.

Label For Easy Organization

This simple step will create an organized, easy to follow map of your home s electrical system. Using a small label maker you can mark each of the breakers, label accessible wiring and indicate the use of each major switch inside and outside your home. Better than relying on a diagram and much more reliable than your memory, labels will save you tons of time during and electrical project.

Research the Local Electrical Codes

Make sure you have a basic knowledge of the local electrical codes, including loads, wiring and limitations you must follow during renovations and additions. A good homeowner code book will also include some step by step basics for wiring and switch or bulb replacements.

Always Follow the Instructions

Never underestimate the information you can gather from a good set of instructions. Keep this important paperwork and follow it thoroughly while you are installing new fixtures, switches, outlets and built in appliances. If the product did not come with instructions, check out the manufacturer s website for more information.

Keep the Power Off

Be sure to always turn the main power off before you start working on the house wiring or electrical systems. Never skip this step. Battery powered or crank flashlights are handy to have close by when working and portable flood lights can provide more than enough illumination to do the job.

Replace the Old and Worn

Always err on the side of caution and replace old and worn wiring, conduit and other electrical components. It may seem environmentally friendly to reuse, but when it comes to this material you need to make sure it can handle the load safely.

Always Apply for a Permit Where Necessary

Following the electrical codes is important, but having a valid permit and obtaining the approval of a certified inspector is just as essential. Your insurance company may demand this and not having one can become an issue when you sell your home. Take care of it right from the beginning and apply for an electrical permit if the situation dictates.

Most important when dealing with an electrical project is safety. Whether a professional electrician or a skilled homeowner is handling the work, safety is the number one priority. With good planning, research and the proper safety procedures your electrical project is bound to be a success.

Posted by: diana
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