Common Electrical Mistakes You Should Avoid!
When you want to learn a new skill, DIY is a great way to get started. However, when it comes to maintaining the integrity of your house or dealing with essential systems, such as electrical, it is advisable to call a licensed and certified contractor.
With a licensed electrician, any electrical problems can be handled with ease, and they will ensure you do not make any critical or dangerous mistakes.
So to help you avoid some common electrical errors that could prove to be costly and hazardous, Yeti Electrical Solutions has put together a list of the most common electrical mistakes you should avoid!
1. Not hiring a licensed electrical contractor
Licensed Electrical Contractors are the only businesses, with some exemptions such as HVAC installers, in Ontario who are legally authorized to perform electrical work. A Licensed Electrical Contractor must provide you with an ECRA/ESA license number that proves they can operate their electrical contracting business in Ontario. This license number should appear on their vehicles, business cards, and estimates; you should always ask to see it.
Know that your handyman or general contractor cannot do electrical work in your home. If you’re using a general contractor, interior designer, or another trade professional who subcontracts the electrical work, you need to confirm they’ve hired a Licensed Electrical Contractor for the electrical work.
2. Overloading circuits
Professionals know how to test electric circuits for load capacity to avoid overload. Amateurs, on the other hand, will often merrily keep adding plugs onto a certain circuit, which is not safe and may exceed the rating of standard 14-2 wire and 15 Amp breaker.
3. Improper junction box
When adding a new light fixture or electrical outlet, a steel or plastic junction box should be used. In fact, anywhere an electrical connection is made, it must be within a proper junction box.
This safety rule is designed both to protect your electrical connections and to prevent the spread of sparks and heat if you have a short circuit or loose connection. Junction boxes can not be buried or hidden in walls, floors, or ceilings; they must be flush with your drywall and accessible in case electrical repairs are needed.
4. No GFCI installed
The Ontario Electrical Code requires GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets for shock protection in all locations near water and/or the earth, such as kitchens, bathrooms, outdoors, etc.
Installation of a GFCI outlet is tricky, involving two sets of terminals; if a non-skilled individual does it, the terminals can easily be connected backward. The result? No more shock protection.
5. Reversed polarity
Possibly the most dangerous of all common home electrical mistakes is reversing the “hot” and the neutral electrical wire. Reversed polarity can damage your electronics and carries the risk of severe (perhaps fatal) electric shock. An electrician understands how to properly wire switches, outlets, and fixtures to ensure this doesn’t happen.
6. Use the wrong wires
Using the wrong wire for the situation, for instance, choosing too small a gauge for the circuit’s amperage, pulling the wrong type of wire through a conduit, or using indoor wire for an outdoor application. Here you’ll have potential overheating and damage to the wires or short circuits.
To avoid these and other mistakes, reach out to the experts at Yeti Electrical Solutions. We are a small electrical contractor based out of the Brantford area. We serve all residential/commercial and industrial customers. From small projects and panel changes to large-scale construction, we do it all! Our electrical solutions are extended to clients across the GTA, Hamilton, Brantford, and surrounding areas.
Get in touch today!