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There can be few things in life more emasculating than having to call in a tradesperson to do the jobs of which you are incapable. How many times have you tried to ‘do it yourself’ only to make the situation worse? Electrics, however, are relatively simple as long as you know what you’re doing and take every safety precaution (we can’t stress that enough).
We’re not saying these tips will transform you overnight into a master of the electronic arts, but they will certainly come in handy. So maybe next time there’s an electrical problem at home, you’ll be better placed to deal with it before calling in the professionals!
Overlamping – One of the most common mistakes made by wannabe electricians is installing a light bulk with a high wattage into a fixture with a low wattage, which often results in dangerous situations. The heat of the bulb could potentially melt the insulation on the wires, leading to irreparable damage and even electrical fires.
The difference between energy and power – Electrical energy and electrical power might be related, but are completely different quantities. Put simply – energy refers to the work that’s being done and power refers to the thing that’s doing the work. Electrical energy measures how much energy something can store in hours, whereas power refers to how many watts can be delivered at any one moment. The difference between energy and power is an important distinction that often gets overlooked, even by qualified electricians!
The wrong components – From electrical sleeves to adapters, wall sockets and fuses – you might often not have the right RS components for a job and will assume that the only way to fix it is to call in an electrician. However, a quick pop online and a few YouTube tutorials later and you might realise the problem you thought would cost you hundreds in labour and repair costs is actually going to cost you barely anything.
Outlet juggling – If the back of your television looks like a jungle of wires, cables and boxes, then you’re probably relying on too few power outlets, which can lead to overheating and even electrical fires. It will also mean less reliable power, particularly if you are neglecting to use proper heavy duty extension cords. So many people rely on a few outlets for everything for convenience, when the solution could simply be to use a decent extension to reroute some plugs elsewhere in the room. You certainly don’t need to be an expert electrician to do that!
The wrong wiring – In the 60s and 70s it was common to use aluminium as a cheaper alternative to copper, but this is actually incredible unsafe and can lead to electrical fires. The fix, however, is simple. Fit a dielectric wire but onto each connection. These nuts are equipped with a grease that prevents the corrosion that could otherwise happen when copper meets aluminium.
Of course, these are just a few common home electrical problems with simple fixes, but not all problems will have simple solutions so don’t be afraid to call in a professional if you are unsure. It will be significantly safer (and less costly) in the long run!