5 Tips for Safe Wiring

Before taking on a wiring project yourself, be sure you understand basic electrical circuitry and safe practices when handling electrical wiring.

Wiring for Appliances

Some countertop appliances like coffeemakers simply plug into regular convenience outlets, but others, like electric ranges or dryers, require higher voltages and specific amperages to operate properly and safely. 240-volt outlets come in different styles and shapes, each one specific to an amperage/voltage combination. Be sure you’re using the one that’s right for your appliance and never use or change an outlet or plug without knowing that the circuit will support it.
You can see examples of the different types of outlets and plugs common in the United States. here.

Making the Proper Connections

Properly connecting an outlet or switch requires knowing which wire performs which function and making sure the wire gauge is right for the current load it will carry. Each wire is color coded for a specific function. Connecting them incorrectly can cause problems from annoying to tragic. Be sure you understand both what they are and what they do and never interchange them.

Make Sure to Use the Proper Type and Gauge of Wire

Electrical wire comes in various diameters, known as gauges. Each gauge is designed to carry a specific load most efficiently. Wires may be single insulated strands or bunched together for convenience and safety such as in appliance cords or fabric-covered or metal-sheathed cables. Different types are made for different uses and are specified by electrical and building codes. Be sure to use the size and type appropriate to the job.

Attaching Wires Properly

Wires must be attached correctly in order to be safe and secure. Loose wires can arc and overheat, causing a fire hazard, and they can stop the flow of current either intermittently or permanently. Learn the right way to strip, bend and tighten connections, both at terminals and in wire nuts, to avoid trouble. Note: while many fixtures have push-in connectors for wiring, they also have screw terminals. Electrical pros always use the screws because they are much more secure than the push-ins. You should, too.

When in Doubt, Call a Pro

Electricity makes life easier, but it can be dangerous. Improper wiring can result in poor service, fire danger, and electrocution. Never undertake an electrical project if you are unsure how to do it correctly and safely. Licensed electrical professionals have the tools, knowledge and experience to do the job right. Trying to save money by doing an electrical job without the proper skills can cost you both money and safety in the long run.

Always follow good practices when working with electricity. The pros at Allstar Electrical Services are ready to help you with any electrical needs or concerns, large or small. We’ve been serving the Front Range for nearly 15 years and are top-rated by the BBB and Angie’s List.

Visit our website, allstarelectrical.com, and see the many ways we can serve your electrical needs.

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