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Dangers of DIY Electrical Wiring

Posted on: January 29, 2015

It’s a small project. You’re only changing a few things. You’ve wired an outlet before, how much different can a USB port be? You’ve read up on it online, and watched a dozen YouTube videos—you’re a pro!

No matter what you’ve told yourself, there are certain things in your home you should never do yourself, and electrical wiring is one of them. Sure, some folks are extremely handy around the house. You may have even wired something successfully before. But your life—and the lives of your family—are put in danger every time you flip on that switch.

The Electrical Safety Foundation reported that electricity is the cause of more than 140,000 fires each year, resulting in 400 deaths, 4,000 injuries, and $1.6 billion in property damage. The latest report available totals the number of electrocution deaths caused by wiring hazards at 80.
If you’re planning a home remodel or any type of DIY electrical rewiring project, contact Goudie Electric to get it done safely!

DIY Electrical Wiring Hazards in the Southern Maryland Area

Old Wiring: As we use more and more electricity in our daily lives, the risk for injury from electricity rises. Many of these risks come from older wiring that has never been replaced. This is especially true in the southern Maryland area—and the mid-Atlantic region as a whole—where older homes are prevalent. If your electrical system is more than 20 years old, then it’s time to get your whole house rewired.

If you want to install any of the handy, modern electrical amenities your neighbors have—things like USB ports, iPod adapters, and digital stereo systems—an older electrical system isn’t going to work. Sure, it may pump out a reasonable amount of electricity for a little while, but circuits installed 20 years ago weren’t prepared to power all the modern gadgets of right now. You may blow a fuse, or blow a circuit, or damage your already-old wiring even further.
Frayed Wiring: A classic example of injury caused by DIY electrical wiring is when the DIYer runs into frayed wiring they didn’t know was there. Whenever there is frayed wiring, an arc—when sparks jump through the air from one wire to another—can occur, which is an extremely dangerous fire hazard. If you find any frayed wiring, call a Goudie electrician right away.

Overlamping:  Overlamping means a light fixture has a bulb with a higher wattage than the wiring in the fixture and beyond can handle. This happens a lot for when people DIY-install new light fixtures. The bulb’s heat can melt the sockets or insulation on the wiring itself. This is why you shouldn’t try to install new lighting fixtures by yourself. If the wiring isn’t up to par, you may do more damage that could lead to costly repair work.

Always Call a Professional

You should always call a professional if you’re planning electrical wiring work in your home. Only a licensed technician can really assess the wiring in your home and make the best decisions about moving forward with your project.  In some cases, you’ll even have to get a permit to get the work done, and everything needs to be up to certain building code standards. Hiring an electrical professional is the only way to go, and if you live in the southern Maryland area, Goudie Electrical is your best choice.

If you are planning any electrical work in your home, contact the electrical experts at Goudie Electric!