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Things to Consider Before Fixing Electrical Problems

Ever had shelves falling off after you jammed the last nail in? Well, you're not the only one! Most do it yourself projects are based on a lot of trial and error. While your average DIY project might fall under the purview of regular trial and error, it's not the same for an electrical project. Before you embark on a full-fledged electrical project, it's necessary for some basic repairs on electronic items. If you're wondering how to proceed with an electrical repair, fret not. Here are some simple guidelines to help you get started:

The area you live in will determine if you require a permit to perform electrical repairs on your own home. If needed you can obtain an electrical permit from the electrical authority located in your neighborhood. As per directions from the ODBCS or the Oregon Department of Business and Consumer Services you really don't require a permit for replacement of electrical devices, or maintenance issues or even installation of electrical items. But if you need to do any of the following, you need an electrical permit:

- If you need to change or install an electrical device or wiring of a permanent nature.

- If you need to perform additional wiring, plug in additional electrical outlets or light fixtures in your home, or for conversion from fuse boxes to circuit breakers, or for installation of a garage door opening receptacle.- If you need to either change or install a low voltage system like computer systems, or stereo or security alarm

Since legal regulations will vary depending on the State you reside in, it is essential to check up with the local office in your neighborhood if you are required to possess a permit.

Using a circuit breaker you can easily switch off power at the electrical source itself. In spite of flipping a switch on the wall, the associated socket or appliance is going to be live still. You may have an electrical panel for distribution which details the various circuits hooked to breakers via a diagram. However, these are not too trustworthy.

You can easily test if the circuit is live or dead with the help of a voltage tester. You might need a helper for this stage of the process. This will prevent you from unnecessarily moving to and fro from the fuxe box or circuit breaker and back. Until all repair work is completely finished, never turn the power back on.

Should I use rubber or metal?

In most cases metal is a good conductor of electricity and hence is a bad choice. On the other hand rubber being a poor conductor is a good option. If you happen to touch a live wire and a metal piece in sync it can result in the current being transmitted to your own body. In other words, you get an electrical shock!

Rubber can provide you with good insulation from electricity and hence it is always adviseable to employ tools which have rubber in them. The handles should be either plastic or rubber coated. You also need to take care to always wear rubber soled shoes. If you happen to have gloves or safety glasses, please wear them for added protection.

There are plenty of workshops and clinics being offered by many DIY stores these days. These can help you easily jumpstart your skills at electrical repairs. You can leverage the Q&A sessions provided by these workshops. Many even call in experts to answer all your queries. This way you can prepare yourself much better for the next electrical repair assignment in the house. As they say, when in doubt leave it in the hands of the pros.

By Leroy C. Calstard
 

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