DIY accomplishments as you perform electrical work at home can save you money. However, if you do not do them correctly, it becomes a dangerous task. As you violate electrical codes, it becomes hazardous not only for your home but your family. And it causes problems in the future. Therefore, always follow the electrical code no matter how small or large scale the project is. Also, check if there are new additions to the electrical codes in your area. Consult with your electrical contractor for they are familiar with them. As they set safety standards for operating, installing, and maintain electrical power systems. Below are some common code violations and how to avoid them.
Wrong circuit breaker
Circuit breakers are of three types. Each has a specific use, and if you choose the wrong one, it leads to electrical hazards and fires. Standard circuit breakers are best for large appliances and protect equipment and wiring. But, they do not offer protection to people or against fires. GFCI is best to use near water sources and for small appliances, such as bathrooms, kitchens, outdoors, and any humid place. According to the code, you need a GFCI in crawl places, garages, wet bars, and unfinished basements, among others. Plus, you need to ensure you install them properly and it is easily accessible. The third is the AFCIS, they are ideal for living environments, and you have to choose the right ones to prevent fires.
The electrical codes need people to avoid extension cords as they trip people and start fires. Thus, have enough receptacles to ensure a 6ft appliance cord reaches an outlet, and it should not go across a passageway. Also, install the tamper-resistant ones in all locations, both inside and outside. This makes it safe for young children by preventing them from inserting things into the outlet. To avoid making any code violations, ensure the electricity you install is effective and safe. Follow the code, and you can still hire an expert the next time you need an electrical fixture as they know and follow the code correctly.
Old wiring with new devices
If you are installing new fixtures, for instance, lighting, it will create problems using old wiring. The two of them will not blend well, for new lights run at approximately 194 degrees Fahrenheit, while the old wiring withstands just 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, to prevent a fire hazard, you will need new wires running to the fixture by installing a splice box. Plus, if the wiring was installed or manufactured over 20 years ago, you will have to replace them for they are not current neither fit.
In the past years, the best grounding electrode was underground metal water piping. Nowadays, the water ground piping is plastic. Thus, since it is plastic, use the rebar for new construction. More so, in new concrete as the primary grounding electrode. For this reason, you need to coordinate between those installing the electrical and the contractors pouring the concrete, especially in the early phases of your project. This is because you will not access the rebar after they pour the concrete.
Overcrowding a hole
Overcrowding is when you stick as you do your home wiring. Thus, it leads to insulation damage since it drags the wire across each other. In case of a burned wire, you will not notice it as they are behind the wall. As a result, this poses the risk of a potential fire. Therefore, to be on the safer side, avoid placing more than three wires through a 7 or 8-inch hole. Notably, ensure you always have some wiggle room.
To conclude, it is best to be familiar with electrical codes. The codes are many, with illustrations and graphs, information, and explanations. Since it can be hard to follow, always work with professionals to get quality electrical work done in your home or business. In doing this, you ensure you keep your loved ones and home safe, and you save money too. Other code violations to consider are poor splicing, crowding the panel, not using a neutral wire, among others.