There are a lot of home repairs you can handle yourself. However, in some cases, unless you have experience, trying to do your own repairs can be dangerous. Electrical service, in particular, can be hazardous, especially after a flood. If your home has experienced a flash flood or even a flooded basement, check out these three common mistakes you want to avoid when you DIY electrical repairs.
Failing to Shut off the Power Completely
If you are doing anything in your home that involves the power, you must shut off the power completely to that part of the home. Even if you don't plan on detaching or reattaching any wires, touching metal with a screw driver or similar metal tool could result in a shock if you fail to properly stop the flow of power. After a flood, you should turn off the power to the home before entering. Loose wires and standing water don't mix. If there is still large amounts of standing water, such a flooded basement, and the rest of the area was affected by the flood, turning off the power at the power breaker may not be enough. You'll need a professional electrician to unhook your home from the grid. If you are still connected to the grid, a power surge could result in a shock.
Not Using the Right Equipment
There are a lot of different tools and equipment to use in electrical work, such as various sizes of wires. If you don't use the right equipment every time for every project, it could result in a fire or hazardous shock. Even using the wrong-sized wire in a socket, ceiling fan, light fixture, etc. could cause a potential problem. If you do need to reconnect fixtures or install new ones, don't forget about installing a junction box. Junction boxes are used when two different wires are connected. For example, if you decide to install a new ceiling fan in a room with a regular light, you may need to use a junction box to protect the connection from the new ceiling fan to the wires that used to power the old light. This is to prevent the wires from failing and/or starting a fire.
Attempting to Repair Major Appliance Repairs
Many people can afford tossing faulty appliances and upgrading to new, better models. However, depending on the appliance, a good repair may keep it working great for a long time. Unfortunately, trying to repair major appliances yourself, such as a refrigerator, may be dangerous. Some appliances have capacitors, which store a small amount of electrical power. Therefore, even if the appliance is unplugged, you may still get an electrical shock from the stored power.
If your home has experienced a flood, you likely have some electrical damage, and it needs to be corrected as soon as possible to reduce the risk of danger. Doing it yourself can save you money, but if you are inexperienced and/or nervous about making the repairs yourself, it's always safe to hire a professional. For more information about electrical repairs and hazards, contact an electrician in your area today.