Yes, you can secure your home and perhaps avert a fire or a hazardous electrical shock if you could detect incorrect or faulty electrical wiring before problems surface. Using a flashlight, you’ll be able to look into an outlet or switch box and can spot wiring problems, if any. If you can find wiring issues, it’s always prudent to hire a professional electrician who is fully trained, licensed, insured and experienced who can conduct a thorough check-up of your home’s entire electrical system and fix all electrical wiring issues.
Switch off the electrical power
Before you do any electrical checks, always switch off the electrical power for the complete circuit by turning off the right breaker in your home’s service panel/ breaker box. Once you’ve turned off the breaker, using a non-contact voltage tester, test any circuit wires or devices that you’ll be inspecting. This small and low-priced tool, similar to the size of a permanent marker, helps you to test electrical power without having to touch any wires. .
In today’s homes, nearly every part of the electrical system is properly grounded – means, it has a steady connection to the earth on the outer surface of the home. If something goes haywire like a fault or short-circuit, electricity runs safely to the earth through the grounding system. Older homes dating back to the 1950s may just have some or no real ground connections. Though most of these homes function properly without grounded circuits, it can be hazardous at times. Nonetheless, if you’re adding new circuits or upgrading any part of an electrical system, then it’s imperative to make provision for the ground. It’s not only required by the law but also it makes your electrical system secure. Suppose you have outlets on ungrounded circuits, then you can secure it with GFCIs (Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters). These outlets are designed to shut off the power if they sense a hazardous ground fault, shielding you against shock. They don’t offer a ground, but they certainly can make the outlet a lot safer for use. An easy way to test outlets for grounding is by plugging in a receptacle tester. If the tester points an “open ground”, then the outlet may not have any means of grounding or there may be a ground wire but it may be incorrectly attached.
Check for Multiple Wires under Terminals
It’s not at all a good idea to install more than one wire under any standard screw terminal. It’s almost impossible to accurately fasten two wires under a single terminal. This generally may end up in a loose connection. Moreover, loose wires are not at all a good thing.
If you locate more than one wire attached to a switch or outlet, rectify the problem by joining the wires with a wire connector; also include a pigtail, a short length of the same wire type. Now, attach the pigtail (and just the pigtail) to the particular screw terminal.
Check for the Right Amount of Wire Insulation
Finally, check for the right amount of wire insulation, way too much or too little insulation isn’t good. All wire connection points must have the right insulation length, which is very important.
The bottom line is if you face electrical problems or doubt the integrity of your home’s electrical wiring, without any further delay get in touch with a certified electrician near you and get your home’s electrical wiring inspected for issues and fixed.