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DIY Electrical Work: Why You Should Never Do It At Home

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We often try to repair or improve electrical items in our homes, however this should be avoided since it may bring serious danger to yourself and others. A qualified electrician must be sought for every repair.

1. Electrical Shock

When working around electricity, one of the main concerns is the possibility of being shocked or electrocuted. Any electrical shock can lead to injuries and even death especially when it is from higher voltages. Residential homes use around 110 volts for most of their appliances. However, there are certain appliances that require up to 240 volts, which is a deadly amount of current.

2. Fire Hazards

Faulty wirings is a real concern for DIYers. Not only does it pose a risk of hurting one’s self through electrical shock, it can also cause a fire. Unlike electrical shocks that you feel immediately, electrical fire hazards can remain dormant for months. This leads to a false sense of security among DIYers. After several weeks, the wiring might short out if the copper deteriorates and splits, which can eventually cause a fire. This is another reason why you should always hire a trained electrician when you encounter any problem with your electrics.

3. Inspection Issues

The law dictates that all electrical components installed in your homes are inspected before being used. This is often overlooked in DIY projects. Aside from being a risk, non-inspection can also lead to fines. When you hire professionals to do their job, you are sure that all electrical repairs are inspected.

4. GFI Implementation

GFI or Ground Fault Interrupter is designed to prevent users from getting shocked especially if there is a faulty connection. This device is most commonly placed in areas that are always moist such as bathrooms and outdoor outlets. Although this is a vital part in electrical works, most DIYers are unfamiliar with it and end up neglecting this device. Only trained electricians are capable of identifying the areas in which GFI is required.

These are just some of the reasons why you should not put electrical works into your own hands. If you are planning to hire an electrician to do the job, EJS Electrical can help. EJS Electrical are a professional and highly regarded Swindon based Electrical Contractor, specialising in all aspects of electrical work. We offer a comprehensive range of services for both domestic and commercial clients that includes both Letting Agents and Swindon Borough Council. Please don’t hesitate to contact us as we are always happy to offer help and advice in relation to any work you are considering.

Electrical Components Arranged On House Plans

Get to know your home electrics

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Whether you need an electrician now or later, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the basic set-up of your electrics at home. So let’s try and do that here.

From the street, a thick electricity cable enters your property through a fusebox, then through your electricity meter (where you can read the figure your provider will need to calculate your bill).

From the meter, a cable will feed into what is known as the ‘consumer unit’, a wall-mounted box (in a plastic casing) hosting on-off switches for all the electrical circuits you have in your property. The switches are called ‘fuses’ or ‘circuit breakers’.

The consumer unit comprises a switch on the far right of the console which turns on and off the entire electricity supply to the home issuing from the mains. This switch is called the Residual Current Device (RCD) protector. If there’s a fault in your electrical system, the switch will trip to the off position causing all the electricity in your home to be switched off.

The RCD controls the current to each individual electrical circuit whether it be to your lights, your power sockets, your cooker, your freezer, boiler, immersion heater etc. The circuit breaker switches for each of these are ordered in a row left of the RCD Protector. Each circuit breaker is calibrated by the amount of current (amps) that flow through it – higher for appliances that need a higher current.

It’s a good idea to label each individual circuit breaker i.e. the circuit for the lights upstairs, the lights downstairs, immersion heater, cooker, freezer etc.

The newer type of consumer unit will have a mains switch and two RCDs. One for one group of circuits, say supplying upstairs, another group the downstairs so you won’t lose power to the whole property in one go.

A ‘ring circuit’ is formed by a cable that connects a circuit breaker on the consumer unit to a circuit of various sockets around the building, before returning to the unit. These are sometimes preferred to a ‘radial circuit’, which is a cable supplying a linear arrangement of sockets (i.e. don’t return to the consumer unit). Appliances that plug into the sockets then have different amp fuses, higher for those requiring a more powerful current, which will isolate the appliance should they experience a surge of electricity.

Electricity is of course very dangerous, so if you have any problems around the home, do contact a qualified tradesperson. If you’re local, looking for professional, reliable Swindon electricians, we’re here ready to take your call.