Common Electrical Wiring
Whether you are a skilled electrician or an
at home do it yourselfer, it is not unusual for you to have some common
electrical wiring questions. These may come up in reference to a rewiring job
you are doing or you may wonder if wiring is to blame if there are issues with
the electrical equipment in your home. Whatever the case may be, here are some
common electrical wiring questions and answers.
What do I need to know about appliance
This is a common electrical wiring question
since homeowners often encounter an issue involving appliance wiring. Every
appliance has an electrical connection and each specific outlet requires a
certain breaker they need to be connected to. Some appliances, such as garbage
disposals, need a simple 120 volt circuit breaker or single-pole circuit
breaker. Others need a 240V feed that requires a double pole circuit breaker.
do I know if my electrical wiring connection is good or bad?
Some electrical connections are good…others
not so much! Product manufacturers might give you a choice of connection points
which include switches and outlets. You may be able to ascertain which will be
the wisest choice by researching and using common sense. Whatever you do,
beware of loose connections that can cause devices to heat up and result in an
electrical fire. Create a safe and secure connection that will last a long
What do I need to know about electrical
This is a common electrical wiring question
as many homeowners may have issues that involve electrical device wiring. Like
appliances, devices may need either 120V or 240V outlets. You need to be aware
of which outlet your device requires. You should also know the proper way to
strip, bend and tighten connections so that they are safe, secure and long lasting.
Why Aren’t My Outlets
One of the most common reasons outlets stop
working is that a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) has been triggered.
If your electricity accidentally gets rerouted the wrong direction or too much
power is coming through your system, this breaker will be triggered. Go to your
circuit breakers and see if something needs to be switched.
Why Is My Light Flickering?
A common cause of flickering lights is that
your bulbs are suffering from a bad connection. This could mean that you need
to screw your bulbs in better. It could also mean that you need to check for
frayed wires along your line.
What About My Flickering LEDs?
LED lights have trouble dealing with the
powerful alternating current coming from your walls. Often, they fall out of
sync with your line and they might flicker. As technology improves, this
problem will go away.
Common Electrical Problems
in Your House: Harmless or Hazardous?
Loose Outlet Plug
Turn off the breaker. Double check for
voltage to the outlet (use a volt meter or plug something in). Unscrew the
cover plate and add outlet shims until the outlet is flush with the wall.
Broken Light Switch
Turn off the circuit breaker (the light
will go out when you choose the right one). Use a flathead screwdriver to
remove the faceplate and a Phillips head to remove the light switch. Test the
two wires connected to the screw for electricity. If it’s safe, disconnect and
reassemble the light switch.
Simple Short Circuit
Some electrical appliances, such as
hairdryers, can frequently trip or short circuits. Reset the breaker. Repeated
occurrences with the same appliance indicate it’s the appliance – not the
electrical system. Without the appliance? A short in the wiring or receptacle
needs to be addressed by a pro.
Cut or Damaged Extension Cord
Unplug both ends. Cut off the old plug.
Gently score and peel back the insulation jacket. Strip each wire with a wire
stripper, twisting each wire tightly at the end. Screw them into the back of
the plug: black to gold; white to the silver screw; green to the green screw.
Then close the plug and secure the wires. Cut in the middle? Purchase extra
ends and turn the damaged cord into two new ones.
Flickering or Dimming Lights
This could be a sign of a poor connection
and can lead to eventual arcing – loose/corroded connections making
intermittent contact that could result in sparking, overheating, and fire.
Light Bulbs Burn Out Frequently
If you’re experience frequent bulb blowouts,
it could be more serious than overuse. You may have a loose connection in the
socket or circuit. Recessed lights that frequently fail? Nearby insulation
could be causing overheating and these fixtures are designed to shut off to
Dead outlets can result from a tripped poor
connection (and possible arcing), or a tripped breaker due to excessive heat
buildup resulting in melted wires or outlets.
Warm Outlets or Switches
Unless it is a dimming switch, warm outlets
are as a serious safety concern and should be addressed by a pro immediately.
Frequently Tripping Breakers
Usually a sign the circuit is overloaded
and using too much electricity. You should add a circuit or consider upgrading
your electrical service.
Electrical Problems and
The problem is that the circuits fitted
during older days were not designed to power different types of electronic
equipment or lighting of this era.
There may be obvious signs of strains with
more extension cords and single outlet paving the way to sprout power strips or
lurking not seen at the back of ceilings, walls and cover plates.
So when considering household electric
appliances, your safety is the main goal. If you are facing high bills,
flickering lights and damaged appliances at your home, you can make sure the
home circuit is not in a proper working condition.
Here are some common electrical wiring
problems and their solutions
It can be occurred due to poor wiring in
the house or lightning strikes or faulty appliances or damaged power lines.
Surges are common and last for a microsecond but if you experience frequent
surges lead to equipment damage that degrade life expectancy particularly.
Check the device that connects to the home
grid or the wiring and try disconnecting the poor quality powerboards or
devices from the outlet. If the surges don’t occur again, your problem is
solved. If it is not, you must call an electrician.
Sometimes your light fixture has a bulb or
other fitting with high watts than the designed fixture. This is a code
violation and the risk level is quite high. The high heat from the bulb
can melt the socket and insulation present in wires of the fixture. This
results in sparks from one wire to another and causes electrical fires. Even
after the bulb is removed, the socket and wires will still be under damage.
It is always better to fit a bulb or any
other fittings by staying within the wattage. If the fixtures are not marked
with wattage, it is advisable to use a 60-watt bulb or even smaller ones.
Power sags and dips
Sags are dips usually occur when the
power grip is faulty and electrical appliances are connected to it. It also
occurs when the grid is made of low-quality materials. When this is the case,
it draws more power when switched on.
A junction box that is uncovered
The junction box has lots
of wires that are connected to each other. If it is not covered, a person gets
a shock from damaged wire too. This is a code violation and the risk is minimal
if the wires are not within the reach. Thus it is better to cover it with the
When the electricity is not properly
used, it results in electrical shocks with a nasty experience. The chances of
such electrical problems in old homes were quite high because the circuits
fitted during older days. An electric shock happens when you switch on or off a
device. The issue can either be with the appliance or the wiring. To check the
issue, you can test with another device. But to be on the safer side, just talk
with your electrician to resolve the issues.
Electrical Wire Color Coding
Color coding is used both on the outer
sheathing of bundled electrical cables and on the individual conduction wires
within cables or inside conduit. Understanding this color coding can help you
identify what the wiring is used for and helps maintain consistency within an
Cable coloring relates to the size of the
wires inside the cable and the cable’s amperage rating. For example,
white-sheathed NM cable is used for 15-amp circuits, while yellow NM cable is
rated for 20-amp circuits.
The coloring on individual conducting wires
usually does not indicate a size or rating but rather the standard or preferred
use of the wire. For example, black and red wires typically are used for
current-carrying or “hot” connections, and white wires usually are
grounded “neutral” conductors. Green-insulated wires and bare copper
wires are used for grounding wires.