Just experienced a blackout? It’s alright; your home’s electrical wiring is intact. Otherwise, the light wouldn’t have come back on. However, this was a wakeup call, one you need to pay attention to. It’s possible that the electrical wiring might have been damaged due to the surge of power when the power was restored. This is why you need to be familiar with your home’s electrical wiring system. Poor wiring can cause personal injuries, as well as fires that need to be avoided at all costs.
There are a few things you need to know about your home’s electrical wiring, before you head over to the circuit box.
So you are thinking about checking the main circuit board to find out if any of the wires are damaged. Everything looks fine here, so you decide to remove the faulty electrical socket and install a new one. You unscrew the plate and reach inside to pull the wires out, which is when you are jolted by a strong bolt of electricity that pushes you back and burns your fingertips.
Safety 101: Shut down the main power supply from the panel board.
Electricity packs a deadly punch, which even trained professionals can’t handle at times. So, before examining or installing new wiring, you need to cut off the power from the main source.
Depending on the area you live in, the NEC provides you with all the rules and regulations regarding residential wiring. Make sure to study all the standard procedures to prevent any dangerous outcomes. If you feel that you cannot fix the problem on your own, get in touch with an electrician.
The electricity running through your house comes via three sources. The power current follows a chain before reaching any room in the house. Following are the three components of electrical wiring.
This is the point from where electricity reaches your house through the main grid. The service entry should be protected at all times because it is vulnerable to the outside environment. The entry lines are usually 10 feet high and are not within reaching distance when a person is standing on the ground. Make sure that there are no tree limbs nearby that might fall on the entry lines and cut off the power supply.
The panel board is installed in your house, usually in the basement or near the entrance. It’s the control center that powers the interior. Let’s assume that you are installing a dishwasher and need to make a connection with the new breakers. This panel board will help you shut down the flow of electricity before you start working.
The branch circuit board is usually found side by side the panel board. It contains the isolated connections to specific areas in the house. Meaning: if you are fixing an electrical socket in the kitchen, then you can shut off the power supply to the kitchen, while other areas of the house still have electricity. This comes in handy when you need to keep other appliances in the house functional, while inspecting the electrical wiring in any other area of the house.
So now you know the dangers involved with putting your hand in an electrical socket. Before doing any electrical repairs or installations, make sure that electricity is switched off.