Many homeowners wish to save money or they wish to experience the satisfaction of doing something on their own so they take on many domestic wiring tasks. However, many make mistakes that result from lack of the right information or experience. This article discusses some electrical wiring mistakes you should avoid as you wire your home.
Running Wires Very Close to Wood Edges
Wires that are very close to the edge of wood framing are at high risk of being damaged by nails and screws. Such damage can cause an electrical short circuit if the wire insulation is compromised. A fire may result from that damage. Avoid this problem by reading the electrical code of your area so that you lay electrical wires at the recommended distance from wood framing edges.
Mixing Low Voltage and Line Voltage Wires
In order to save space, some people mix line voltage wires (wires conducting electricity to an appliance) and low-voltage wires (wires transmitting phone or data signals) within the same runs. This is a mistake on two fronts. First, the electrical current in the line voltage wire will interfere with the signals transmitted by the low voltage wires so your Internet or phone line quality will be adversely affected. Secondly, you risk having an electrical fire in case the insulation of the wires is compromised and the low voltage lines burst into flames due to being overwhelmed by the current flowing through them from the line voltage wires next to them. This mistake can be avoided by having separate runs for low voltage wires and line voltage wires.
Overcrowding Boxes with Wires
A common mistake made by electrical DIYers is to cram very many wires within one box. This is a mistake because heat is generated as wires conduct electricity. That heat dissipates into the surrounding space, but when the box is overcrowded then it is very hard for the heat to dissipate. The result is that wire insulation may melt, causing premature wire aging or possibly a fire when wires cross. How can you tell that a junction box is overcrowded? If many wires are in contact and there is hardly any space within the box, suspect that you have a case of overcrowded wires.
Some jurisdictions limit the kind of electrical installation that non-certified individuals can perform. Find out from your local authorities whether you are allowed to do the kind of wiring that is needed in your home before you embark on the project. It is often better to hire a professional for residential electrical installations instead of taking a risk on an installation project for which you lack experience.