Electrical repairs can be pretty scary, and they’re often better left to a licensed professional. But sometimes, a little troubleshooting is all that it takes. Check out the following do-it-yourself electrical tips and troubleshooting resolutions.
- Appliance won’t turn on: Check to see if the circuit is overloaded or if you have a damaged cord or loose plug.
- Light fixture doesn’t work: Check the bulb. If that’s not it, it may be a faulty switch or loose wiring.
- Humming light fixture: Check the bulb. It may mean a bad ballast or transformer, or a conflict between a low-voltage dimmer and low-voltage light control.
- Light bulbs burn out quickly: Check the wattage of the bulb; it may be too high for the fixture.
- Blown fuse: Always shut off all power before touching the fuse and always replace it with one of the same type and amp rating.
- GFI/GFCI receptacle won’t work: Try pressing the reset button.
Electrical Safety Tips
Electrical devices are dangerous by nature, and they should always demand your respect. Check out the following electrical tips to help you be safer around your house.
- Turn off the power: This one is simple, but crucial. Be sure to shut off power before performing any electrical repair. Never work on a live circuit, fixture, switch or receptacle.
- Follow wattage recommendations: Only use light bulbs of the proper wattage as recommended on the UL® tag.
- Use extension cords correctly: Never place them under carpets or rugs and replace frayed or damaged extension cords. Also, never overload a cord and outlet. Extension cords shouldn’t be used as a substitute for permanent wiring.
- If your circuit breaker trips: There may be a short circuit, an overloaded circuit, or a weak breaker. You’ll need a certified electrician for this.
- Inspect older electrical systems: Consider an electrical system inspection to check your system’s safety and efficiency.
- Install nightlights: Low-energy nightlights in hallways, bathrooms and kitchens make it easier for family members to get around at night.
- Consider ground fault interrupters (GFIs / GFCIs): Use GFI receptacles in damp areas for protection against electric shock. GFIs / GFCIs constantly monitor electricity flow into a circuit and can detect even slight variations. When variations occur, they quickly shut off current flowing to a circuit.
Do-It-Yourself Tips: Backup Power Generators
In case of emergencies, a backup generator is always a good thing to have. Here are some simple tips to help ensure proper operation:
- Keep leaves, debris and snow away from the unit.
- Keep air vents clear of any obstructions.
- Check periodically to make sure that the unit is running a weekly test cycle.
- Check the oil level regularly during extended power outages.
- Schedule an annual maintenance check.
If you’ve attempted the electrical tips above but still need help, contact the certified, licensed professionals at Constellation Home.