DIY Electrical - Tips and Tricks
Updated: Dec 10, 2022
As a homeowner, it can be frustrating and costly to deal with electrical problems in your home. Fortunately, there are some simple DIY electrical troubleshooting steps that you can take to try and fix common problems before calling a professional. By following these steps, you may be able to save time and money, and avoid the need for an expensive service call.
***DISCLAIMER*** Please make sure all power is off before attempting to fix an electrical problem on your own.
1. Identify the problem:
The first step in DIY electrical troubleshooting is to identify the problem you are experiencing. Is the problem with a specific electrical outlet or circuit, or is it with the entire electrical system? Is the problem intermittent or constant? By identifying the specific problem, you can narrow down the possible causes and take appropriate steps to fix it.
2. Check the circuit breaker or fuse:
If the problem is with a specific electrical outlet or circuit, the first thing to check is the circuit breaker or fuse. If the circuit breaker has tripped or the fuse has blown, this may be the cause of the problem. To reset the circuit breaker, locate the panel and flip the switch back to the "on" position. Before attempting to replace a fuse, make sure there is a power disconnect which kills ALL power to your fuse box. To replace a blown fuse, locate the fuse box and replace the blown fuse with one of the same size and type.
3. Test the outlet or circuit:
Once you have reset the circuit breaker or replaced the fuse, it is a good idea to test the outlet or circuit to see if the problem has been fixed. You can do this by plugging a lamp or other appliance into the outlet and turning it on. If the outlet or circuit is working properly, the appliance should turn on and function normally. If the problem persists, there may be another issue that needs to be addressed.
4. Check for loose connections:
(It is important to turn the main power off before attempting this step)
Another common cause of electrical problems is loose connections. Over time, electrical connections can become loose or corroded, which can cause problems with your electrical system. To check for loose connections, locate the electrical panel and the electrical power boxes which are affected and look for any connections that are loose or appear to be corroded. If you find any, tighten them or clean them as necessary. **Do not open the area of the electrical panel where your main feed is coming in.
5. Consider the age of your electrical system:
In some cases, electrical problems may be due to an outdated or inadequate electrical system. If your home is older or has not been updated in a while, it may be worth considering a full electrical system upgrade. This can be expensive, but it can also improve the safety and reliability of your electrical system, and may save you money in the long run.
By following these simple DIY electrical troubleshooting steps, you may be able to fix common electrical problems in your home without the need for a professional. However, if you are unsure of what to do or if the problem persists, it is always best to call a certified electrician for help.