I've lived in my house for over 10 years now, and as things start to age, I've noticed more and more issues popping up with the electrical wiring. Faulty wiring can be extremely dangerous if not addressed, so I knew I needed to take action to fix the problems before they got out of hand. However, hiring an electrician to rewire my entire house would cost thousands of dollars - money I just didn't have available to spend.
That's when I decided to take matters into my own hands and teach myself how to fix the wiring issues on my own, for just pennies compared to what a professional electrician would charge. After doing a lot of research and watching tutorial videos, I was able to quickly and safely fix all of the faulty and dangerous wiring problems in my home using just a few common household tools and supplies.
Identifying Faulty or Dangerous Wiring Issues
The first step was identifying where the problems were. Some signs of faulty or dangerous wiring that I looked for included:
Frequent tripping of circuit breakers or blown fuses: This can indicate an overloaded circuit or a short somewhere.
Flickering lights: Flickering or dimming lights can mean there are loose connections or wires in a circuit.
Warm outlets or switches: If you feel warmth around an outlet or switch, it likely means there's a faulty connection.
Buzzing from outlets or switches: Buzzing noises point to loose wiring connections.
Discolored wires: Wires that are cracked, brittle or melted indicate damage.
I did a thorough inspection of all the outlets, switches, junction boxes, circuit breakers and wiring connections throughout my home, looking for any of those warning signs. I also used a non-contact voltage tester to double check for hot spots.
Gathering the Needed Supplies
To fix the wiring problems I found, I gathered a few basic tools and supplies:
- Wire strippers - To strip damaged wire coverings
- Needle nose pliers - For twisting wires together and pulling wires
- Electrical tape - For insulating wires
- Wire nuts - To connect wires together
- Voltage tester - To confirm power is off before working
- Replacement outlets or switches (as needed)
These basic supplies cost me less than $50 in total. I already had a lot of the tools, so it was very affordable to gather what I needed.
I can't stress enough how important it is to be safe when working on electrical wiring yourself. Always turn off the power at the main circuit breaker before doing any work. I also tested wires with a non-contact voltage tester before touching them, to double-check power was off.
It's also vital to make sure any wiring work is done correctly, according to local electrical codes. Improper wiring can put you or your family at risk of electrical fire or shock. If you are uncomfortable doing the work yourself, hire a qualified electrician.
Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing the Wiring
Armed with my affordable supplies and safety knowledge, here is how I went about fixing the faulty wiring in my home:
1. Turn Off Power
The first step is always to turn off power to the area you'll be working on at the main breaker panel. I turn off the main to be extra safe. Test wires with a non-contact voltage tester to confirm power is off.
2. Remove Old Wiring
Carefully remove any damaged, cracked or melted wire coverings and insulation using wire strippers. Pull out any wires or wire connectors that need to be replaced.
3. Prepare New Wiring
Cut new lengths of wire as needed, matching the gauge of the existing wires. Strip about 1/2 inch of insulation from the ends using wire strippers. Twist strands of copper tightly together.
4. Connect Wires
Connect wires together securely with wire nuts by twisting clockwise. Join wires of the same gauge and color. Connect no more than 2-3 wires per wire nut.
5. Insulate Wires
Once connected with wire nuts, use electrical tape to insulate each wire nut connection. This helps protect against accidental contact.
6. Secure Wiring
Neatly position and secure wires inside boxes and conduits using staples or cable clamps as needed. No exposed wire should be hanging loose.
7. Test Connections
With power still off, gently tug on each wire connection to ensure it is tight and secure. Loose connections can lead to arcing and fires.
8. Restore Power and Test
Turn power back on at the breaker panel. At outlets and switches, carefully check for warmth around connections, flickering lights, or buzzing sounds. If so, turn off power and recheck connections.
9. Install New Outlets or Switches
If needed, install any new outlets, switches or cover plates. Ensure they are positioned correctly and screws are tight.
10. Clean Up
With the power restored and my electrical issues fixed, I cleaned up my work area and neatly covered the breaker box. I labeled any wires I disconnected.
While basic electrical work requires safety awareness and some DIY skills, I was amazed by how easily (and inexpensively!) I fixed all of the faulty wiring in my home. My lights no longer flicker, I have no more buzzing outlets or warm switches, and I saved thousands of dollars.
By following crucial safety steps, using a few basic tools, and carefully inspecting and connecting the wiring, you can quickly solve wiring hazards in your home for just pennies compared to hiring an electrician. Just be sure to research thoroughly beforehand and exercise extreme caution when working with electrical wiring. I'm happy to now have safe, stable wiring throughout my house again thanks to this project. Let me know if you have any other questions!