How to Save Money By Learning These Essential Yet Overlooked Home Wiring Tips
I've lived in my house for years, but I'm still learning new ways to save money through improving my home's electrical system. Here are some essential yet often overlooked tips for saving money by doing your own basic home wiring projects.
Learn How to Shut Off Power Properly
Before doing any electrical work, it's crucial to know how to safely shut off power to the area you'll be working on. This prevents the risk of shock or electrocution. Here's what I've learned about properly shutting off power:
The main breaker shuts power off to the whole house. Locate it in the breaker box and switch it to the "off" position.
To isolate a circuit, find its breaker in the box and switch it to "off."
To be extra safe, I also unplug devices on that circuit before working.
After turning breakers off, double check the area with a voltage tester to confirm power is off.
Knowing these basic steps prevents beginners like myself from getting hurt by live wires. It gives me confidence to work on my home's electrical system safely.
Learn Basic Electrical Repairs and Replacements
Once power is safely off, many minor repairs are easy DIY projects for homeowners. Learning to do minor electrical repairs myself has saved a lot of money over hiring an electrician. Here are a few projects I've learned:
Replacing light switches - The basic switches just screw and wire into place. I buy replacement switches for $5 and install them in 5 minutes.
Replacing outlets - Outlets are just as easy to replace as light switches. It's satisfying to upgrade old, worn outlets myself.
Fixing loose connections - Loose wire connections can cause intermittent power problems. I've learned to disconnect, clean, and re-connect wires to restore solid connections.
Changing light fixtures - It's inexpensive and easy to upgrade a dated light fixture. I learned how to install new light fixture hardware and connect the wires.
Learning these and other basic repairs allows me to upgrade and maintain things on my own time for a fraction of the electrician cost.
Consider Learning Higher Level Electrical Skills
For homeowners who want to take things further, learning more advanced electrical skills can save substantially more money. I'm considering learning skills like:
Running new wires - Adding circuits, outlets, switches or lights means running new wire through walls. This takes more knowledge but prevents the electrician markup.
Installing ceiling fans - Fans require different mounting boxes and wire connections than light fixtures. But with proper knowledge, I could handle this myself.
-Updating the breaker box - Upgrading an old fuse box to a modern breaker panel opens up more repair options. I want to learn how to do this safely and legally.
While these projects require more skill, they offer much larger payoff through major home improvements without the electrician markup. Once I have more experience with basic repairs, I plan to start learning these more advanced skills.
Learning home electrical maintenance has allowed me to improve my house and save substantially. With proper safety precautions and guidance from resources like experienced friends or home renovation websites, many homeowners can learn these practical skills to take control of their home's electrical system. I'm constantly learning new tips and techniques to handle electrical projects myself, saving money and improving my DIY skills in the process.