Do It Yourself Wiring Is a No No
Do-it-yourself home renovation projects create a sense of satisfaction in addition to saving money. If your plan involves more than painting and buying furniture, you will probably need to alter your home’s electrical wiring. Electrical issues surface in many popular DIY projects:
- Lighting upgrades such as recessed lights in a basement renovation
- A dedicated circuit to handle air conditioning
- Removing a wall as part of a room remodel
- Additional outlets to accommodate electronics
All electrical upgrades should be done by a qualified professional and according to the National Electric Code, a set of standards that ensures the safe installation of wiring and equipment.
Nationally, more than 51,000 residential fires a year stem from some sort of electrical problem and result in $1.3 billion in property damage. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that in 2012, 8.3 percent of fatal residential building fires resulted from an electrical malfunction. Following the NEC avoids sparking outlets and other fire hazards.
In homes built before the 1960s, a ground wire was not required in an electrical circuit. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 23.9 percent of homes in Hinds County were built before 1960. Without a ground wire, metal surfaces can and create an electric shock when touched. New and updated electrical outlets installed according to code eliminate the risk of electric shock to family members.
In homes that have limited electrical outlets, the solution frequently is to use a power strip. Plugging too many pieces of equipment into a single power strip can cause overloaded circuits. Adding outlets according to code adds safety and convenience for the homeowner and eliminates tripping and fire hazards such as power strips and extension cords.
As with any type of equipment, electrical wiring, insulation and connections wear out over time. The USFA recommends an electrical inspection on homes older than 40 years. Census statistics show that 63.2 percent of Hinds County homes were built before 1980. Sometimes insurance carriers require wiring upgrades to keep insurance coverage up-to-date. Meeting code not only reduces safety risks, it also reduces insurance premiums.
To learn more about your home’s electric needs, contact the specialists at Dent at 601-912-0535 and let us give you peace of mind.