Photo By MicroStockHub at istock
With thousands of DIY videos available on the Internet, many homeowners decide to forgo hiring an electrician and perform electrical work themselves. After all, how hard can it be to replace electrical wires, install a new outlet or fix a broken breaker box?
When done improperly, a DIY electrical project may fail to pass local safety inspections, reduce the value of your property or leave you with paying for fire damage that your home insurance agency refuses to cover.
Don’t take chances on following instructions from a YouTube influencer who makes a complex electrical job look easy. There’s a lot more they may not be telling you regarding code violations. Call Mister Sparky of Wilmington, NC today to have expert electrical contractors do the work for you.
9 Most Common Electrical Code Violations
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are not Installed or Installed Incorrectly
A GFCI protects against electric shock injuries by detecting current balance between a grounded conductor and an ungrounded conductor. If the current passing through an ungrounded conductor exceeds the current flowing through the grounded conductor, a ground fault circuit interrupter will shut the circuit off. If a ground fault passes through someone, they could be electrocuted. The National Electric Code recommends renovated or new kitchens, crawl spaces, basements and bathrooms have GFCIs professionally installed in them by electrical contractors.
- Wrong Type of Circuit Breaker Boxes/No Circuit Breakers
Older circuit breakers can be reset by manually flipping a switch turned “off” when electrical demands exceeded a preset limit. New circuit breakers may reset automatically when electrical currents fall below the preset limit. Installing the correct circuit breaker box involves knowing how much electricity your home needs. Three types of circuit breakers are available: low, medium and high voltage breakers. If your home requires a medium-voltage circuit breaker and you install a low or high breaker, it could increase the risk of electrical shocks or fires. Take the guesswork out of installing a circuit breaker box by hiring Mister Sparky’s electrical contractors in Wilmington, NC
- Outdated Wiring Should Be Replaced by Professional Electricians
Residential and commercial buildings built over 50 years ago that have not had the original wiring replaced could be in violation of area electrical codes. Although old aluminum wiring might be considered safe today, there could be major safety problems if aluminum wiring is connected to copper or other types of modern wiring. If you own an older building that is likely to be powered with aluminum wiring, contact us for an inspection of your home’s wiring.
- Installation of Tamper-resistant Coverings Over Electrical Receptacles
The National Electric Code requires renovated or new buildings to have tamper-resistant, spring-loaded coverings that prevent objects from being inserted in receptacles. Before inserting a plug into an electrical receptacle, you have to compress two springs before the covering will fully open. Although spring-loaded coverings were designed to stop young children from being electrocuted, tamper-resistant coverings should be installed in residents with or without children.
- Insufficient Number of Electrical Outlets
If you have to use extension cords to compensate for a lack of outlets in your home, you are putting your family at risk for an accidental fire. In addition, your property insurance company may not cover damages due to electrical outlet code violations. Signs of a possible overloaded electrical system include frequent breaker trips, flickering or dimming lights that don’t go off all the way and feeling a slight shock whenever you plug a large appliance. To make your home safe to live in and to get it up to code, schedule an appointment for our electrical contractors to inspect your electrical outlet situation.
- Neutral Wiring Only to Power Lighting Systems Under 20w
Neutral wires are found in automated light switches that provide LED or fluorescent illumination. You could be violating an electrical code if you are not using neutral wire to power certain light systems. Neutral wire provides safe transmission of the 120v AC circuit to the electrical panel. This is where the neutral wire is grounded to prevent electrical shock or accidental electrocution. Schedule an appointment with our electrical contractors to ensure you are using the right wiring.
- Don’t Do This If Your Breaker Box is Constantly Tripping!
If you’re thinking of replacing a small breaker box with a larger breaker box to stop switches from flipping off, think again. In addition to risking a fire erupting in your home, it is a direct violation of electrical codes to install incorrectly configured panels. Since individual breakers correlate with specific wire size and load capacity, a bigger breaker box only lets an unregulated amount of current flow freely through the box. Not only can this cause rapid overheating within the wall, it could just blow out the entire electrical system powering your home or business. Avoid future problems with a breaker box by letting our NC electrical contractors do the job efficiently and professionally.
- Check Outdoor Receptacles for Coverings
It’s a definite electrical code violation if you have outdoor electrical outlets that are not protected by hinged or detachable covers. In fact, unprotected external outlets attached to a home or garage could significantly delay the sale of a residential property until outlets have been brought up to code.
- Are Spliced Wires Lurking in Your Home? Electrical Contractors Know Where to Find Them.
Did you it is a code violation if spliced wires exist outside a junction box? While splicing wires is allowed, they must be inside a junction box. That box should have a cover that can be quickly opened in case emergency work needs performed by electrical contractors. If you recently moved into a home, you probably don’t know if the previous owner spliced wire or other things in violation of local or state codes. Call Mister Sparky to either inspect the home you recently purchased or inspect a home you are about to purchase.
Adhering to electrical codes means living safely in your home, having appliances and fixtures run smoothly, reducing energy bills and maintaining a higher property resale value on your home. Our electrical contractors at Mister Sparky of Wilmington provide experienced, prompt and professional services for all your electrical needs.