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Electrical  /  March 14, 2019

Simple Electrical Repairs That You Can Do Yourself

Many people hesitate to handle electrical repairs and for good reason: such repairs are not recommended for the average homeowner. However, there are some that won’t require special training and, with proper precautions, are perfectly safe. Handyman Connection® of Eden Prairie shares some electrical repairs that you can do yourself.

Safety First

Before you do any of these repairs, you need to turn off the corresponding switch at the circuit breaker panel. Your electrician should already have mapped out which switch corresponds to which area of the house. Only turn it back on when you’re finished. As an additional safety measure, use a voltage tester to check contact points for residual electricity.

Replace a Wall Outlet

Perhaps, you have a broken wall outlet, or, maybe, you want to upgrade to outlets equipped with USB charging ports. Replacing a wall outlet is a simple task and can be done with a few simple tools. Once you have turned off the power at the breaker panel and tested the outlet for residual electricity, unscrew pry off the face plate, and then unscrew the bracket from the wall mount.

There are three types of wires you should remember. The one with black insulation is the main power wire, also called the “hot” wire. The white one neutral, or “cold”. The bare copper wire, sometimes with green insulation, is the ground wire. Simply cut all wires from the old outlet, strip about half an inch of insulation from the top, and screw the ends onto the new outlet as instructed in the packaging. Attach the new bracket onto the wall mount, and turn on the breaker. Test for power using your voltage tester. You can also test one or two small appliances to make sure it’s working before installing the faceplate.

Replace a Light Switch

Replacing the light switch has the same process (and precautions) as replacing a wall outlet. However, if you are installing a dimmer switch, you must check its specifications as certain types of dimmer switches require a minimum wire gauge. Also, note that not all light bulbs work with dimmer switches. If the one that’s currently installed only turns on and off, or starts flickering when you use the dimmer switch, replace it with a compatible one.

If you’re not confident with doing electrical installations and repairs, Handyman Connection of Eden Prairie can get you the right handyman for the job. Give us a call at (952) 777-4875, or fill out our contact form.

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