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5 Essential Electrical Services Every Homeowner Needs to Know


Your home’s electrical wiring is a complex system that drives appliances, lights, and more. But additionally a source of fire hazards.

For example, jerking extension cords out of outlets bends the metal blades inside, creating a fire hazard. Instead, have an electrician install new outlets to meet your family’s needs.

Install a new electrical panel.

Your home’s main electrical panel is the primary source of power. It regulates, controls, and distributes electricity throughout your property. It may also have smaller service panels, or “subpanels,” that connect to the main panel and help direct power to specific areas of your home.

If you’re noticing flickering lights or even smokey smells near outlets, it could be time to upgrade your panel. An experienced professional can evaluate your current electrical system to determine if your board needs to be replaced and the additional costs for any new wiring, circuits, or receptacles.

If you’re adding a circuit to your panel, it’s essential to know that the total power draw should be at most 80% of the panel’s capacity. To add a new circuit, locate where the wire will enter the forum, strip and remove a knockout slug, then carefully cut the cable to size, crimp on a terminal, trim any sheathing, and connect it to its bus bar(s). Make sure to test your new circuit using a voltage meter. If it draws too much current, the course may trip, and your house could go down.

Install new outlets.

Many homeowners must install new outlets to accommodate new appliances or increase convenience. For example, professional Sunnyvale electrician services can install a new outlet in a bedroom to accommodate a television or install an outdoor outlet to power a motion sensor.

The electrical panel, also known as the breaker box, is responsible for distributing electricity safely throughout your home. A metal cabinet in your basement or utility room containing circuit breakers controls which parts of your home receive power. Knowing how to identify and reset the main breaker is essential in case of an outage.

First, to add a new outlet, ensure that the power to the existing outlet is turned off by turning off the correct breaker in your electric panel. Then, locate the studs in the wall where you want to place the new outlet and use a stud finder to ensure the outlet is placed in a stud bay. Next, prepare the existing outlet by loosening the terminal screws and disconnecting one of the white and black wires. Strip 3/4 inch of insulation off each end and connect the bare wires to the new outlet’s terminals.

Install GFCI outlets.

GFCI outlets (ground-fault circuit interrupters) help prevent electrical shocks, injuries, and fires by shutting off the flow of electricity when they detect a dangerous surge in current. They’re a standard upgrade in new home construction, but they can also be an inexpensive addition to your existing wiring.

A GFCI outlet monitors the flow of electricity through the outlet and shuts it off within milliseconds of detecting a problem. Leaks in electrical current can occur when a wire becomes frayed or comes into contact with water, or when a device is overloaded with power. These leaks can cause shocks, injuries, and even death. But a GFCI outlet will stop the flow of electricity within seconds, which can help save lives and reduce property damage.

A homeowner with basic skills can install a GFCI outlet by turning off the power at the fuse or circuit breaker, removing the wall plate, and screwing down the new outlet. Before connecting the new GFCI outlet, it’s essential to label the black and white wires on the screw terminals of the “load” and “line” sides. Then carefully strip about three-quarters of an inch of the insulation from each wire so that only bare copper wire is showing.

Install a ceiling fan.

Installing a ceiling fan is another home improvement project that requires you to work with electricity. Before starting, always ensure that the room’s power is completely switched off. This will prevent any accidental shocks.

Your electrical panel, also known as the breaker box, is responsible for distributing electricity safely throughout your home. Two large wires (usually red and black) connect to screw terminals called lugs from this panel. The hot wires supply electricity to your home, while the neutral carries current to the panel board.

A tripped breaker is often the result of too many appliances drawing power from the same circuit, and it should be fixed immediately to avoid electrical fires. In most cases, it’s simply flipping the breaker back to its normal position.

A pair of wire cutters and strippers is essential for electrical wiring; most hand tool manufacturers offer them as a combo unit. Use these tools to cut and strip the wires during your fan installation. This ensures that your new wire connections are tight and not prone to shaking loose.

Install a new light fixture.

While it’s essential to understand when to call an electrician, you don’t have to be one to tackle small projects like installing a new light fixture. It’s a task that most do-it-yourselfers can perform with some planning and preparation, and it’s a great way to refresh the look of your home without spending a lot of money on professional services.

Before you begin, ensure the power is cut off at the circuit breaker for the junction box to which the old fixture was connected. It would help if you also used a voltage tester to confirm the circuit is completely shut off. Have a friend on standby to help stabilize your ladder and hold nuts and tools.

When you’re ready to install your new light fixture, follow the instructions that come with it to ensure that you’re using the proper hardware. Then, remove the old institution and unscrew or unbolt any brackets holding it in place. Examine the wires inside the electrical box and connect the circuit neutral wire (which usually has white insulation) to the new fixture’s neutral lead and the circuit hot wire (which will typically have black insulation) to the fixture’s hot wire.


Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 12 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 12 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

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