If you are a homeowner who is fixing an electrical problem for the first time, then it is vital for your safety that you have a healthy fear of an electrical current. While you can safely work on electrical problems around your home, you need to take appropriate steps to ensure that you do not hurt yourself or create a future fire hazard in your home in the process.
Here are some tips to help keep you safe while working with your home's electrical system:
Tip #1: Always Assume Electrical Lines are Live
The most important thing you can do while working with electricity is to assume electrical wiring and components are energized. You can buy an inexpensive current testing tool at your local hardware store. Buy one, and use it before touching any wires or removing any electrical hardware. Unless the tool shows that there is no electricity present, you should always assume that there is.
Tip #2: Use Insulated Tools to Work on Electrical Components
Since metal is electrically conductive, you need to work on electrical wiring and components with tools that have plastic or rubber handles. These non-conductive handles provide an added layer of protection for you in case any electrical current is still present.
Tip #3: Remove Jewelry Before Working on Electrical Wiring
It is important to get into the practice of removing jewelry when you work on electrical problems. Just as electrical current will pass through metal tools and injure you, it will do the same thing if it comes into contact with the metal of your jewelry.
Tip #4: Wait For a Few Minutes After Turning Off Power to Commence Working
When you turn off the electricity at your home's power panel, there can still be some residual current contained within the wires. By waiting a few minutes between the time that you cut the power and the time that you work on your project, you can help to ensure that all of the electrical current has dissipated.
Tip #5: Use the Back of Your Hand to Touch Electrical Machines
Finally, if you need to touch something electrical while it is running, such as a well pump that needs to be checked to see if it is overheating, never place the palm of your hand directly on it. Instead, touch the pump with the back of your hand. This technique helps to prevent accidental electrocution caused by involuntary muscle contraction. In the case of a pump, if there is current present your hand will move away from the pump rather than wrapping your hand against it and causing you to become electrocuted.
If you've never done home construction or DIY projects, it's best to leave this work to the professionals. Talk with Palmer Electric Inc. for more information and tips.