It's always best to call a licensed electrician to handle major electrical repair projects in your home, especially if they possess a heightened degree of danger. For smaller, safer projects, however, you might wish to do some research online and then tackle the job on your own. Performing electrical repair work around your home doesn't require you to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy tools, but you will need a handful of tools that you'll find yourself using on each job. Here are four essential tools that you should add to your toolkit.
A digital multimeter is an essential tool for keeping you safe on the job, but it is also effective at diagnosing electrical issues that you'll need to repair. This simple device has two leads connected by wires to a central terminal. When you hold the leads on something you'll be able to check if it has a current or continuity. Using the tool to check if electrical components are live can prevent you from getting shocked, while identifying continuity will let you know how to approach your repair job.
Many jobs that require you to snip a length of wire and make a new connection call for wire strippers. Don't fall into the trap of trying to strip wire with a utility knife. Wire strippers are ideal for the job because they have a variety of openings for virtually any diameter of wire, meaning that the job of stripping the wire is as simple as placing it between the jaws of the tool and pulling. You'll find yourself using this tool several times during a variety of simple electrical repair jobs.
While technically more an accessory than a tool, connectors are valuable in practically any type of electrical repair job. Instead of trying to buy a specific connector at the start of each project, it's worthwhile to visit a home repair center and buy a large container of assorted connectors. This way, you'll always have the right size of connector to bring two separate wires together. Where repair work is concerned, it's useful to have a vast supply, as you'll often want to replace the connectors in a wiring configuration rather than reuse old ones.
A bright flashlight is a valuable ally for many different electrical repair jobs. Any time you're working on your home's electrical system, you need to have the power turned off. In many cases, this will mean that visibility is an issue, and there's nothing worse than trying to work on fine details when you can't see them. A flashlight will ensure that you have a clear picture of what's in front of you.