Naturally, hands-on homeowners take matters to their own hands when plumbing, electrical, or other issues pop up. However, some homeowners freak out at the thought of dealing with electrical problems.
Home electrical faults might be anything from a simple change of light bulb to more complex issues like a broken extension cord plug. Therefore, you should try fixing the problem on your own before calling an electrician. Here are simple DIY fixes for damaged electrical items at home that you can use.
Locate an Electrical Short
Electrical short or short circuits are a common occurrence. When it happens as you switch on an electric appliance, you need to reset your home’s circuit breaker. Switch on the electric appliance to test the circuit. When the short circuit occurs, if the electric device is unplugged, your receptacle or wiring is likely faulty.
To fix this issue, you need to disconnect all cord devices plugged into the circuit. Start with the appliances that you can remove easily. Turn on your circuit to check if the issue is resolved. If the short still shows in the circuit after removing all the devices, you have to turn off the circuit completely. Do this by switching off the breaker to this specific circuit. Better yet, remove the fuse from your primary electric panel. Check the circuit to ensure no current flows through it using a good quality volt/ohm meter.
Once you have cut off the circuit’s power supply, you need to use a pair of rubber-lined pliers to pull out the circuit’s receptacle from its box. Use a volt/ohmmeter to inspect each wire. Get the readings of the meter’s ohm settings. Connect one of the meter’s leads to a white wire, while the other goes to the receptor’s black wire. If your meter reads ‘OL’ or ZERO, your circuit’s wiring might have a short. Check all the other cables against each other in the receptacle using this process.
You also need to get the community readings between the green and white or the uninsulated/ground and white wire. Once you confirm the community’s availability, proceed to remove all the other receptacles, light fixtures, and switches where necessary. Use an Ohm meter to inspect the circuit after getting rid of all devices. You should be able to spot the trouble after the completion of community readings.
Given that conducting tests on wires within your electrical panel at the circuit’s breaker connection is very risky, you should get help from a qualified electrician.
Repairing Extension Cord Ends
Most homes use the heavy-duty extension cord, which costs a tidy sum. Having a broken extension cord is, therefore, nothing good. Fortunatel, fixing a damaged cord is easy, especially if the fault is close to the plug. To fix it, you need to start by cutting your old plug. Follow this up by peeling the cord’s insulation jacket to expose the insulated wires. Use a wire stripper set at the appropriate gauge to strip each wire. Fix each wire to the plug. They should correspond to the plugs wires based on color. Close your plug tightly. Secure all the wires properly in the plug.
If your code is broken at the center, cut it into two halves. Add two new ends, a female and a male, to either half. You will have two new cords at the end of this procedure.
Repair a Dead Doorbell
Doorbells fail for several reasons, including a faulty button, chime, transformer, or wiring. You will need to detach the doorbell’s button from your house’s wall and look at the wires. If they appear fine, clean any debris in the button and fasten its terminal screws. You should also inspect if there is corrosion within the button and clean it.
If this procedure does not restore your doorbell to its normal state of function, you need to remove wires from terminals. Hold every wire by their insulation and carefully bring the naked end of the wires together. If the bell rings and the wires produce a spark, you will have to replace your doorbell button. If the wires produce a spark, but your doorbell does not ring, you might be having a faulty chime. If there is no spark completely, the circuit might be having a faulty transformer.
Test the chime using a multimeter. Set your multimeter to AC and place its probes to your chime’s ‘trans’ and ‘front’ terminals and get the readings. Then place the probes to the ‘trans’ and ‘rear’ terminals of the chime. A reading between 24 and 16 means power reaches the chime, and you have to replace it. If the power does not get to the chime, test your doorbell’s transformer. Pull thin wires from your transformer and place your multimeter probes to both wire terminals. You will need to change your transformer if the meter reading is four times lower than your transformer’s expected output.
Rewire a Lamp
When your lamp does not light or flickers unnecessarily, there is likely a problem in the circuit or within the lamp itself. Replace the light bulb. If the problem persists, you need to take your lamp apart.
Repair a Loose Outlet
A loose outlet might cause an accident by loosening the electrical wires. To fix this problem, you need to switch off your home’s power supply. Ensure no current flows to the loose outlet using a voltage checker. Once you are sure it is safe to work on the outlet, you need to unscrew your cover plate and the loose outlet. Put outlet shims in areas where your outlet has a deep recess. Do this to the screws until you achieve a perfect flush between the outlet and the wall. Finally, screw your outlet back to its position.
These simple DIY fixes will help you restore your broken electrical items to their normal state of function.