DIY home projects can be fun, fulfilling, and save money. But anything involving electrical wiring can pose a serious risk to yourself and your wallet. Before working on electrical wiring, it’s important to know some common electrical code violations. Adhering to standard electrical codes will help keep you safe and help ensure that a property can pass an electrical inspection.
Most Common Electrical Code Violations and How To Avoid Them
Sometimes people will attempt to cram a bunch of electrical wires into a small ⅞-inch hole. This can easily lead to the insulation around the wiring being torn off due to other wires dragging across it. Electricians call this “burning.” If it goes uncorrected, it can spark a fire. Avoid this by ensuring that only a maximum of three wires run through the same hole.
Pairing New Lights With Old Wires
Out with the old, in with the new. When installing new fixtures, be sure that you’re not pairing them with old wiring. New fixtures can be too powerful for old wiring, and they can get quickly overloaded. Homes with wiring predating 1987 should install a splice box and new wiring to safely connect new fixtures with old wiring.
Splicing is a connection between two or more wires. It’s illegal and dangerous. However, they can be done legally when used for temporary lighting or troubleshooting circuits. Splicing should only be done by a professional electrician.
Knob and Tube Wiring
At one time, knob and tube wiring was the standard technology. Today knob and tube wiring is a known danger for several reasons. For one, the wires aren’t grounded. Additionally, the circuits can’t support modern energy demands, and the wire insulation disintegrates in the long run. If you encounter knob and tube wiring, consider running a new electrical service to the renovated area.
Non-IC Canister Light Contacting Insulation
Non-IC-rated lights should never touch the insulation. If they do, the wiring can overheat and stop working. Eventually, it can overheat to the point where the insulation may catch fire. If non-IC wiring must go through the attic, be sure to keep three inches of distance from the insulation.
Wrong Circuit Breaker
The circuit breaker is the barrier between a fully powered home or building and a blowout and accidental fire. Ensure the correct circuit breaker is installed to help avoid disaster and code violations.
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Upon completion of the Electrician Program, students will understand the practices and applications found in residential, commercial, and industrial electricity.
In the past, metal water piping beneath the surface was a sufficient grounding electrode. However, most water piping is now plastic. That makes metal rebar in concrete the next best solution. The contractor in charge of the concrete should work with the electrician installing wiring to ensure it’s done correctly.
Improperly Configuring Panels
Not only is it dangerous to have wrongly configured panels, but it’s also illegal. Trying to overcompensate by getting a larger circuit breaker can inadvertently cause large surges of power that could blow out the home’s electrical system and catch fire.
Why Become an Electrician?
Has reading this only furthered your desire to become an electrician? Mastering a trade, like working with electricity, is an important skill—and one that’s in high demand. Those with the right training and experience can take full advantage of their craft and develop a successful career as an electrician.
Electrify Your Career With a Quality Education
Getting an education can help you jumpstart your career as an electrician. At Erie Institute of Technology, you can develop your skills through hands-on training and in-depth instruction that’ll set you up for a successful career path. Learn more about our 15-month Electrician Program.
Ross Aresco is the CFO of Erie Institute of Technology. Erie Institute of Technology (EIT) is an Erie Pennsylvania technical/trade school providing training programs for medical, computer, electronics, manufacturing, and technology careers. EIT offers programs in many different areas to suit your interests and talents.