It’s always recommended that you hire a professional electrician whenever you have issues with your home’s wiring system. There are many benefits of doing so, one of which is the experience that these people have in the field. Given their incredible know-how, they’ll be able to locate the problem quickly and make the necessary repairs within the shortest time possible.
Another reason why hiring an electrician is recommended is to secure safety. Electricity can be very dangerous to you, your family, and your property. Hiring an expert to deal with all electrical-related problems will ensure the safety of those around you and save you any additional expenses due to unexpected hazards. If you’re still wondering where you’ll find a reputable electrician, you can read and learn more here in this article.
On the other hand, there are some electrical-related tasks that you can do by yourself without risking the health and lives of others provided you have adequate information, equipment, and proper precautionary knowledge.
If you’re planning to take the do-it-yourself (DIY) route in wiring your small home anytime soon, here are some tips to execute it correctly with safety in mind:
1. Prepare Your Tools And Materials
Like any other task, electrical wiring has a specific set of tools that should be used for safety and to make your work easier. A screwdriver, for instance, is a must-have because you’ll use it to tighten bulbs, sockets, and circuit breaker terminals. You also need a voltage detector to help you determine whether there is any power flowing in the circuit.
It’s worth noting that these detectors come in different types. The most commonly used in wiring projects is a tester screwdriver, which is usually a flat-edged screwdriver with the ability to detect the flow of current. An alternative to this would a multimeter which can detect and also measure both current and voltage.
Since this project involves a lot of cable connections, it’d be wise to also arm yourself with an insulating tape. Other tools that’ll come in handy include a pair of pliers, a hammer, tape measure, and an engineer’s knife.
When it comes to the materials, the first thing you’ll require is a distribution board, famously known as the consumer unit (CU). The size of the CU you’ll need depends on the number of supply channels your home will require, but generally, a 4-way distribution board will do the job. For this CU, you’ll also purchase three circuit breakers for the lights, sockets, and heaters or freezer circuits.
As for the cable, you’ll need to physically measure the house to determine the right length required. Keep in mind that the lights and socket circuits use 1.5mm and 2.5mm cables respectively. If you’re not sure about the correct cable size or the ideal wiring diagram to use, you can consult a local electrician or a reputable construction company within your area, such as Wallace Electrical Co to assist you.
2. Switch Off The Main Supply
Before you start wiring, it’s important that you turn off the main switch for safety purposes. It’s one of the basic rules when dealing with electricity, although many people tend to ignore it and just realize their mistake after electrical hazards and accidents happen.
It’s worth noting that sometimes your main switch may be faulty. Therefore, be sure to test the output line using your tester or multimeter even after switching off the main switch. This way, you’ll be sure of your surroundings while working. As mentioned earlier, safety is paramount in this kind of project to prevent electrical fires and electrocution from happening.
3. Mount The Distribution Box
The next step is to mount the consumer unit at the spot where the main supply cables enter the house. Create holes on the side or top of the consumer unit box for the power cords to pass through. Now connect the red wire (live) to the main double-pole switch and the black one (neutral) to the neutral bar.
Make sure you connect the earth bar to the earth rod. This is crucial in any wiring project because it discharges any extra current and keeps all the circuits safe. If you’re not sure about these connections, it’d be prudent to check the distribution box’s user manual for more information. Also, check online on how to wire the miniature circuit breaker (MCB) and follow the instructions accordingly.
4. Mount The Socket Boxes And Bulb Holders
Once you’ve connected the MCBs to the main switch, take the 1.5mm cables and lead them to where you’re planning to mount your bulb holders and their corresponding switches. Do the same to the socket boxes, but this time using a 2.5mm cable.
Ideally, you should’ve mounted conduit pipes beneath the walls during the early home construction stages to make your wiring look clean. If you’ve not done that, you can, alternatively, employ trunking to achieve the same outcome. With everything in place, mount the sockets and bulb holders while considering the right cable connections.
5. Test Your Circuits
Once you’re done with all the circuits, you can then test the flow of current and the overall operation. Do this by connecting the power leads to the main supply and then switch it on. Connect bulbs to their respective holders and check if the light circuits are working. Use your tester to check the state of the sockets and make any amendments if necessary.
Wiring a small home doesn’t need to be a complicated process provided you have the required skills to complete every task. Before you start working, make sure you’ve purchased all the must-have tools, such as a screwdriver, voltage detector, hammer, engineer’s knife, and insulating tape.
When selecting materials, make sure to double-check the electrical needs of your home first. It’s imperative that you purchase the required MCB and its corresponding cable size according to the requirements. With all the resources in place, start by switching off the main supply to avoid untoward electrical-related hazards, then follow the rest of the steps discussed in this article.
Always keep in mind that regardless of the size of the home, electrical-related repairs are all risky if safety is disregarded, so, if you’re unsure what to do, don’t hesitate to ask for professional assistance.