Everyone is an Electrician

It never ceases to amaze me the number of homeowners who will try their hand at electrical work.  Electric is dangerous and can cause a fire in a heartbeat. There are rules to follow, and then there is plain ol’common sense.

White wire is used for a neutral, that is all, period, end of statement, amen. Gray is a dedicated neutral of a GFCI neutral, that is it. Colors are HOT circuits, but just because they are all hot doesn’t mean you can change colors in the middle of a run. This is where common sense comes into play, or the lack of it. To clarify, you do not switch colors of a hot wire or switch-leg in mid run; nor do you change colors of the 3 way travelers. You might remember what you did while you are doing it, but pity the poor guy 5 or 10 years later that has to try to figure out your mess. Not to mention some poor guy that gets shocked because you have used orange for switch legs throughout the house but added on and changed this one hot to orange.
Klein Tools Voltage Tester ET50
The different colors for the wires have a purpose.  For more information on wire colors, please read a previous article I wrote on the subject.

While I’m on a roll, #14 wire is only used with a 15 amp breaker. If you need a 20 amp breaker for a circuit then use #12 wire. There is a reason for this, it is called fire protection.

Also when securing wires together a wire nut is not to be used to connect the wires together it is merely a cover. Twisting the wires together is not an option, it is the correct method . Loose wires can cause arcing, when the wires are not tightly connected to each other, and arcing causes heat, which causes fire. fire can burn the entire house down and also kill entire families.

I apologize if i seem a bit harsh, but I just spent 2 days on a remodel project just sorting through the electrical mess that was left by the previous remodeler. He broke every rule there is to break, he even buried a junction box in the ceiling, stuffed with newspaper to support the joint compound he used to fill the hole. In summary if you don’t know what you are doing then please don’t do it, especially with electricity.

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7 Responses to “Everyone is an Electrician”

  1. Exceptional post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thanks!

  2. Vicki says:

    That’s a mold-breaker. Great thinikng!

  3. Karcy says:

    Kudos! What a neat way of tnhkinig about it.

  4. will says:

    mate do you have a twitter?

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