It can be frustrating, expensive, and time consuming to call a repairman every time something electrical in your house malfunctions. This is why it is a good idea to have some basic information about electrical tasks that you can actually do yourself. These are repairs that need a quick fix and do not need a lot of tools.
There are, of course, times when you should call your local or Gold Coast electricians. If the problem looks quite extensive or even dangerous, it is best left up to a professional. You should always turn off all the power before you inspect electrical outlets or items. Make sure that the products or fixtures are switched off and are not connected to a power source. Here are some easy DIY projects you can do at home:
1. Replacing an Outlet
All you need for this job is a screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, and the new electrical outlet. It is always best to replace your old outlet with a new one that is quite similar. You should also not replace an ungrounded outlet with a grounded one. An ungrounded outlet is one that accepts two prong plugs; a grounded one accepts three.
First, you need to remove the faceplate and then the screws that are holding it in place. Then, gently pull out the outlet and the attached wires until it is protruding from the wall. Note where these wires are attached and separate them from the outlet. Then, attach these wires to the new outlet and replace all the pieces including the faceplate.
2. Changing a Light Switch
For this project, you will require a screwdriver, pliers, and the replacement light switch. One of the most important things here is to identify the type of light switch that is currently in place. These are typically either single pole switch, double pole switch, three-way switch, four-way switch, or a dimmer. Your new light switch must match the old one.
Use the screwdriver to remove the light switch cover and to gently pull out the switch and the wires. Observe where the wires are attached to the old switch. Remove each wire and put them in the corresponding place in the new switch. Place the switch back in the wall and fix it.
3. Setting up a New Doorbell
You will need a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and your new doorbell. Remove the doorbell from the wall. There will be two terminal screws that hold the wires in place inside the doorbell. Remove these screws and remove the outer cover of the doorbell, releasing the wires.
Open up the new doorbell and attach one wire to each terminal. It does not matter which wire is attached to which terminal, they are exchangeable. Replace the cover and tighten the screws. You can now place the doorbell back into the wall.
4. Fitting Light Fixtures
You will require a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and the new light fixture. A typical light fixture will have three wires – white (neutral), black (current), and copper (ground). They may be attached to a light fixture via screws or with wire nuts (coloured pieces of plastic).
Remove about 3/4th of an inch from the sheathing. For screw fixtures, wrap the wire around the screw and tighten it. For wire nuts, twist the wires together before placing the wire nuts over the wires. Then fix the light fixture to the wall.
5. New Extension Cord Plug
You will need a screwdriver, wire cutters, and a new plug. You first need to cut off the old plug from the wire. You can use either the wire cutters or the knife to do this. You will then need to remove the covering from the cable.
This will expose three wires. Remove 1/2 of an inch of sheathing from the wires. Attach the black wire to the copper screw, white wire to aluminium screw, and green wire to the green screw. You can then place the extension cord on top with the corresponding filaments.
With these guidelines, you can now fix simple things around your home.
Note – Please ensure you are qualified to complete the above before proceeding, or your local laws allow you to undertake the above mentioned electrical work.