Home Design

Electrical Work You Can Do on Your Own

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Many people take on, and even enjoy, DIY projects at home. A paint job, caulking, or replacing a door knob don’t require much experience. Also, they’re rather low risk compared to working with electricity. In many cases, you’ll want to find an electrician in Los Angeles to help you, but there are instances where you might be able to do it yourself.

Assuming you have unplugged the appliance, turned off the right breaker or, if you’re not sure of the right one, have cut the main power, you can change a:

Light Switch

Most light switches in homes are single pole switches, but there are double-, triple-, three-way-, and four-way-switches as well. Dimmer switches are often installed by homeowners. All you need for installation is the right switch, a screwdriver, and needle-nose pliers. You may also want to use a multimeter to ensure the power is off.


Replacing an ungrounded two-prong outlet is a good idea, as is installing a ground fault circuit interrupter. The faceplate is typically screwed in, so you need a screwdriver. Pliers come in handy as well. Once you pull out the outlet, you need to remove the wires and attach them to the same locations on the new outlet. Just know what each is: white is neutral, black is the power wire, and green or bare copper are your ground wires. It may be a good idea to hire an electrician for this one.

Light Fixtures

Most attach in the same way but installing a new fixture can be tough. You’ve got to hold it in place while reconnecting the wires. It can be done if you’re able to secure it or find someone to hold the unit. Of course, it helps to be comfortable working with screwdrivers and pliers, flashlights, wire nuts, and electrical tape.

You could also rewire a lamp, which requires taking it apart. The basic procedure is to remove the bottom cover, unscrew the nut holding the cord, and removing the old cord, and then disconnecting it from the socket on top. Scissors or a wire cutter will help in removing it. Next, thread the new cord through the base, screw the ends of the wire into the socket terminals, and tighten the nut at the lamp bottom before reattaching the base.

If you’re feeling confident, you could install a floodlight as well. It requires drilling holes, threading cable, and joining wires to the correct terminals. You’ll also have to make connections at the wall outlet and switch hole. It’s important to make sure the switches/outlets are grounded, twist-on wire connectors are used, and you leave enough room when boring through a wood frame. If your installing electrical cable, there must be at least 1¼ inches between the edge of the hole and the frame edge; otherwise you need a ½-inch thick metal plate.

Why Hiring a Professional Electrician Is Important?

Simple projects may be doable, but it’s important to check building codes first. There may be codes you don’t know about, and inspections may be required by law. Then there are the safety risks. Electrical shocks, burns, and even fires can occur with the simplest mistakes. You could put yourself and others at risk of injury. If you never installed a light switch, even this simple task can lead to costly repairs in the long run if it’s done improperly.

With electricity, experience is always a top priority. Hire a licensed, trained electrician to complete any electrical work, so you can be on the safe side and have reliable power, fixtures, lights, and appliances.



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