Kansas City is a beautiful place to live. The lively city is home to beautiful homes and some amazing modern tech. Without proper electrical setups, however, the city becomes less impressive. Homeowners living in Kansas City quickly become frustrated when they lose access to their electricity, and for good reason. To help in these unfortunate scenarios, here are four must-know Kansas City home electrical repair tips for 2023.
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1. Know When To Call a Pro
Understanding that you have limitations is key. If you try to handle an electrical repair job that’s over your head, you can become injured, or even cause fires that could burn your home down. Not only does this put you in danger, but it puts everyone in your home and those who live around your home in danger as well. With this in mind, complex repairs should be tasked to a Kansas City electrician that knows what they’re doing. For those with enough know-how, however, here are a few more electrical repair tips you should know about:
2. Power Tests Should Always Be Down Before Repairs
Always check the power of wires and gadgets before working on or near them. Doing so will be extremely useful in helping you to avoid electrical shock. Simply turning off the electricity is insufficient, however, so you need to take additional steps to stay completely safe.
First, you should be turning off the electricity to the circuit that powers the light fixture you’re working on. You’ll uncover the electrical box by removing the fixture, where you will quickly discover four electrical cables and a somewhat convoluted wiring configuration. While the other two are connected to a different circuit, two are part of the fixture circuit.
Since you didn’t turn off the electricity for that circuit, the installing electrician used the box as a junction box for another circuit. The complexity of this situation is just another reminder that some electrical repairs are simply best left to the pros. So always use proper judgment and tests before assuming that you’ll know what you’re doing. Doing power tests correctly will make the difference between success and failure (and will keep you safe as well).
3. Understand the Amperage Ratings You’re Working With
Amperage ratings are included in all electrical wiring and equipment. Circuits and products can safely transport no more electrical current than what’s listed under their amperage rating (and trying to force a product to exceed this amperage can quickly lead to fire, injury, or even death). While large-appliance circuits may be rated for 30, 40, 50, or even more amps, most typical domestic circuits are only rated for 15 or 20 amps.
Before you do any electrical repair work in your home, it’s crucial that you have a full understanding of amperage ratings, and how they will impact your repair attempts. All of the components you use while installing or changing wire or equipment must have the correct amperage rating for the circuit. If you ignore this crucial component of electrical repair, you’ll likely get injured, or destroy the functionality of the circuit and/or product that you’re trying to repair. Simply put, doing so is not worth it.
With this in mind, choosing the right amperage is important during every repair task you take on. A device that is rated for greater amperage than the circuit carries should not be installed when a switch, light fixture, or outlet receptacle needs to be replaced. This is crucial when changing out receptacles.
Notably, it is safe to put 15-amp outlets in 20-amp circuits because it is not dangerous for a plug-in device to use less electricity than the circuit amperage. Ideally, however, you’ll want to avoid using anything other than the exact amperage setup that’s being recommended to you by the manufacturer.
4. Keep Wire Connections Tight
Conductors, such as wires and the metal contacts on outlets and sockets, are where electricity moves. Smooth transitions from one conductor to another are produced by tight connections between the conductors. However, loose connections obstruct the flow like speed bumps, causing friction and heat. You’ve spent time finding your dream home in Kansas City, so you need to protect it at all costs.
Arcing, in which electricity leaps from one conductor to another while traveling through the air, can result from extremely loose connections and generate a lot of heat. Make sure all wiring connections are secure and have complete contact between the conductors being joined to avoid fire dangers. Always use authorized wire connectors when splicing wires together. If you fail to do so, you could be creating an incredibly dangerous repair situation.
Electricity Can Be Dangerous
As we’ve mentioned several times already, electricity has the potential to create great harm if it is not respected. By only taking on repairs that you’re confident about, you can keep your family, home, and neighborhood safe from electrical fires, deaths, and severe injuries in 2023 (and beyond).