If you believe that installing a new electrical outlet in or around your home is an easy weekend DIY job you may want to rethink your opinion. There are good reasons why licensed electricians have to go to school to be certified. For one thing, a local electrician like Schumann Electric knows city and state codes. If an outlet is installed incorrectly and not up to code, if there is a fire that is caused by the faulty installation, the person who installs the outlet could be liable.
Not only will the electrician be up on all codes, he will be bonded and insured. You have complete peace of mind that he is doing the job right – the first time.
So what do you need to know?
Well, let’s talk about your needs. Are you replacing an outdated outlet with a new GFI? Are you adding a new outlet so you can plug in your computer and printer without disturbing the other appliances, lamps, clocks, etc. that are already using wall outlets? Are you installing a new outlet on your back porch where you can plug in a new ceiling fan? You can’t wait to get that new hot tub filled and ready for fun. Fill it up and plug it in. Right? Wrong.
First you need to know whether what you are using is for a standard 120 volt home outlet. Some appliances, like hot tubs, call for a larger capacity. Replacing an outlet can certainly be simpler than creating a new outlet. How much do you know about your electrical panel? Is there a free circuit? How do you determine if your panel will hold the new outlet? Do you know enough to keep you and members of your family from being shocked or electrocuted? It seems exaggerated, but unintentional shocks have happened.
How much do you know about wiring?
You may think you are cutting corners by purchasing the actual wires on your own. Are you sure you know what size to buy? Electrical wire is sized on the AWG system (the American Wire Gauge). You need to know what the capacity for the wire will be and what the wire feed will be to make a sound decision.
If you go into a hardware store or home improvement store you will be amazed at the number of different wires that are sold. The each have a place and purpose in your home. Your neighbor said that he used aluminum wiring when he had his electrical outlets installed. Did you know that copper wires have been determined to be the best in today’s environment? Just look at the number of people stealing copper and you will realize that copper is now in demand.
Things a pro will know
You electrician will know exactly how much current the gauge of wire will safely carry. When a novice looks at the wiring it is obvious that the larger the gauge, the more electricity it can handle. Plus, the pro will know if your intended ampacity matches the circuit size on your electrical panel.
When you want to replace or upgrade electrical outlets, the smart thing to do is let a licensed professional do it. It will be done safely, efficiently and correctly.