Electrical outlets are an indispensable part of most homes. In fact, you might even find that you need a few more electrical receptacles installed in one or more rooms of your Lehigh Valley home in order to support the appliances and equipment you wish to use. In order to safely add new outlets to your home, there are some important factors which must be considered. Here is a list of tips you can use to avoid making potentially dangerous mistakes when adding new electrical outlets.
Understand the Electrical Code
Before you install any new electrical outlets, it is imperative that you understand Lehigh Valley electrical codes. In most cases, there are limits on the number of outlets that can be placed on one circuit. Exceeding this limit will violate the code in addition to creating a very unsafe situation. If you do not pay attention to these limits, you might inadvertently install outlets which will overload your circuits. By researching this in advance, you will avoid potentially costly and dangerous mistakes. Your Lehigh Valley electrical contractor is a great resource for information concerning local electrical codes.
Locating Power Access for the New Outlet
Just because you have a need for an electrical outlet in a particular location does not necessarily mean you have easy access to an electrical source. Before you can install and use an outlet, you have to find a way to connect it to power. This might mean attaching it to the wiring from another outlet if possible. Or, if there is not any available wiring nearby, you might need to run a wire up from the basement or down through the attic. Always make sure you have a workable and safe plan in place for powering your outlet before you start to cut the hole in the wall. Using a circuit finder can also help you plan the best location for installing a new outlet. Although the closest location to a wire might not be your first outlet location choice, you might find that you can save a lot of time and effort by using it as an alternative.
Avoid Causing Damage to Existing Wiring
Cutting into the wall to install a new electrical outlet, only to discover that you damaged existing wiring in the process, is a situation you definitely want to avoid. If you do not know exactly where all the wires are located in your Lehigh Valley home, you should never just cut first and find out later. Instead, use a circuit locator to find existing wiring before cutting. Not only will this prevent dangerous and costly damage, but it could also be a good way of finding a good location for your new outlet. After all, if you find a wire, placing your new outlet nearby could save you the effort of running wiring from the basement or attic.
Locating the Studs
Since it is usually necessary to attach outlet boxes to studs, you should make sure to locate one before cutting a hole in the wall for your new outlet. Use a stud finding to locate the best spot for your new outlet. This step can avoid mistakenly cutting a hole in your wall that you cannot use, thus creating an unnecessary wall repair job.
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