An Electrical Contractor Talks About Electrical Wiring

Examples of bad and dangerous electrical wiring systems

As a leader in fire damage restoration, MCH is often called to homes that have had an electrical fire. We have seen many dangerous electrical wiring systems that have failed and caused damage to the home. To keep you safe, we have pulled together some of the most common dangerous electrical wiring systems that we see.

General Bad Electrical Wiring

This doesn’t take much explaining! If your fuse box or electrical panel looks anything like this, it is time to call an electrician to get it sorted out. This many wires all over the place is a recipe for disaster.

Open Splice Causes Attic Fire

We came into this home after an electrical fire had occurred and knew immediately what happened. An open air splice in the electrical wiring systems caused a good sized fire in the attic of this home.

Wiring Issue in Ceiling

Wiring issues may not be where you can see them. We found this issue during an installation job, luckily we caught it in time!

Electrical Panel Issues

There can be issues in your electrical panel with the electrical wiring systems. Some are very noticeable while others are not


Electrical Wiring Basics

Home wiring is not something to fool around with. It is literally a life and death matter. Faulty wiring can lead to personal injury and electrically caused fires, both of which you want to avoid at all costs. In order to ensure your home wiring is done correctly, there are a few basics that you need to be aware of.

No Power = No Trouble

The key to safe basic house wiring is always keeping in mind that electricity packs a big, and deadly, punch. Even the most qualified electricians risk their lives if they don’t follow basic safety procedure. The best preventative measure you can take, whether you’re installing basic electrical wiring, or just examining the wiring you do have, is to always make sure the power is turned off from the get go. Whether you’re re-wiring your entire home or just replacing a faulty outlet, be sure to take a trip to the control panel and cut the power to the area you’re working on.

Know Your Electrical Code

With electrical work there is never an excuse not to follow rules and regulations. As mentioned before, electricity can be a dangerous animal if it isn’t treated properly. Your locality’s codes and regulations regarding residential wiring have been put in place for a reason: to protect you, the homeowner. Anytime you are working with basic house wiring, study up on standard procedures so you don’t put your family or yourself in jeopardy. And if you’re undertaking a major home wiring project, get familiar with your local inspector. Don’t view them as a hurdle to overcome, but as a valuable resource you can draw on to get the job done right.

Components of Basic Electrical Wiring

Besides safety considerations and regulations, the other thing you want to familiarize yourself with is the make up of your home wiring.

Service Entry. This refers to the point in your home where your electrical service goes from the main grid into your home. Your service entry is critical and there are a few things to keep tabs on. First of all, make sure any entry lines are at least 10 feet above the ground, inaccessible from windows, and free of obstructions such as tree limbs. Besides that, make sure your service entry is properly installed so no water can penetrate the access point.

Call in an Electrician

With most home improvement jobs you can do it yourself with a little elbow grease and patience. Electrical work is one of the exceptions. Unless you’re experienced in home wiring, you don’t want to do this job yourself. The safety risks are high enough that they greatly outweigh an electrician’s rate.


Home wiring

Homes typically have several kinds of home wiring, including Electrical wiring for lighting and power distribution, permanently installed and portable appliances, telephone, heating or ventilation system control, and increasingly for home theatre and computer networks.

Typical features

In new home construction, wiring for all electrical services can be easily installed before the walls are finished. In existing buildings, installation of a new system, such as a security system or home theatre, may require additional effort to install concealed wiring. Multiple unit dwellings such as condominiums and apartment houses may have additional installation complexity in distributing services within a house.

Power and telecommunication services generally require entry points into the home and a location for connection equipment. For electric power supply, a cable is run either overhead or underground into a distribution board in the home. A distribution board, or circuit breaker panel, is typically a metal box mounted on a wall of the home. In many new homes the location of the electrical switchboard is on the outside of the external wall of the garage.

Power point

Power points (receptacles, plugs, wallsockets) need to be installed throughout the house in locations where power will be required. In many areas the installation must be done in compliance with standards and by a licensed or qualified electrician. Power points are typically located where there will be an appliance installed such as telephone, computers, television, home theater, security system, CCTV system.

Light fittings and switches

The number of light fitting does depend on the type of light fitting and the lighting requirements in each room. The incandescent bulb made household lighting practical, but modern homes use a wide variety of light sources to provide desired light levels with higher energy efficiency than incandescent lamps. A lighting designer can provide specific recommendations for lighting in a home. Layout of lighting in the home must consider control of lighting since this affects the wiring. For example, multiway switching is useful for corridors and stairwells so that a light can be turned on and off from two locations. Outdoor yard lighting, and lighting for outbuildings such as garages may use switches inside the home.


Tricks for Running Wiring Through Your Walls

When it comes to residential electrical work, most people just call up an electrician without a second thought. And for good reason – working with electricity can be difficult and dangerous if not done properly. However, there are some simple jobs that amateur electricians can perform on their own if they have basic tools and experience. Read on for tips on how to run electrical wiring behind your walls without tearing up your home.

Get Started as a DIY Electrician

To get started, you’ll need a stud finder, a flex bit for your drill and a glow rod to pull the wiring through the holes you make. Before you start drilling any holes or messing with wires, you’ll need to decide where you want the wire to emerge from the wall or ceiling. Then, use the stud finder to ensure that you have a clear passage between the spots where you want the wire to enter and exit the wall. If you discover any crossbeams in the way, you can avoid a lot of work by adjusting your location to a more open area, unless it’s absolutely necessary that you pull the wire through to that exact spot.

Fishing the Wire Through the Wall

Now it’s time to actually fish the wire through the wall. If you tie a string to the drill bit, you can pull it back up to the entry point and use it to help thread the wire to its destination. This is where the glow rod comes in handy – you can attach it to the wire and help push or pull it through any tricky areas. As a bonus, the light from the glow rod helps you find your way behind the walls.

Expert Electricians to the Rescue

Once you have the wire where you need it, the difficult part begins – connecting your outlet or fixture, and adding the wire to one of the circuits in your home. If you are unsure about any step of the process, don’t hesitate to contact an expert electrician to come lend a hand


Common Electrical Problems Around The Home


Electrical surges can be caused by anything from lightning strikes, damage to power lines, faulty appliances and bad electrical wiring in the house. While an actual surge only lasts a microsecond, frequent surges can damage the electrical components connected to your home, degrading their life expectancy significantly


Like electrical surges, sags and dips in electrical supply can often be attributed to devices connected to your power grid that are faulty or made with substandard materials, and draw a lot of power when they are turned on.


Dimmer switches that don’t adjust light properly can often be attributed to shoddy workmanship or sub-standard products.


High wattage items like microwaves and hairdryers can trip circuit breakers, particularly when other power consuming items are used on the same source. A circuit breaker is designed to protect you and your home, so when it does trip, that’s a sign it’s doing its job.


One of the biggest causes of frequent circuit breaker tripping is the overloading of power boards. Most homes and apartments, even newer ones, don’t have enough power points to cater to, for example, a complete home entertainment unit setup. If circuit breakers in your home are tripping frequently