DIY Home Electrical Repair 101

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Article By: Taylor Bush

Doing electrical repairs on your own can be shockingly simple. When something goes haywire with your electrical systems at home, these hints and helpful tips will shed a little light. Okay, okay. That's more than enough electrical puns to last you a lifetime.

Sick Of The Flicker?

No. Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you again. That light bulb is flickering. If you're done with your house looking like the set of a bad horror film, the flicker could be caused by a few things that are pretty easy to fix.

The simplest cause could be that the bulb is loose in the socket. Before you do anything, be sure to turn the light fixture off. Touching a lit bulb is like playing a game of hot potato with an actual hot potato. And come on, who wants to do that? Then, twist the bulb (righty tighty) until it's snug in the socket.

If your light still flickers after tightening the bulb, the problem could be a faulty switch. Try gently jiggling the light switch. If this causes the light bulb to flicker more, the switch is the source of the problem and needs to be replaced.

Testing, Testing, 1-2-3

Afraid of getting shocked? Non-Contact Voltage Testers are the best and safest tool used to make sure the power is off without you having to touch a wire. First, turn off the power to the outlet. Then, push the nose of the tester into the smaller slot of the electrical outlet. If the Non-Contact Voltage Tester lights up and makes noises, that means the power is still on. But, if it's silent, feel free to crisscross wires as you please without having to worry about the shock factor.

Short Stuff

Electrical wires that are cut too short make for weak and dangerous wire connections. To prevent unforeseen electrical problems, keep all wires long enough for them to stick out at least 3 in. from the box. Keep those wires long and strong, my friend.

Blacking Out

So, you're a multitasker. If your circuit breaker can't keep up with both the vacuum and the hairdryer on at the same time without turning the lights out, odds are, your circuit breaker is tripping.

The reason your power goes out can be traced back to an overloaded circuit breaker. Easy solution: Don't run too many appliances at once. But, if you're as busy as we are, just make sure all your appliances aren't plugged into the same outlet. This small adjustment can take tons of stress off your circuit breaker.

A short circuit may also be the reason for a trippy circuit breaker. What is a short circuit, you ask? It occurs when the path electrical energy normally takes is obstructed by a cracked or frayed electrical cord. The energy is forced to travel on a different or shorter path, hence, the name short circuit. They can be avoided just by replacing frayed or cracked cords.

Need More Help?

If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

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