Before you intend to perform minor electrical repairs yourself, you'll need some basic tools for the job. Attempting to perform any type of skilled work without the proper tools leads to poor results.
However, doing electrical work without task-specific tools can have more disastrous results. Fire, electric shock, or death by electrocution can occur. This makes the use of proper equipment essential when you choose to do your own electrical repairs.
Basic tools for electrical work
This tool is used to ensure that power has been turned off to an electrical circuit on which you intend to work. Using a voltage tester before performing electrical repairs guarantees that the correct circuit breaker is turned off before work is initiated, and also adds an additional step to each task that instills mindfulness of the destructive power of electricity and assurance that it is contained.
Voltage testers are available in a variety of styles and prices, from a simple inexpensive light with two wired prongs to advanced non-touch models that increase in price according to their additional features.
This tool is used to cut sheathes of wire and individual wires to length, and is also essential for stripping insulation from the ends of individual wires for connection purposes.
While tin snips and other cutting tools can be used to cut wire, the cuts are often not as clean and accurate as with a wire cutter.
Wires may also be stripped of insulation with a utility knife or another sharp tool, but you run the risk of nicking wires, which may cause performance and safety issues, or slicing your fingers when attempting to strip thin and flexible electrical wire.
Wire fish tape
If you intend to feed sheaths of wire through finished walls and ceilings, you'll need this tool. Running wire through existing walls is often the breaking point for the amateur electrician, and will lead even the most enthusiastic do-it-yourself repairman to call the nearest electrical contractor to finish a wiring job.
A wire fish tape is not actually a tape, but a thin metal cable that is unrolled like a measuring tape from a spool that operates like a fishing reel. The cable is fed into a wall or ceiling and its flexibility allows it to travel around corners and obstructions.
When the cable reaches its destination, the wire is secured to a hook on the end of the cable, and the wire is reeled in through walls and ceilings by turning a handle on the side of the tool,
Electrical tape and wire nuts
While these are not tools, but supplies, they are necessary for all types of wire connections. When wires ends are twisted together, a wire nut, which is shaped like a cap from a tube of toothpaste, is twisted onto the wires to secure them.
Electrical tape is then wrapped around the opening of the wire but to add further security and keep moisture away from the wire connection.
Because wiring connections require wire nuts of different sizes, keep a multi-pack of various sizes on hand to ensure that you have the right size when you need it.
Contact a local electrician, like D & D Electric Enterprises, Inc., if you need more assistance.