Electrical Errors

September 12, 2016

From the Toolbox:

    • Wire strippers
    • Needle-nose pliers
    • Electrical tape
    • Screwdriver
    • New wire/extra wire

Whether you’re rewiring a broken lamp or repairing a fixture for a new installation, you’ll want to purchase these basic tools, most of which you probably already own. Unplug the lamp and/or turn off all electrical in the room. Disassemble the lamp or fixture, removing the bulb and unscrewing all parts to expose the wiring in the base.

Cut the old wire to release it from the socket and replace with new wire, or strip the existing wire down and cut off the corroded portion if needed. Attach new wire to close the gap between the socket and base; secure with electrical tape. Pinch off the extra wire and fold up into the base with the needle-nose pliers. Screw the pieces back together and plug in the lamp to test.

For fixtures, follow the same instructions and attach the bulb and head back to the base. Screw everything back into the ceiling and test. Use the electrical tape to hold any random wires together for easy assembly. Be sure to use wire nuts/grips to cut off any live feeds. You may want to invest in a ground tester to make sure any exposed wires are not live when the electricity is turned back on.

No matter what you run into around the house, whether the kids shove each other into the wall or break a lamp, or if your sink is giving you trouble at the most inconvenient time, you’ll be prepared. Each of these repairs cost less than $30 if you know the basic steps to accomplish the labor portion. Having a plumber or an electrician come out is triple the expense, and double the headache. Try your handyman skills out the next time these hassles appear, and you won’t fail!


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