The first thing to clarify is that a basic wiring problem can cover a huge array of issues, your definition of basic will depend on your experience of electricity and how confident you feel taking on issues.
For some, replacing a light bulb is challenging enough, for others re-wiring the house is achievable. But, in all cases, you should comply with current wiring regulations and it is always a good idea to have a reputable level 2 electrician check the work you’ve done.
Here are the most common basic issues and how to fix them:
1Regularly Tripping Breaker
If a circuit breaker trips regularly then you may have an overloaded circuit. Of course, you may also have an issue with the circuit or a specific appliance shorting out.
The first thing to see is whether plugging in a specific item affects the breaker. Disconnect everything and then pug everything in one at a time. If it trips then repeat the process, starting with the appliance that caused it to trip.
If it trips again then it’s likely to be an issue with the appliance, not your electrics. Of course, if the circuit is tripping intermittently then you may have a problem with overloading. Take a look at how many things are plugged into the circuit and what wattage each one pulls, if it’s more than the circuit can handle you simply have to plug something into a different outlet.
Electrical surges can be the result of lightning and other weather conditions but, if they are a regular occurrence, you probably have an issue with the wiring in your home.
To investigate this further you’ll need to be familiar with a multi-meter and start taking readings across the circuits, to discover which one or ones are shorting.
Shorting often occurs when cables are old or have become damaged, you may need to replace the cables.
3Uncovered Junction Boxes
This is very simple to fix, get a cover for the box. If you leave them uncovered there is the risk that anyone in the house can accidentally touch the live wire and get an electric shock.
This is most noticeable if you often get small shocks when touching the metal of an appliance or see a flash when you turn light switches on and off.
The earth is supposed to be the safety feature that protects you from an electric shock. If it’s not working properly you need to check the earthing point for your house and follow the cable back to the fuse box. Make sure it is intact and that every circuit in the fuse box is correctly connected to it.
This is usually a result of loose wires in a light fitting, any movement of air in the room can cause the fitting to sway which causes the wires to lose connectivity or even touch each other.
This is a very minor but potentially serious issue as it can lead to a fire. Get it sorted quickly by looking inside the light fitting and checking, tightening, or even replacing the cables.
Of course, these are just a few of the most common issues, it’s difficult to know exactly what issues you’ll face but you should always take appropriate safety precautions.