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Rookie Mistakes: How to Avoid Electrical Code Violations

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Electrical code violations don’t just cause issues when trying to sell or insure your home, they can create the perfect environment for an electrical fire, electrocution, or worse. That’s why it is so important to invest in electrical inspections and licensed professionals in both new and old homes. Cutting corners when it comes to safety is a risk that no one should take. Here are some common mistakes that violate local electrical codes and how to remedy them. 

 

Overcrowding Wires

It seems like common sense not to shove too many wires through a single hole, but sometimes inexperienced DIYers feel tempted to give it a try. Having all those wires crammed together can cause them to rub against each other and wear away the insulation on each individual one. This leaves them exposed within your walls, increasing the risk of fire. According to code, no more than three wires should run through a single ⅞ inch hole. If there is more than that, a licensed electrician will need to cut away the damaged wire and install a junction box. 

 

Old Wiring – New Lights

Old wiring doesn’t always jive well with new fixtures. Newer light fixtures run at a higher temperature. Outdated wiring can only handle up to 60 degrees Celsius, whereas those light fixtures can run even hotter. In this case, you can either have your whole home rewired or simply have an electrician install a junction box to run a new wire connecting your light fixture to your old wiring. 

 

Misplaced Outlets

There are several rules surrounding electrical outlets that must be adhered to in Alberta. For example:

  • Outlets must be placed no further than 1.8 metres away from a door or closet. 
  • Outlets must never be placed in cupboards or cabinets, with few exceptions.
  • No more than 12 outlets on a branch circuit.
  • Certain appliances must have their own designated outlet.
  • Bathrooms must have GFCI outlets installed.

 

Insisting On DIY Work

In most cases, all of these mistakes are due to inexperience. While there are some electrical tasks safe for homeowners to complete, most must be completed by a licensed electrician to be code compliant. A reputable, trained technician will be familiar with the codes and will not take shortcuts, giving you peace of mind and saving you the stress of an electrical emergency. 

For electrical work in the Calgary area, our team of experts at 4-Star Electric can help you determine if the work done in your home was done properly and to code. Contact us today to book an appointment!