Most Common Electrical Code Violations and How to Avoid Them

Electrical code violations can be very dangerous and in extreme situations, even deadly. Violations of this kind are often caused by things such as faulty DIY attempts, outdated systems, and inexperienced electricians. It is a good idea to have your home inspected by a reputed, professional electrician to ensure the safety of your home and family. These are some of the most common code violations we see in our line of work, so if you see any of these in your home, you will want to have them repaired by a professional as quickly as possible to avoid fires and injuries.

New Lights, Old Wires

You’ve just purchased beautiful new light fixtures for your home, but your wiring hasn’t been updated in a long time. It’s important that you get your electrical system inspected and updated by a professional to avoid a fire. This is because most old wires were not made to withstand temperatures higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit – yet modern light fixtures are made for wires that can withstand temperatures of 194 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the date stamped on the insulation jacket to see how old your wiring is. If there is no date, your wiring is likely from before 1987.

Too Many Wires

Cramming too many wires into one hole is a surefire (pun intended) way to start an electrical fire. This is because when electrical wires are overcrowded, “burning” occurs. Burning is when a wire is too close to another wire and drags across the insulation, tearing it off. You want to be sure that for every ⅞ inch hole, you insert no more than three wires. If you notice your current wiring is overcrowded, call a professional to safely remove the wires where it is needed.

Wrong Size Circuits

The rule of thumb to remember for the correct circuit size is to use a 15-amp circuit for light fixtures, and a 20-amp circuit for a receptacle. You never want to have a receptacle on a 15-amp circuit. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, a refrigerator can go on a 15-amp circuit if it is the only thing plugged into it. It’s also important to ensure that the wire sizes are appropriate for the size of the circuit.

Knob & Tube Wiring

Once upon a time, knob and tube wiring was the gold standard when it came to electrical technology. These days, they’re a big hazard. This is because they don’t support the amount of amperage needed today, the insulation used disintegrates over time, and the wires themselves aren’t grounded to anything. In homes built before 1950 that haven’t had the electrical system updated recently, it is a good idea to have an electrician take a look to be sure this wiring is not installed. It is important to note that most insurance will not cover buildings that have knob and tube wiring, and it is against the law to connect new light fixtures to it.

These are just a few examples of the most common types of electrical code violations. It is never a good idea to ignore issues when it comes to your electrical wiring. The best way to ensure you are not violating local code and endangering your home is to call a professional electrician to come out and take a look at it.

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