|Home Lighting Design||Power Failure & Trip Repair||Exhaust Fan Installation|
|Electrical Upgrades||Hi-tech Troubleshooting||Child-proof Outlets|
|Exotic Outlet Installation||Electrical Safety Inspections||Track and Accent Lighting|
|Circuit Breaker Replacement||Exhaust Fan Installation||Ballast and Bulb Replacement|
|Wireless Lighting Controls||Smart Home Automation||Fan Installation|
|Electrical Inspections||Specialty Receptacles||Shock Prevention Devices|
|Landscape Lighting||Bath Lighting||Kitchen Lighting|
|Bedroom Lighting||Recessed Lighting||Energy Saving Lighting|
|Surge Protection||Motion Sensors||Wiring Upgrades|
|Smoke/CO Detectors||Transfer Switches||Circuit Breakers|
|Dedicated Circuits||Home Electrical Safety||Ballast & Bulb Replacement|
Test Wires Before Touching
When you’ve done a lot of wiring, it’s easy to get complacent about whether the power is off. But don’t. Use a noncontact voltage detector to check every wire in the box or area in which you’re working. Always check the tester on a wire or cord you know is live to make sure it’s working before you rely on it. Non contact voltage detectors are available at home centers, hardware stores and online. The tool shown here has a green light that indicates it’s turned on and working—a nice feature that’s well worth the extra money.
Multiple Switches, One Hot Wire
A box with three switches is crowded enough without adding extra wire connectors and pigtails. Here’s a wiring method that eliminates extra connections and creates a neater installation. Instead of running a separate pigtail from the hot wire to each switch, just leave the hot wire extra long. To connect the switches, simply score the wire with your wire stripper and push the insulation to expose about 3/4 in. of bare wire (left). Wrap this bare section at least three-quarters of the way around the screw terminal of the first switch. Repeat the process for the remaining intermediate switches (right). Connect the last switch in the usual manner, looping the wire around the screw in a clockwise direction.
Be Positive the Power’s Off
When you’re doing electrical work, don’t assume that because you flicked a switch or flipped a circuit breaker the power is off—always double-check. Buy a noncontact voltage tester and check all the wires in the box before you do any work—or plan on some melted dental work!