September 14, 2020 - DIY Electrical Repair
When it comes to electrical residential services, the first that comes to your mind might not be ‘Do It Yourself,’ but in this article, we’ll show you a few electrical projects that are relatively safe and simple enough for you to tackle at home. If you’re thinking about doing some intense re-wiring work, or something major like installing an electrical panel, you may want to consult with a licensed electrician first.
If you’d like a precise quote on the project you’re working on right now, at the fraction of the price of an in-person estimate, consider getting a Livestream video estimate from a local business through Video Chat a Pro today.
That’s right! With the way coronavirus has changed the way we do business, the way we work, the way we shop, and even the way we spend our free time, Video Chat a Pro has risen to the occasion. One of the features of Video Chat a Pro is the ability for users to receive precise estimates from local businesses in the electrician, plumber, auto repair, appliance repair, HVAC, and landscaping fields.
These estimates are given through a live video chat on your smartphone. You can communicate with the local business and show them exactly what you want to repair or install and they can give you a quote right then and there without having to wait for days or have a stranger come into your home. Plus, it saves time and money!
If you’re new to electrical work and looking to get started on one of your first DIY projects, we recommend that you pay close attention. And if you find that the instructions don’t match what you find in your home, we have a solution to that too.
So before we get into our How-Tos, I wanted to tell you a little bit about how you can make your experience easier and safer while saving money by using the Livestream DIY features of Video Chat a Pro.
Not only does Video Chat a Pro allow you to connect with local businesses in the electrician, plumber, auto repair, appliance repair, HVAC and landscaping fields, but it also allows you to get advice directly from licensed professionals in those same fields.
Using the same Livestream video chat feature as the remote video estimates, Video Chat a Pro also has a team of licensed tradesmen ready to help give you advice and tips on any DIY projects, installations, or repairs you may need help with. Whether it’s your car or your home, you don’t have to fix things alone anymore. Plus, you can safely learn a new skill, while saving them money it would’ve cost to hire a professional to make an in-person estimate.
To view available licensed professionals happy to assist you (DIY), or view local businesses in the area that can provide remote estimates (Local Businesses), simply visit Video Chat a Pro and select the appropriate categories to get started.
Now that you know you can get Livestream video chat assistance if you need help, or schedule a remote video chat estimate for projects you can’t do yourself, let’s take a look at our top 3 electrical residential services you can do yourself:
Replacing an Electrical Outlet
Replacing a Ceiling Fan
Replacing a Light Fixture
When it comes to electrical work, installing new things typically requires a licensed professional to keep things in the home safe and up to code. But replacing things is much easier. Whether your electrical outlet isn’t working well or has something stuck in it, your ceiling fan is old or wobbly, or your light fixture is flickering or outdated, we’ll have you replacing whichever of these you need to in no time!
How to Replace an Electrical Outlet
No matter if your electrical outlet is old, something’s stuck in it, or you just want to update it for aesthetics or safety, we’ll show you the step-by-step instructions to replace your electrical outlet.
Step 1. Turn the Power off!
This is the most important step! Before doing anything, you’ll want to turn off the breakers for the area you’re working in. To be extra safe, we recommend shutting off the power for the whole house. This whole process should take less than 15 minutes, so it’s best to be as safe as possible, especially when it comes to doing electrical work on your own.
Step 2: Gather your supplies
Before taking anything apart or unscrewing anything, you’ll want to have your power shut off as said in Step 1, and you’ll want your replacement outlet ready to go. You’ll also need a screwdriver - typically a Phillips.
Step 3: Remove the faceplate and the outlet
Now that you’re ready, use the screwdriver to remove all of the screws, first from the faceplate and then from the outlet itself.
Step 4: Remove and replace the wires
Next, unscrew the screws responsible for holding the wires in place and then attach them to the new outlet in the same locations.
Step 5: Replace the screws in the outlet and faceplate
Place the outlet back in the wall and screw in the screws for the electrical outlet that you removed in Step 3.
Step 6: Add the new faceplate
Screw in the new faceplate and you’re almost done.
Step 7: Turn the power back on!
How to Replace a Ceiling Fan
Step 0: Turn off the power
Just like in our previous how-to, you’ll want to turn off the power for the room the fan is in, or the whole house to play it safe.
Step 1: Remove the old fan
Start by removing the blades and any light fixtures underneath it. Then unscrew the retaining screws that are holding the base of the fan in place and disconnect any connected wires and unscrew or remove any remaining parts of the fan.
Step 2: Attaching the new fan
At this point, only the existing fan box with the wires hanging through should remain. Now you can start to attach your new fan. Pull the wires through the hole in the middle of the ceiling plate and then attach it to the fan box with screws.
Step 3: Assembling your new fan
Next, you’ll have to assemble your new fan by following the included instructions. Make sure to feed the wires that run from the fan’s motor base through the canopy so they can be attached to the wires running from the fan box.
Step 4: Preparing your new fan
Many times, manufacturers include more wiring than necessary so you may have to cut the wires to a proper length to fit. Once they’re the right length, strip the tips of the wires so you can connect them to the corresponding wires of the fan box.
Step 5: Wiring your new fan
Often, you can hang the fan using the edge of the canopy to hang onto the ceiling plate, but be careful! Once you have it balanced, you can attach the wires together. Typically, the two green wires are twisted together with the copper grounding wire, but it’s important to consult the fan’s instruction manual for wiring specifics, including for light fixtures.
Step 6: Screw everything in
You’re almost done! Now it’s time to screw together all the parts of your fan: the canopy, the blades, and any light fixtures, shades, or bulbs. And that’s it!
How to Replace a Light Fixture
Replacing a light fixture is quite similar to replacing a fan, so if you just finished up attacking that new fan, changing a light fixture is going to be a breeze!
Step 1: Turn off the power
Seeing a trend? Before doing any electrical work, always turn off the power in the area you’re working on or the whole house to be safe.
Step 2: Remove the old fixture
Just like with removing a fan, unscrew all the parts of the old light fixture, untwist the wire connectors and disconnect any wires so your old light fixture is free to come down.
Step 3: Tighten any loose screws
Who knows how many years it’ll be before this light fixture is replaced again. Take this opportunity to tighten any loose screws in the electrical box.
Step 4: Attach the wires to your new fixture
See Steps 4 & 5 from How to Replace a Ceiling Fan. If the wires are too long, they may need to be cut and stripped. Consult the unit’s instruction manual for specific wiring instructions.
Step 5: Secure the light fixture
Screw-in the base or the canopy of the light fixture and anything else that may need to be screwed in. You’re almost there!
Step 6: Lightbulbs!
Add the lightbulbs and turn the power back on! If it’s not working for any reason, you may want to check your wiring or consult a professional.
The Next Steps
Now that you know how to tackle a few electrical DIY projects at home, in our next blog post, we’ll talk about How to Choose the Right Electrical Contractor for those larger projects you can’t do on your own.