As warm weather approaches, you may start thinking about enjoying different outdoor activities, some of which will be at night. Because of this, you may decide that you would like to install landscaping lights. If so, use the following three tips to stay safe while wiring your lights.
Be Sure the Power Is Completely Off
Making sure that the power is completely off to the lights on your porch or deck is imperative to staying safe. Even a small amount of current could create a shock that could burn you. More current could even electrocute you, resulting in serious injury or even death.
Before you begin, turn off the breaker to the wiring source where you will be working. For added precaution, you may want to turn off the main breaker in case there is a short in your home's wiring that could cross over to the wires with which you are working and make them become alive.
Before touching the wires, use a multimeter to test for any current. The readout on the meter should be zero. If it is, you can safely continue with your project without fear of being shocked or electrocuted.
However, if the readout shows any current whatsoever, do not continue with your light installation. There could be a short somewhere within your home's wiring or inside your breaker box. If this happens, contact an electrician so they can inspect your electrical wiring.
Have Enough Slack in the Wires
After removing the light fixture that you will be wiring your landscaping lights to, gently pull the wires out until you meet slight resistance. Make sure you have enough to work with comfortably without pulling too hard on the wires. If you do not have enough slack, you risk breaking one or more of the tiny wires, creating the potential for a short that could spark the surrounding walls and possibly start a fire.
Having enough slack between the wires of your home and the new landscaping wires also ensures a good connection between the two. If you do not have enough slack, the connection becomes weak and could pull apart over time. This also could result in a short, creating a fire hazard.
If you do not think you have enough slack to make the proper connection, you may want to have an electrician take a look at your wiring. They may be able to extend the wires or replace them with longer ones so that you have enough to safely work with.
Double Wrap Each Connection
Once you have determined you have enough slack in the wires, you can proceed with wiring your lights according to the manufacturer's instructions. However, when it comes time to complete the connections between your house wires and the lights' wires, make sure you double wrap each one by doing the following.
Since you are installing outdoor lights, there is always the chance of water seeping into the fixtures, causing a short if the wires are not properly protected. To give them extra protection, place wire nuts on each wire connection. After smoothly twisting the wires together, carefully attach the nut to them by turning it clockwise just until you feel it becoming tight.
After placing the wire nuts on the connection, use black electrical tape to wrap both the nuts and the wires protruding out of their bottoms about an inch or two. The tape is water-resistant, adding an extra layer of protection against moisture. If there is no overhang over the light, you may want to double or triple the layers around the wire nuts for good measure.
By following the tips above, you should be able to wire your landscaping lights without risking electrocution or creating a potential fire hazard. However, if you are still nervous or come across any problems, you may want to contact an electrician to discuss the possibility of having them complete the job for you.Share
16 February 2016
My name is Brandon McCauley and this blog is about new trends in the construction industry. In this blog you'll learn about new types of materials that are long-lasting and durable. You'll also find out how new homes and businesses are being built to be more energy efficient. I continually study new trends and the latest developments in construction because this is an interest of mine. I'm always amazed when I see new building and home designs that are out of the ordinary. If you also like learning about new construction trends, I think you'll find my blog very interesting and informative.