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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Fix these electrical issues by yourself

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While electricity can be dangerous, many minor electrical repairs do not require any expertise and can be a fun afternoon activity. Complex work on your home's in-wall electrical wiring can lead to fire risks and poor home inspection results if done poorly, so stick to beginner tasks unless you choose to pursue electrical work further. It's possible that working on one of these projects could spark a fascination with electrical systems.

If you are at all curious about electrical systems, start by attempting one of these simple projects:

Replace an extension cord plug
Most people move electrical items infrequently, but extension cords take a lot of abuse. The constant movement and unplugging can eventually bend or break the metal prongs on the cord's plug. While you could purchase an entirely new cord, it's actually simple to replace the plug. Plugs are available at most hardware stores and you can install them on nearly any extension cord you want to repair. With a pair of wire cutters, it is easy to cut the existing plug off the cord, strip the insulation off the interior wires and reattach them to the contacts inside the new plug. This entire project will take about twenty minutes and provides some big monetary savings. 

Fix a malfunctioning lamp
The same basic process used for extension cords applies to lamps as well, so consider popping open a flickering lamp to see if you can repair it. In this case, you'll attach the wire to either a new plug or a replacement bulb socket. As with the extension cord, be sure you unplug the lamp before you begin any repairs. Otherwise, you could be in for a nasty shock. 

Install a dimmer switch
Dimmable light fixtures that provide several different levels of illumination offer a great way to alter a room's mood throughout the day. If you have a dimmable fixture wired to a standard light switch, you won't be able to use it to its full potential. Luckily, it's easy to install a dimmer where that traditional light switch is located.

For this project and any other projects that involve your home's in-wall electrical system, ensure that you have turned off your house's electrical power at the fuse box and use a voltage tester to make certain wires you're working with aren't live. Once that's completed, it should be easy to unscrew the old switch and replace it with a dimmer. You can apply this process to other switch types and electrical outlets if you're feeling adventurous.