How to Make Live Electrical Wires Safe
Electricity is a vital part of our day to day lives, not least in lighting and powering appliances around the house. However, your electrical wires can become dangerous over time if you don’t take necessary safety precautions.
Live wires transmit electrical current which, when exposed, can even cause electric shocks or fires.
Here are some helpful tips that you can use at home to make live electrical wires safe:
Table of Contents
- Cap Loose Live Wires
- Using Wire Nuts
- Installing a Junction Box
- Terminate Using Electrical Tape
- Bend the Live Wires for Screw Connection
Cap Loose Live Wires
It can be helpful to cap wires when renovating your house or making electrical repairs. These wires can cause electric shock if they are exposed. The cap should fit the strands in the wire gauge if there are multiple wires.
The caps must grip the wires firms so that it does not fall off after being screwed in place. If the live wires do not fit in the caps, you can bend them to make sure the cap does not slip. You can also cap the white and black wires and leave out the earth wire.
Using Wire Nuts
You can terminate single wires using wire nuts. Using wire nuts is especially recommended when you are making repairs, and there are exposed live wires. Working on live wire circuits is dangerous.
Wire nuts allow you to cut off power on specific active circuits without necessarily cutting off power to the whole house or even room.
Installing a Junction Box
A junction box can be instrumental in making live wires safe. Assuming the junction box is far from the live wires you are working on, you can install another junction box to terminate the live wires after capping. After capping or using wire nuts, put a cover plate over the junction box. A junction box is important, especially if you are planning to use the wires again in the future, as you should avoid pulling the wires off the drywall.
However, avoid installing too many junction boxes; use the nearest junction box and install when it is necessary. You can also paint the cover to match the colour of the wall or ceiling.
Terminate Using Electrical Tape
Electrical tape is the simplest method of making electric wires safe. You also use tape on capped live electric wires as an extra precaution. Tapes can be used on loose live wires that do not fit the cap.
You can simply use tape over the live wire to fit into the cap. However, it is important to terminate the wire in a junction box and avoid burying the wire in the wall. The tape may come off when temperatures change and in such situations, live electrical wires potentially become dangerous.
Bend the Live Wires for Screw Connection
Firmly screw in the live wires, since they vibrate when used and may come off. Bend the loops using a cable stripping tool and fasten it tightly around the screw.
When doing this with live electrical wires, ensure that the loop fits in as the screw tightens to prevent any wire strands being missed. Each screw should only attach one wire. Bending live wires limits cases of short circuits which is common when live wires cross.
Dealing appropriately with live wires is one of the most important safety measures when it comes to electricity. If you do not have the necessary tools or expertise, you can always contact an electrician to solve the issue.