When wiring or rewiring your workshop, consider installing extra outlets in the ceiling, positioned over groupings of power tools. Ceiling outlets can be more accessible and can help eliminate tripping over extension cords. If you are setting up or remodeling your workshop, also plan to install at least one outlet every 3 ft. around the perimeter.
Before you buy that new powertool, check your homes electrical capacity. Make sure that you have the proper voltage and wiring requirements.
Before you install a new air conditioning system, consider your home's electrical system. It's not uncommon for old houses to have only 110-volt, 60-amp service for the entire home, barely enough power to handle the home's existing complement of lights and appliances. Central air conditioners require a dedicated 230-volt circuit and may require 20 to 50 amps of power, making an electrical service upgrade necessary. Have an electrician size your home's electrical supply up before your HVAC contractor begins work.
To get professional-looking splices in wiring without electrical tape, try head-shrinkable tubing. Slip a tube on one of the wires before splicing. After splicing, move it over the splice and apply heat with a heat gun. The tubing will shrink down for a neat, protective covering. You can buy tubes in multiple sizes, as well as shrinkable wire caps to use in place of screw-on wire nuts. They're perfect for work on vehicles, trailers, underground and pool wiring, or for outdoor lighting or sprinkler systems.
No matter what size your workshop is, there are some basic safety tools you should not be without. A smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, safety goggles, and first aid kit are absolute must-haves. Plus, all of your electrical outlets should be equipped with ground-fault circuit interrupters. If an emergency ever should ever arise, a telephone should be nearby to enable you to call for help.
Electrical wiring should always be installed by a licensed electrician and inspected by your local wiring inspector. Your house or apartment may be inadequately wired if: Lights dim and motors slow down when an appliance goes on; Fuses blow or circuit breakers trip frequently; Toasters or irons fail to heat properly; The television picture shrinks.
In locations where furniture or beds may be pushed against an extension cord where the cord joins the plug, use a special "angle extension cord," which is specifically designed for use in these instances. Don't use staples or nails to attach extension cords to a baseboard or to another surface. This could damage the cord and present a shock or fire hazard.
There are three main ways lightning enters homes and buildings: (1) a direct strike, (2) through wires or pipes that extend outside the structure, and (3) through the ground. Regardless of the method of entrance, once in a structure, the lightning can travel through the electrical, phone, plumbing, and radio/television reception systems. Lightning can also travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Avoid flat-topped staples for running speaker wires along the walls — they can sever the wire's insulation. Cables that come with your home theater set aren't likely to be top-quality — plan to upgrade.
If your planning a backyard pond, locate it where it is unlikely to attract unattended children. Check local safety ordinances to determine if a fence is required for the specific depth and size of your pond. Check local building ordinances for depth and safety restrictions and permits. Equip outdoor outlets with a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Unplug the pump before cleaning the filter.