Tips For Staying Safe While Replacing Your Light Fixture

by Grace Motley

If you are planning to replace one of your home's light fixtures, you may be concerned about avoiding electrocuting or starting an electrical fire. Below are some safety tips that will help you complete the job while minimizing any electrical risks.

Check For Electrical Current Using A Multimeter

The very first thing you need to do is to make sure that there is no electrical current feeding the light fixture. Even if you have turned off the juice at the breaker box, there could still be some electricity running through the wires. This can sometimes happen if wires have become crossed inside your walls.

To be completely sure, test the wires to the fixture using a multimeter. After removing the base of the fixture, find the black and red wires. Place the red probe of the meter on the red wire and the black probe on the black wire. You should not see any movement in the meter if there is no electricity.

However, if you are getting a reading, recheck the breaker box to make sure you turned off the circuit completely. Then, retest the wires. If you still get a reading, turn off the main breaker switch and test the wires again.

If you continue to have a reading, do not proceed with your project and call an electrician. You may have a problem with the circuit breaker box that needs to be repaired.

Connect The Wires Properly

After you have removed a fixture and are ready to connect the wires, you will need to make sure that you do so properly to avoid a short when the electricity is turned on again. To avoid this, make sure that you connect the same colored wires from the house to the wires in the fixture. 

When attaching the wires to each other, hold them so that the exposed wires are side by side. Twist them together gently, creating a junction that looks like a small corkscrew. Then, secure them with a wire nut. The outside of the nut is made from a non-conductive plastic that will keep any electrical surges from affecting the other wires nearby.

Following the tips above and taking your time replacing the light fixture will help you complete the job safely. However, if you find something unusual or you do not feel confident in doing the project yourself, talk to electrical contractors like D & D Electric Enterprises, Inc. about doing it for you.