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How to Handle the Dangers of Exposed Electrical Wiring

Your electrical system can pose a health and safety hazard when you have exposed wiring. Wiring in your home can become exposed due to:

  • The age of the electrical system
  • Damage from animal infestation
  • Storm damage
  • Vandalism

Exposed wiring and faulty ground wires rank among the top electrical safety concerns for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Whether your property is a family home, rental property, business, or office, you can keep occupants safe by promptly addressing exposed electrical wiring.

If you need electrical work done, including repairs to electrical wiring, turn to a contractor with years of experience in safe electrical repair. For professional electrical installation services in Woodstock, GA, by Long View Lighting, set up an appointment with our staff today.

If you observe exposed wiring, avoid exposure to electric shock and potential electrocution by calling an electrician immediately. If you can safely access the circuit breaker, flip the switch to cut power to the damaged wiring. Additionally, avoid contact with water in the vicinity of the exposed electrical wiring.

Exposed Wiring

Different wires perform different functions within your house. Unless you know your home circuitry and have training in electrical repair, you will likely not be able to distinguish between hot electrical wires and safe wires and work with them safely. A technician will use proper safety equipment and treat any exposed wiring as potentially hazardous until they verify the circuit is not live.

Exposed Ground Wires

Ground wires allow any positive electrical charges (electrons) to flow into the earth as the result of a short circuit when an exposed wire touches something metal. If the ground wire is not functioning, electric current from the hot wire of a faulty electrical circuit could cause a fire or an electrical shock.

Cutting Power to Exposed Wiring

If you know which appliances, lights, or other devices the wiring goes to, you can reduce the risk of electrocution or fire by flipping the circuit breaker switch in the electrical panel. If you are uncertain whether the circuit is receiving power, you can safely check the status of the exposed wire by using a non-contact voltmeter.

Using a Non-Contact Voltmeter

A no-contact voltmeter uses capacitance or the electric field generated by the circuit to measure the electrical potential in a circuit. Be cautious when approaching exposed electrical wiring, even if you are using a non-contact device. If the wire is hot, you could suffer an injury if you lose your footing or if the damaged wiring is in contact with conductors, such as metal objects, in the vicinity.

Using a Standard Voltage Meter

A voltage meter provides a more accurate reading than a no-contact voltmeter. They use an electrode that comes into direct contact with the wiring. The voltmeter calculates the voltage difference across the electrical circuit.  

Identify the Extent of the Damage

Once you verify that the wire is not receiving power, carefully inspect the damage to see how widespread it is. Ask yourself the following questions to determine the severity of the problem:

  • Is a single wire loose or frayed? 
  • Are multiple wires damaged?
  • Is a switch, outlet, or other fixture damaged?
  • Are there scorch marks, melted insulation, or other signs of electricity arcing between wires?

Fixing the Exposed Electrical Wiring with Electrical Tape

If a single wire is damaged and the damage is not severe, you could correct the problem by covering the exposed area with electrical tape. The electrical tape should insulate the wire and prevent it from causing damage if it comes near another exposed wire or a metal surface.

The Importance of Hiring a Professional for Electrical Repairs

Professional contractors should also be aware of interior design principles. They will carry out repairs neatly without leaving visible wiring, holes in drywall, or other eyesores. Having an insured professional carry out the work means you can get insurance to cover the damage if there is an accident or injury due to the repair job.

Keep Your Home Safe with Professional Electrical Repair from Long View Lighting

Long View Lighting is a licensed, experienced electrical repair company. You can rely on their team of experts to do electrical work right the first time while using reliable safety equipment and practices.If you notice any exposed electrical wiring in your home or business in Woodstock, GA, call Long View Lighting. Learn more on why you need the pros for electrical outlet installation and other information about their electrical services by contacting the team.