A home’s electrical system is prone to wear and tear. Regular testing and evaluation of receptacles, switches, and breakers can prevent dangerous situations down the road. There are two electrical upgrades that should be installed to protect your home: ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). GFCIs protect against electrical shock caused by ground faults or leaking electrical current. These devices monitor the current in a circuit and interrupt or stop the flow of power to that circuit if a spike or loss of power is detected. In new construction, GFCI receptacles are required by code in bathrooms, kitchens, and garages, on outdoor outlets, and in crawl spaces or unfinished basements.
Before you begin your first DIY electrical project, you should learn a little about the wires you'll be working with. Wires vary greatly and each is designed for a purpose. The wiring in your home is chosen to accommodate the load it must carry as well as the conditions it will be exposed to. Some are designed for indoor use while others can be buried. Some are for your panel while others hook up your lights and outlets. It may be confusing at first, but you will probably deal with only a few types of wire in your home.
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