Shocked young man making DIY wiring repair

Five Common Wiring Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

At Sierra Electrical Ltd. we want to keep our clients educated on best practices for electrical installations and repairs. Read our blog for tips and tricks that can help you solve your electrical issues, and feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.


Common Electrical Mistakes
There is a big difference between home electrical work and other DIY projects. Make a mistake in the garden and you might not have any tomatoes this summer – make a mistake with your home’s electrical wiring and you could get a nasty shock, or worse, burn your house down. Here are five common wiring mistakes to avoid.

We want you safe.We want you safe.We want you safe.We want you safe.

What can go wrong with a little DIY home wiring? Well, quite a lot actually. There is a big difference between home electrical work and other DIY projects. Make a mistake in the garden and you might not have any tomatoes this summer – make a mistake with your home’s electrical wiring and you could get a nasty shock, or worse, burn your house down.

Let’s take a look at 5 common wiring mistakes you should avoid at all costs:We want you safe.


  1. Wire connections in a junction box. For ease and safety, leave yourself five to six inches of wire in the junction box to work with. Less than that and you will be pulling and stretching the wire to make good connections, which can chafe or cut wire insulation and cause a short. On the other hand, stuffing too much wire in the box along with the device being hooked up can damage or break wire, or cause a connector to come loose and short out.
  2. Bad wire connections. You’d be amazed how many DIYers don’t know what a wire nut is. They will twist two wires together, wrap a little electrical tape and call it a day. This is an open invitation for an electrical fire! All wire connections should be made with properly sized wire nuts and tightly twisted together.
  3. Reversed neutral and hot wires in outlets. When wiring outlets, make sure the black (hot) wire is attached to the gold terminal, and the white wire to the silver. If not, the outlet will not be properly grounded and could cause an electric shock.
  4. Recessed lighting. If the fixture is not IC-rated (insulation contact), you have to keep surrounding insulation at least three inches away from the fixture. If you don’t, it will overheat and trigger the thermal protector, causing the light to switch on and off on its own. Worse, if the thermal protector fails (and they do), the light could overheat and cause a fire in your ceiling.
  5. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. When detectors are placed too close to air ducts or at the incorrect distance from walls or windows, the air around them may become diluted and interfere with the functioning of the detector. Fortunately, specifics about how and where to install detectors is clearly indicated on the instruction sheet provided with the units. Make sure to read attentively and follow to a T.


At Sierra Electrical we strongly suggest you call a certified electrician in Edmonton if you have any doubts about the electrical work you are considering. We want you safe. If you are looking for an electrician in Edmonton or an electrician contractor in Edmonton, contact us.

Sierra Electrical has been your go-to electrician contractor in Edmonton for over 28 years! Take the risk out of your electrical work and call Sierra Electrical the next time you need an electrician in Edmonton.

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