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ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
ACCURACY vs PRECISION of MEASUREMENTS
AFCIs ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS
ALUMINUM SECs & WIRING
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS
AMPS & VOLTS DETERMINATION
AMPACITY - the LIMITING FACTOR
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BACKUP ELECTRICAL GENERATORS
BOOKSTORE - ELECTRICAL
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
Cadet & Encore Heater Recall
CIRCUIT BREAKER FAILURE
CIRCUIT BREAKER SIZE for A/C or HEAT PUMP
Classified CIRCUIT BREAKER WARNING
CORROSION in ELECTRICAL PANELS
CORROSION & MOISTURE SOURCES in PANELS
CUTLER HAMMER PANEL FIRE
DEFINITIONS of ELECTRICAL TERMS
DIRECTORY OF ELECTRICIANS
DMM Digital Multimeter, How to Use
ELECTRIC METERS & METER BASES
ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
ELECTRIC PANEL AMPACITY
ELECTRIC PANEL INSPECTION
ELECTRIC PANEL MOISTURE
Electric Power Frequency Table
Electricity Basics - how it works
Electrical Circuit ID, Map & Label
Electrical Circuits, shorts
Electrical Code Basics
Electrical Grounding Basics
ELECTRICAL OUTLET, HOW TO ADD & WIRE
Electrical Splices, how to make
Electrical Tools & Tests
Electrical Wire Stripping Tips
Electrical Wiring Books & Guides
Electrical Wiring in Old Houses
OLD HOUSE ELECTRICAL GROUNDING
EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS
ELECTRICAL GROUND SYSTEM INSPECTION
FEDERAL PACIFIC FPE HAZARDS
FIRE SAFETY Checklist, CPSC
GFCI PROTECTION,Testing GFCIs AFCIs
HEATING COST FUEL & BTU Cost Table
HEAT TAPE USAGE GUIDE
Hertz - Definitions of KHz MHz GHz THz
KNOB & TUBE WIRING
LIGHTING, EXTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTING, INTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS
LOW VOLTAGE BUILDING WIRING
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MAIN DISCONNECT AMPACITY
MOISTURE SOURCES in PANELS
MURRAY SIEMENS Recall
PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS
PUSHMATIC - BULLDOG PANELS
REMOTE ELECTRIC POWER, PHOTOVOLTAIC
RUST in ELECTRICAL PANELS
SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
SE CABLE SIZES vs AMPS
SIEMENS MURRAY Recall
UNDERGROUND SERVICE LATERALS
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
ZINSCO SYLVANIA ELECTRICAL PANELS
This article answers basic questions electrical repair tools and a simple voltage presence or absence test for homeowners looking at an electrical outlet. Readers of this article should first see SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS. This website provides information about a variety of electrical hazards in buildings, with articles focused on the inspection, detection, and reporting of electrical hazards and on proper electrical repair methods for unsafe electrical conditions.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
With a few exceptions, you probably have the tools you need for most electrical repairs. All you need are common hand tools, some power tools, electrical supplies, and a few special items.
Three Simple Electrical Test Tools that Every Homeowner Should Have & Use
As a bonus in our photograph above, our plastic, non-conductive pen is pointing out a dangerous condition: the plastic front of the lower half of this electrical receptacle has broken away - someone could be badly shocked or burned. The outlet needs to be replaced immediately.
Basic Hand Tools Needed for Simple Electrical Repairs
Simple Supplies for Basic Electrical Repairs
Additional Supplies for Needed Basic Electrical Appliance Repairs (such as a clock radio)
If your repair work involves wire splicing in an appliance like a clock radio, it is desirable to solder the splice to assure good electrical contact. A high heat electric iron, or gun, or a pencil flame propane torch, will heat the joint faster and assure a good flow of solder.
Descriptions of some Special Electrical Tools & Test Instruments
A basic electrical continuity tester is used to find out if a wire is continuous or if it has been broken (or disconnected). A continuity tester is a pen-like probe with an alligator clip lead attached or with two probe-ended leads if you're using a VOM as a continuity tester. The probe contains a battery and bulb. When current flows from the alligator clip to the tip of the probe, the bulb lights. Lots of ohm-meters provide a continuity test function by emitting a tone if the meter finds a sound electrical connection between two points.
SAFETY WARNING: An electrical continuity tester is always used with power off. The low battery voltage can be used to check switches, lamps, fuses and wiring.
Electrical Wire Stripping Tools
Many types of tools are available for stripping insulation from wire. All consist of a pliers-like tool with cutouts on the jaws corresponding to various wire sizes. The cutouts allow the stripper to cut through the insulation without cutting or nicking the conductor Some strippers also have provision for cutting wires and small bolts.
Fish Tape for Pulling Electrical Wires
A "fish tape" is is a flexible wire used to pull electrical cables through building walls and ceilings, also referred to as "fishing wires". We need a fish tape (or a substitute) when we need to pull a wire through existing walls, floors, or ceilings where finished surfaces have been installed.
Fish tapes for pulling electrical wires are available in various lengths. The fish tape has a hook at the end to which the wire can be attached after the tape is worked through the opening. The tape is then withdrawn pulling the wire through.
Electrical Fuse Puller
If there are cartridge fuses on your service panel, you will need a fuse puller for safe removal of fuses. Check the sizes of the fuses you will have to remove before you purchase a fuse puller. Make certain the puller you buy is the right size for your use.
Simple but Useful Electrical Tests of an Electrical Outlet With a Neon Tester or Voltage Tester
Two simple and inexpensive testers are absolutely essential to electrical work. If you own a handitester or similar volt-ohm meter, that will do the same job.
How to Test For Correct Ground Connections & for Presence of Electrical Power with a Voltage Tester
3-slot Electrical Receptacle Test Procedure
Touch one voltage tester probe inside the ground slot and the other probe to each of the prong slots in turn. The bulb should light in one of them. The slot in which the bulb lights will tell you which is the "hot" connection; the other slot in the receptacle will be the neutral connection.
You can also determine whether or not the receptacle has been properly wired by this method (the larger slot should be the neutral wire) but a simpler plug-in electrical receptacle tester does the job more easily and more safely.
See VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP for details about using this and related electrical tools.
2-slot Electrical Receptacle Test Procedure
Touch one probe to the screw on the outside of the cover plate and the other probe in each slot in turn. The bulb should light in one of them - maybe.
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