When it comes to doing electrical work the most important thing is to avoid problems that can cause unsafe conditions and cause your project to take longer than necessary. In order to steer clear of issues you want to know what issues you should be looking out for.

New room addition

Here are 10 of the most common electrical issues to mindful of in remodeling.

* Wiring not Correctly Secured

Wiring can be secured too tightly to beams or studs. But if wiring isn’t attached, it can become damaged as work progresses. Securing intervals and distances from boxes (by type) are often specified by code.

* Size of Wiring

Wrong size of wiring is one of the most common problems. When the wrong wiring is used, it can cause wires to overheat and become extremely dangerous. In residential wiring, it is good to start by remembering 14 gauge wire receives a 15 amp breaker; 12 gauge wire a 20 amp breaker.

* Length of Wiring

Make sure to know code regulations on how much wiring can be stripped. It is recommended that 6-10 inches is removed to facilitate hanging of an outlet box.

* Wiring Protection

Unprotected wires can become damaged and even more importantly very dangerous. Wiring must be covered to the public and not exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Lighting Installation
* Cable Connectors

It is extremely important to use cable connectors in order to keep metal from causing damage to the cable sheath and therefore causing a short.

* Connections

All wires have a function; one acts as a neutral, one as live current, and one as a ground. It is important that all wires are connected property and are never left free in a box. (For more on how to properly connect wires, please see our article – How to Install a Wire Nut.)

* Replacing Old Wires

Make sure all new wires fit property when old ones come out. A two-wire receptacle should never be replaced with a three-wire receptacle without upgrade older wire first.  Same goes for dated light fixtures.

* Wiring in Older Light Fixtures

When addressing light fixtures in an older home make sure there is a ground conductor. No matter the age of the fixture – if it is metal, make sure to use a ground conductor.  In some cases, this may be updating existing wiring.

* Forgetting Code (Remember the NEC)

An easy way to avoid issues is to follow all standards set by the National Electrical Code’s most current edition.


Peter Wilson works as an Electrician for Hedge Hog Electric in Southern Utah. For more on the basics of working with Electrical, please check our category there. ~jb

All images via HedgeHog.