We live in an age of DIY homeownership. It’s easy to hop online and watch a video or two about how to fix up your home, then drive to a hardware store and get the materials you need. What most people fail to realize, however, is that doing is much harder than watching. As a result, people often make mistakes and come up short on their home projects.
Electrical is one area where you should never attempt a DIY project. Why? Because even a small mistake or the slightest misstep could have extreme consequences. If the effects of electrical shock don’t speak for themselves, the hospital bill will—not to mention the damage to your Carlsbad, NM home.
Electricity is dangerous!
It seems like a no-brainer to say that electricity is dangerous, but people often need a reminder of just how dangerous it can be. The effects of electrocution are deadly, plain and simple. And while there are enough failsafe features in your home to protect you from electrocution on a daily basis, tinkering with DIY electrical strips away those protections.
To understand electric shock, let’s break it down into different levels:
- Outlet shocks usually occur at 110 to 220V and can cause your heart to skip a beat
- Low voltage shocks (up to 500V) are enough to give you quite the sting
- High voltage shocks (more than 500V) are certain to cause serious tissue injury
If you’ve ever been shocked by an appliance or outlet, you might remember your hand going numb or your vision spotting for a moment. It probably wasn’t a pleasant experience! This type of low-level shock is enough to seriously harm a child and, if sustained for more than a few seconds, can damage your nerves.
The problem with DIY
The chief problem with DIY electrical is that it involves tooling around deeper in your electrical system. Your wall outlets are moderated to control the voltage they receive, and GFCI outlets are grounded to prevent excess current from making them unsafe. Going beyond the outlet into the wiring itself means exposing yourself to all types of other dangers.
Going so far as to mess around in your breaker box is a recipe for certain disaster, as this involves much, much higher electrical current—there’s likely 100 amps coming into your home. Interaction with this level of current without proper training is extremely dangerous and will very likely result in serious injury or death.
What happens during electrocution?
Electrocution can occur at different levels—all of them dangerous. For example, a small shock can cause muscle spasms and numbness. Progressively worse, moderate shocks can affect the nervous system, causing permanent nerve damage. Worse still, shocks can cause internal and external burns, damaging organs and tissues.
Needless to say, if serious electric shock doesn’t kill you, it has the potential to maim you and cause tremendous damage to your home, including fire. Next time you get ambitious about DIY homeowner projects, leave electrical off the list and chat with a Carlsbad, NM electrician at JB Electric LLC instead. The money you spend is worth the life you’ll save.
Categorised in: Electrical Safety