5 Electrical Repairs that should be on Your DIY List

5 Electrical Repairs that should be on Your DIY List
  • Opening Intro -

    Some simple electrical repairs do not require you to call an electrician.

    But if you need to, we have you covered.


Some simple electrical repairs do not require you to call an electrician. They include:

Wiring a plug

As your appliances get old, you will need to replace the plug. Below is how to DIY:

  • Open the plug and you will see three terminals:
  • Earth. This is where the green and yellow wire connects. Some appliances don’t have earth wiring.
  • Live. It’s on the right hand side of the plug, where the brown wire connects.
  • Neutral. It’s on the left hand side of the plug, joined by the blue wire.

Proceed as follows:

  • Cut each wire, remove insulation to expose enough wire and then twist the exposed ends.
  • Pass the wires through the wire grip then thread each wire to the appropriate terminal. Tighten all screws, including those of the cord grip.
  • Before you screw back the top of the plug, make sure there are no stray wires, as these could short the plug and damage your appliances.

Changing a light bulb

Changing a light bulb is one of those activities that one doesn’t need to take electrician courses to perform. You can change a light bulb easily as follows:

  • Cradle the light bulb in the palm of your hand, push in, and turn left to loosen. If you are replacing a bulb that’s under a lamp shade, you need to remove the shade first.
  • To insert a new bulb, hold the bulb holder with one hand, press the bulb into the holder and turn right to tighten.
  • Turn on the lights to test.

Change a fuse

Electrical fuses blow up due to power overload. Fuses are present in:

  • The circuit breaker
  • Plugs or extension cables
  • In appliances

To change a fuse:

  • Switch off the mains.
  • Examine what caused the overload then correct it.
  • If it’s a plug or appliance fuse:
  • Unscrew the plug and lift the fuse
  • Check the rating of the fuse and buy the appropriate replacement fuse.
  • Fit the new fuse into the holder, and then screw the cover back on.
  • If it’s a circuit-breaker fuse:
  • Unscrew the cover of the circuit breaker unit
  • Identify the fuse with a problem and replace with a new fuse.

If the problem persists, check for other problems such as loose wires.

Wiring a ceiling light

Though ceiling light fixtures attach to the ceiling in different ways, the wiring remains the same, and three different wires should be visible: white, black (or other color) and green. These wires join with the aid of wire connectors.

Follow these steps to repair a ceiling light fixture:

  • Turn off the power from the mains
  • Unfasten the bulb cover and light bulb
  • Unscrew the fixture base from the ceiling
  • Remove the tape or screws holding the wires to the fixture base and attach them to a new base.
  • Reposition the base plate and screw it back onto the ceiling
  • Replace light bulbs and covers then turn the power back on.

Wiring a lamp

If your lamp is not turning on, it means the light bulb is out or the wiring is faulty. If it’s the former, replace the bulb. If it’s the wiring, go about fixing the wiring in the following way:

  • Buy a new cord, strip it and twist the wire strands inside.
  • Attach the ends of the new cord and the old cord at the top of the lamp. To feed it through the lamp channel, pull the old cord from the base of the lamp until the new cord comes through. Disconnect the two cords and discard the old one.
  • Connect the new cord to the socket. The neutral wire (it has a ridge in the insulation) should connect to the silver terminal. Connect the remaining wire to the brass socket. Then replace the socket in the lamp.
  • Replace the sleeve and the shell of the socket. Push the shell until you feel it snap.

About the author
Maurizio Baker is a certified electrician. Maurizio provides training on DIY jobs that don’t need completion of electrician courses. Visit his site to read more.



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