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Electrical Repair: DIY Tips and Step-By-Step Guides

This Section covers many important electrical home repair topics. Get information and how-to guidance on wiring, outlets, switches, lighting and tips to increase the safety in your home.
  1. Utility Shutoff Tutorials (3)

How to Install an Electrical Outlet or Receptacle
Tutorial describing how to install a 15 amp or 20 amp electrical outlet.

How to Install an Electrical Box (Old Work) in an Existing Wall
This tutorial describes how to install an electrical box into an existing wall (old work box) along with detailed photos and tips.

Replacing a Toggle Light Switch with a Rocker Style Switch
Photo rich tutorial shows how to upgrade and replace a toggle style light switch with a paddle style switch and shows the use of an oversize cover plate.

LED Lighting – The New Home Appliance
This tutorial describes LED lighting that is an affordable, safe, energy efficient lighting source far exceeding CFL lighting in performance and safety.

The Incandescent Lighting Ban
Tutorial clarifies the phased ban of certain incandescent lighting mandated by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

Hazards of CFL Lighting
Describes how CFL's became widespread, the hazards of CFL lighting usage and lighting alternatives to Compact Fluorescent Lighting.

How to Repair Damaged Existing Wire Insulation with Heat Shrink Tubing
Tutorial describes how to repair damaged home electrical wiring insulation using heat shrink tubing.

How to Replace a Ceiling Light Fixture
Tutorial describes how to replace a ceiling light fixture and provides detailed photos and instructions.

How to Install a Wall Light Fixture - Sconce Installation
How to Install Wall Light and Sconce Fixtures. Wall mounted light fixtures are often called a wall sconce, and are a great way to add character to general room lighting. In this tutorial we will review to replace a wall mounted light fixture or sconce, and replace it with a new fixture.

Wall Switch Troubleshooting and Repair
This tutorial describes how to troubleshoot and repair a wall switch controlling a light or electrical outlet.

Circuit Breaker Finder
Tutorial describes an electronic tool used to easily remotely locate a circuit in a circuit breaker panel or fuse box.

How to Select the Proper Electrical Extension Cord
Tutorial describes how to select the proper extension cord for home use based on length of cord and amperage of device being powered.

How to Install an Electronic Dimmer
This tutorial graphically describes how to easily install a dimmer in a single pole switch location for incandescent or halogen lighting. To use a CFL with a dimmer the use a dimmable CFL is required.

Tips for Wiring Electrical Outlets and Switches
This tutorial gives you some great tips for successful connecting and wiring of electrical switches and outlets in your home including 3-way switches and GFCI outlets.

Shortcut for Securing Three or More Wires With Wire Nuts
Great tip on how to easily and neatly secure 3 or more wires when using wire nuts.

The Three Way Switch - How It Is Different
Description of the 3 way switch and how it is wired differently from other switches.

Are Incandescent Bulbs Becoming Illegal? - 2007 Energy Bill
The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act contains controversial provisions such as new lighting efficiency standards. This tutorial covers what the new law means for the incandescent light bulb and why CFL lighting is not the long term answer.

Recycling a CFL – Do Not Throw Compact Fluorescent Lamps Away!
CFL's (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) cannot be thrown away by law in some states. They contain mercury which pollutes our landfills and watersheds. Spent CFL's must be carefully packaged and transported to a recycling center for recycling. This tutorial explains the little known fact that CFL's cannot be simply thrown away and describes how to...

When a CFL Breaks - 12 Steps Required for the Mercury Cleanup
CFL's (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) contain mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin that can cause a range of adverse health effects including kidney and brain damage. This article outlines the cleanup procedures recommended by the EPA for a broken CFL.

Types of Electrical Switches in the Home
Tutorial describes the different types of switches found in the home including single-pole, double-pole, three-way and four-way switches.

Installing a 240 Volt Circuit Breaker
This detailed tutorial will show you how to easily install a 240 volt circuit breaker. Complete with detailed photos.

Electrical Switch Boxes (Metal) for Renovation
Describes metal switch boxes used in old work or renovation construction.

Electrical Switch Boxes (Metal) for New Construction
Describes common metal switch box types used in new construction including gangable, welded or tabbed, and cold drawn steel.

Electrical Boxes 101 - Lighting, Ceiling Fan, Junction Boxes
Tutorial describes the many types of wall and ceiling electrical boxes used for lighting, ceiling fan and junction box applications.

Poke Through Electrical Floor Outlet
Product for providing electrical power in the middle of a floor

Your Home Fuse Box and How Fuses Work
This tutorial describes various types of fuses used in the home

Anatomy of an Electrical Service Panel
Ever wondered what lurked under the cover of that electrical service panel? Now you can find out what makes up the electrical "nerve center" in your house. It's not as mysterious as you think and you need to know how circuit breakers, ground wires, hot wires and neutral wires all fit together to add any circuits to your home.

How to Reset a Tripped Circuit Breaker
Resetting a tripped circuit breaker is a common home repair that is easy when done right.

Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip and Fuses Pop
It is important to understand the possible reasons for a circuit breaker tripping and fuses popping. Fixing the cause of the electrical problem is essential before resetting the breaker or replacing a fuse a third time.

Blown Circuit Caused By Loose Connection
Electrical circuit overheating causing a tripped breaker or blown fuse can be caused by a loose connection, check out this helpful reader tip.

How to Replace a Single Pole Toggle Light Switch
Learn how to replace a light switch. Switches control power to light fixtures and power outlets or receptacles. This tutorial covers replacement of a single-pole switch.

Upgrade safety of old 2 prong outlet with a new GFI
This helpful Step-By-Step tutorial will guide you through a simple way to upgrade the safety of any 2 prong outlet.

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