You do not have to be the world’s smartest electrical engineer who has read the top comprehensive electrical engineering books to be able to start an electrical DIY consideration. In fact, with today’s vast pool of online resources, electrical DIY has never been made easier.
Besides, there are many reasons to consider DIY’ing your own home’s electrical system: you save money, and you get to learn basic home economics knowledge for new skillset. However, before venturing into this kind of work, you need to first secure tools, equipment, and parts need to get the job done.
Before anything else, the critical point in deciding to start electrical DIY is to familiarize one’s self with all the basics. To do this, one can check for informative electrical DIY books or other handyman guidebooks in local bookstores or Amazon. For those not fond of reading, online video tutorials and audiobooks/podcasts are also available with one quick Google search.
It is in these books and online media where one can learn the preliminaries. For example, it teaches one about general topics such as electrical project requirements and emergency solutions, among others. Likewise, it also informs one about specific topics like where to purchase tools to or what electrical tape brand to buy, to name a few.
Tools You Should Have
Ideally, here are the useful tools and parts you should get:
- Wire Strippers. Designed to pull the insulation off from the different types of electrical wires, wire strippers is a definite must-have. Besides, it’s not difficult to find the best electrical wire strippers available; some even include hybrid ones: a tool the cuts, insulates, and strips wires.
- Hammer. This is a tool that never leaves anyone’s toolset. One would use this tool to secure boxes, puncture nails, and framing parts. Likewise, a hammer is perfect for driving wire staples during electrical cable installation.
- Voltage Detector. These a pen-shaped testing hardware which determines the absence or presence of current in any circuit without any direct metallic contact. It is essential to carefully pick the most efficient voltage detectors on the market because the cheap ones might cause hazard and danger to your life.
- Pliers. Unbeknownst to many, pliers come in different types, each with different functions. Typically, beginners purchase side-cutting diagonal pliers or tongue-and-groove pliers as firsthand tools. However, for those looking for a cheap and versatile option, a linesman pliers, dubbed as the do-it-all pliers, is the best way to go.
- Torpedo Level. A tool used to level straight switch and outlet covers as well as boxes, the torpedo level is one of the most useful tools indeed. It fits easily in any box or tool but helps to plumb and level various spaces.
- Flashlight. Since DIY electrical work involves venturing and peeking into dark places like attics and crawl spaces, a flashlight is highly recommended. People use this not only for convenience but mostly for safety.
- Electrical Multi-tester. It is easy to find the top multi-testers on sale as it is a handy tool for professionals and beginners alike. This multi-purpose measuring instrument combines several measurements functions, such as current and resistance, among others, into one unit.
- Utility Knife. Also known as a box cutter, the utility knife’s function is for cutting electrical tapes, opening standard cardboard boxes, and cutting sheathing from non-metallic cables.
- Screwdrivers. Inside every electrician’s toolbox is a screwdriver, and it comes in more types than one. For instance, a Philipps screwdriver is used to remove or install cover plates, switches, outlets, resistors, and many other different parts and devices. It is ideal for one to have different lengths of Phillips screwdrivers, along with the different tip sizes (#1, #2, and #3 tip sizes). Likewise, one must also haves straight-blade screwdrivers for other screw types.
- Wire Crimpers. These tools are used to crimp electrical terminals into wires. Some of them even strip wire insulation for multi-functionality.
- Tape Measure. A tape measure is a handyman’s best friend. Without the proper measurements, no job can be sufficiently and expertly done. This tool is used for various kinds of field measurements such as centering lighting fixture boxes, setting heights for outlets, switches, and circuit breakers, or marking surface for cutouts and lines.
- Allen Wrenches. Used to tighten hex-head screws, wrenches come in two sets: metric and standard. It is ideal to have both for multiple options and sizes of the screws.
Electrical Parts to Choose
People might think that buying each electrical part individually is the best option, but the contrary is true. For beginners, a standard electrical DIY start-up kit is the ideal purchase. The parts that must be included in your kit, among other things, are transistors, LEDs, electrolytic capacitors, diodes, wires, cables, inductor, integrated circuit, hook-up wires.clips, and toggle switches.
Each electronics component kit packs all the essential and standard parts used for electrical DIYs and more. Each assortment is different from the others, so make sure to specify what electrical projects you would be working on the most to pick the ideal one correctly.
Nonetheless, should your kit not have a specific part you’re looking for, that’s the time you would purchase parts individually. It is crucial to have a kit that has all the basic requirements and standard parts for ease of use.
Once you got all the useful tools and parts for your DIY electrical start-up, you need to organize them for safekeeping and easy use. Typically, what is recommended is to buy a toolbox; it not only an easy option but also a household trademark. Like the way easy-to-use electrical cord management solutions organize your electrical wires and keep them in order, a toolbox stores your tools in an orderly manner.
Buying a toolbox is not the only option as there are specialized belts, duffels bags, and other organizing options available for your tools. These are made available at the local hardware store. As for the parts, the kit itself is the organizer, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Something New and Innovative
The tools are simple machines that have undergone many changes to fit the current need of the consumers and handymen/handywomen for comfortable tools and ease of use. For instance, the amalgamation of wire strippers and cutters into one single device. The same can be said of electrical equipment to be installed, and it’s high time that DIY electrical beginners get a good grip of these innovative materials and consider purchasing them.
While there are simple yet functional standard electrical outlets available on the market, a smart outlet is one technical innovation you would want to check out. They ensure the customer to save energy cost and to be child-hazard proof, among other things. Another innovative tool is modern doorbells, such as the readily available and affordable video doorbells. It provides the customer with a security measure along with a video-capturing option to ensure that their homes are built to protect and keep them safe.
Jumping Into It
When you have studied the basic of electrical DIY and have purchased all the necessary tools and parts, the next step is to prepare yourself to get into it. Start with small and simple projects while you work your way through the complicated and difficult ones.
Remember to always be quick to judge when you feel the electrical project is way beyond your control and requires help from an electrician or handyman. When something does not feel right, be ready to pick=up the phone to call your go-to utility man or woman.
Electrical DIY projects look easier than they seem. Even the simpler ones take much work and discipline. What is important is the proper preparation and guidance before venturing into it. Besides, with focus and determination, anything is possible, and starting your electrical DIY project is no exception.