The Importance of Electrical Cover Plates
Prevent Electrical Hazards by Covering Switches and Outlets – One great safety measure is to simply replace an switch or outlet cover to avoid the exposure of electrical wiring and to keep fingers from coming into contact with energized parts.
Reducing the Risk of Exposure to Electricity
[ad#block]Electrical Safety Question: There is no switch plate over the light switch in bathroom and screws are removed from actual switch. Last night I tried to turn the switch on and it sparked and power in bathroom, the hallway, and half of bedroom went out. My husband attempted to flip the switch back over in circuit box, but it remained in the middle position, he then proceeded to switch off EVERY Switch within the Circuit box, and apparently he forced over the THROWN switch, he heard a hum and or buzz sound.
Now we have no power within the house, EXCEPT for, Central Heating and Cooling, Stove, Washer and dryer all 240 volt.
What is the issue? How do rectify?
Thanks for your Electrical Safety Question MEL.
Background: MEL, a Homeowner from Spartanburg, SC
Prevent Electrical Hazards by Covering Switches and Outlets
I believe you have described the problem in your question, as follows:
- There is No Switch Plate over the light switch.
- The Screws are removed from the actual Switch.
- My guess is that the switch screw terminals shorted against the metal switch box causing the circuit to short out and prevent the circuit breaker from being turned back on.
- The solution would be to replace the switch cover AFTER an electrician can clear the existing problem and make the electrical repair.
- One great safety measure is to simply replace an switch or outlet cover to avoid the exposure of electrical wiring and to keep fingers from coming into contact with energized parts.
- Non-metal outlet and switch covers are among the safest because they help insulate you from energized wiring and devices, especially in areas where there is a high probability of exposure to grounded sources, such as the bathroom and kitchen where water and sinks are found.
The Following will assist you with your Electrical Safety Question:
Home Electrical Safety
Electrical Safety Articles covering several topics of home electrical safety and Do-It-Yourself Electrical Safety.
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The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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I have recently removed switch cover plates to remove wallpaper and in my kitchen. Do I need to clean around wiring before replacing the covers after we have textured and painted the room? If so, how do I need to do this? I do realize I need to cut off the power first.
Generally a little paint or sheet rock texture is not going to hurt the electrical wiring. However it helps to either cover the opening with masking tape or insert some wadded up newspaper to keep the sheet rock texture out of the box. If the room will be totally re-textured and painted then you may consider turning off the circuit and removing the switches and outlets and filling the electrical boxes with the wadded up newspaper to cover the wiring. This way a wide sheet rock trowel can create a smooth flat surface where the cover plates will be installed, which will allow the cover plates to fit nicely against the wall. Allow the sheet rock compound to dry then gently break away any excess compound. Remove the newspaper after painting then reinstall the switches, outlets and cover plates.
I hope this helps!