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Electrical Repairs: Do It Yourself
Unlike plumbing or roofing, electrical repairs should be left to those who possess the necessary skill and training in order to complete the task successfully.
As a rule, electricity should always be treated with the highest respect. Accidents resulting from faulty electrical systems are always waiting to happen. If a person decides to do the electrical repairs on his own, a single mistake in the connection or wiring could increase risk of electrical fires.
If you are still keen on doing the electrical repairs yourself, you should make sure that you switch off the power source of the circuit.
Repairing Duplex Wall Outlets
Also referred to as split outlet, the duplex wall outlet has one receptacle that possess continuous power and another receptacle which is wall switch-controlled. Most homes with rooms that have no overhead light have this kind of wall outlet. Lamps can be turned on and off with the switch.
If you check a regular duplex outlet, you will notice five screws: one green, two silver and two brass screws. Inside the electrical box, you will find two (2) different cables connected to the screws. One of the cables usually feeds power to an outlet while the other cable delivers power to the device or fixture.
In between the silver and brass screws, there are two small metal pieces located on each receptacle. Removing these metal pieces will prevent electricity from transferring through the screws.
For split receptacles or outlets, you will have to remove the metal pieces located between the brass screws so that one of the receptacles can be controlled by a switch. Most homeowners fail to do this, causing the switch-controlled receptacle to malfunction.
On the other hand, if both the receptacles of your split outlet are not working, it is possible that one or more of the screws are broken. This happens when the wires you bend around these screws have become fatigued. It is also possible that the wires are flexing and moving each time a cord is plugged into the receptacle because the outlet itself is loosely attached to the box.
When pushing wires into the electrical box, you should be very cautions. Make sure that all wires are tucked away neatly and they are not resting close to the screws.
If you are still experiencing problems, maybe it is time to call in the professionals for help.