HOW TO WORK WITH HOME WIRING SAFELY – Whenever you deal with electrical wiring in your home you should treat it with the utmost respect. Any wiring jobs must comply to strict rules and regulations. If in doubt call out a qualified electrician. In this guide we provide you with basic electrical safety information, the wiring colours specific to the UK and some other basic wiring information to help you when you are undertaking any electrical wiring job in your home.
You should take EXTREME CAUTION when working with any electrical circuits. If you have any doubts call in an Electrician. If you think working with electrics is not that dangerous, just consider that last year, in the UK alone, 2.5m people received a mains voltage shock, of those 1.2m had significant injuries that required hospitalization and well over 200 who actually died as a result. DO NOT become one of these statistics – treat your home electrics as you would if someone was handing you a live bomb – respectfully!
ALWAYS turn off the power supply before you do any electrical work in the home – we mean anything! When you do turn the electric off at the mains, place a yellow Post It Note on the front panel to tell everyone in the house you are working on the electrics. This will save anyone from turning on the power accidentally while you are working – a little post it note could save your life! Who would have thunk it?!
Read safety regulations and applicable codes. You can buy a home electrics book from any good book store. Make sure you buy the latest version with all the relevant updated regulations, codes and practices.
Make yourself familiar with the circuit board and breaker switches. Turn off the power and then take a look around the mains box. Pull out the fuses and familiarize yourself with these. Within a modern mains box you will find a series of breaker switches. Each of these will be labeled and will tell you which areas of the home will be turned off when turned to the off position.
Learn about Wiring Colours, see Step 6. This will show you the current UK colour codes for wiring in your home. Note, if you ever have a doubt DO NOT TOUCH IT! You are much better calling in a qualified electrician if you are unsure or simply not confident with working with the electrical wiring system in your home.
In the UK each wire is assigned a colour, which are: Yellow/Green – Earth Wire | Blue – Neutral Wire | Brown – Live.