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How to Test Your Electrical Wires Safely

How to Test Your Electrical Wires Safely

electrical wiring warning signs

Staying safe while working with electrical wiring is essential, and one of the key tips is to check if your wires are live or hot before renovations or new installations. Even the smallest mistake can cause major problems such as fire, serious damage to your property or even death. Unless you are 100% confident you can do it yourself, we recommend calling a trusty local electrician who can carry out the safety check and complete the works professionally.

Testing whether a wire is live is a straightforward procedure, but it is extremely important to do it carefully and meticulously. Remember that you always need to turn off the power when working with electrical wiring and follow all the standard wiring rules. You can use a voltage tester or a digital multimeter. Here is everything you need to know about these two different procedures!

Voltage Testing

You can use different types of voltage testers to check whether a wire is live. The safest way to do it is by using a non-contact voltage tester that is small, long-lasting and crafted from plastic resin. This device is easy and safe to handle because you don’t need to have any contact with the wire, and the device can detect current flows. It is an inexpensive tool you can buy in any hardware store.

How does it work? A voltage tester will light up and make a distinguishable sound if the wire is live. You can easily inspect multiple wires at the same time by moving the device from one to another. Be aware that the tester is not so accurate when the wiring is enclosed with metal parts and make sure the batteries are charged properly when you are doing the check-up.  

Using Multimeter

A digital multimeter is also a very useful tool for inspecting your wiring. This device can measure voltage, amps, and levels of resistance accurately. To switch between different types of readings, all you need to do is turn the knob. Before you perform the check-up of your wires, make sure that you switch off the electricity. You need to set the system to AC voltage and attach the positive and negative wires. The readings will be displayed on the screen once you connect the wires.

While voltage testers are safe and convenient, it is better to use the digital multimeter when you are renovating an old property. You want to know whether the ground wire is really attached to the ground within the system. However, you may need to use the contactless voltage tester beforehand to inspect the outlet prior to investigating the wiring.

So, How to Safely Check if the Wire is Live?

Before you begin with works and start checking your wires, there are a few important tips you should know. Always keep in mind that safety is your top priority and make sure to:

  • Follow the Australian Wiring Rules
  • Know the Australian wiring colour code
  • Always turn the power off when working with the wiring
  • Make sure the earth wire is always connected to prevent electrical surges

Why You Need a Trusty 24-Hour Electrician?

Handling your wiring should be left to trained professionals. The safest way to check whether your wires are live is to contact your trusty local electrician and let them do it for you. GA Perry has a team of reliable professionals who are available 24/7 for all your electrical needs. Whether you need a quick fix, a safety check, or a major renovation, we can send someone over whenever you need us to!