electrician, Electrical services, home, commercial
Written by John Mullen

Common Electrical Project Mistakes

Every day electricians are called to homes to undo what a well-intentioned do-it-yourselfer has done. Electrical projects can be some of the most challenging for non-professionals, and can result in serious problems. Listed below are a few of the most common mistakes home do-it-yourselfers make. 


It’s important to select the right types of circuits for an electrical project. Even replacing an appliance or adding a new one isn’t as simple as plugging it in. There are basically three types of circuit breakers: standard, ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI). Standard circuit breakers are those used for residential appliances like refrigerators, dryers, stoves, etc.

GFCI breakers are generally used around water, such in the kitchen or the bathroom. Outlets with two buttons, usually black (test) and red (reset), are supported by GFCI breakers. Their primary purpose is to prevent shocks or electrocution.

AFCI breakers are meant to protect against fire hazards, such as older wiring. They protect against “arcs” or discharges of electricity in the same way the GFCI breakers protect against shocks.


As the weather gets warmer, people spend more time outside and the need for electricity often follows along. It’s important to have the correct outside receptacles and to protect them from the elements. Many homes have flat receptacles with hinged covers that are only effective when they’re not in use. This type of cover doesn’t meet electrical codes. Outdoor receptacles should have a bubble cover that protects them even when there’s a plug in it.


It isn’t news that many homes have an outlet or two with an octopus of cords attached. Even with a power strip, too many items on the same outlet can overload a circuit. Ideally there should be an outlet every six feet. In older homes, each room may only have two, which is an invitation for overburdened outlets.

It’s better to be safe than sorry is an adage that applies to electrical projects in the home. JM Mullen has been serving the community’s electrical service needs for over 25 years. Call us today for an appointment.