Every homeowner needs tools. Whether it’s to fix a simple leak, change batteries, or even to make a simple electrical fix, the right tools can make a job safer, faster, and easier. However, if you don’t own any tools, you might find yourself lost trying to figure out what ones you might need. The tool aisle can be overwhelming if you aren’t sure where to begin and don’t have any guidance. That’s what this blog is here to help with.
Before we begin, we need to offer one important safety note: always use these tools carefully and make sure any relevant circuit breakers are turned off before using any of these metal tools on a wire or component that would otherwise carry live electrical current. Metal is an excellent conductor, and touching a metal tool to a live wire or lead could cause serious injury. If you are ever unsure about how to do something, pick up the phone and call a professional electrician. Safety should always come first.
Screwdrivers are arguably the most important tools that any homeowner can have. We use them for so many things, and the many various types and sizes of screws mean that you almost certainly can’t afford to not have the right screwdriver lying around.
Screwdrivers are used in electrical repairs all the time, whether it’s something as simple as removing the faceplate from a switch or completely replacing an outlet. Screws are used for everything from tightening connections to mounting things in place, and screwdrivers are the tool of choice for virtually every instance of this.
Sockets and wrenches won’t be used quite as often when it comes to electrical services, but they are still necessary to keep around. For larger bolts, sockets and wrenches are typically the tool of choice because they are much more stable and easier to exert a higher amount of force on. For this reason, they are typically used for larger connections and in places where smaller screws are not an ideal fastener.
A hammer is sometimes sarcastically called the “fix everything tool” because it simply gets rid of whatever problem you had by destroying it. However, sometimes it actually is the proper tool for fixing something. Is something stuck on your electrical system? A hammer fixes it. Need to pull out a nail? The claws on the back of a hammer are great for yanking them out. Hammers can even help you loosen tight connections that a screwdriver or wrench won’t seem to budge. However, be careful—hitting the wrong thing too hard can cause damage and that could only make your issue worse.
Pliers are great for grabbing onto small components or little pieces that may have be located in tight spaces. For example, if you need to grab a small wire located in a junction box, a small pair of pliers will do the job far better than your fingers would. This enables you to do the job more efficiently and effectively, and without potentially making things worse.
Insulated pliers are an ideal choice for several reasons. For starters, most insulation materials are grippy and textured, making your pliers easier to hold when your hands might not be completely clean. Insulation also helps you keep your tool cooler if you leave it out in the sun, so grabbing the hot handles might not cause a burn injury. Finally, insulation could prevent a serious injury. In the event you accidentally touch a live wire with pliers, the insulation will prevent the electrical current from traveling into your body. That could save your life.
Finally, having a cordless drill will help you with heavy duty screw or fastener work that a screwdriver would otherwise be unpractical for. For example, a tight fastener might not want to move with just the torque of a screwdriver. A cordless drill, on the other hand, can apply a much greater amount of force to the screw, causing it to budge and come out. This can also help with long fasteners that might take a lot of time and effort to remove.
We recommend a cordless drill because you should always have the power shut off when working on an electrical component. If your drill relies on electrical power to operate, you won’t be able to plug it in and use it. Keep some charged batteries on hand and you won’t have to worry about not having a drill you can count on.Need help with an electrical problem? Pick up the phone and call the pros at Lightning Bug Electric at (404) 471-3847 today!