While it is important for most electrical repairs to call a professional, licensed electrician, that is not alway practical. It’s not even always necessary.
Even the least handy individual can handle a couple of routine minor home electrical repairs. And it can all happen with a little bit of elbow grease and gumption, access to Youtube, and the right tools.
Here are some of the tools you should have around the house for common repairs.
Here are the tools you should have in your house for every day use, even for those repairs that are NOT electrical:
Hammer – Sometimes things (often nails) need to be hit. Hang a picture. Reset a nail in a floorboard. This is your tool.
Flathead screwdriver – this is a screwdriver where the metal tip is a line.
Phillips head screwdriver – this is a screwdriver where the metal tip resembles a plus sign.
Tape measure – this convenient tool stores a long ribbon that measures in inches and centimeters, yards and meters. The best ones lock in place and retract only when you press a button
Pliers – there are many different kinds of pliers, but basically it is any tool that allows you to grip and hold on to something that is too small or too stuck for you hand to be of any use.
When you are ready to advance past hanging the occasional picture and take on the next level of home repairs, especially electrical work, you will find these tools helpful.
Needle nose pliers – these specialized pliers have a long thin snout (hence “needle nose”) that allows you to reach inside someplace like a light switch or outlet to grab and hold wires or screws.
Voltage tester – there are a large range of these that allow you to test whether electricity is flowing, and even how much and whether it is grounded. A beginner needs to know the basics – did I really turn the electricity off to this particular switch (you should always check!)
GFCI tester – in your kitchen and bathroom there are ground fault interruption switches. These work to protect your home from unwanted surges that can happen when water and electricity meet. This testing tool is more specialized than a voltage tester.
Box cutter or razor knife – sometimes you need a little more oomph or a neater line than a pair of scissors can provide. A box cutter is the inexpensive solution
Of course, these are just the basics. As you expand your abilities for repairs, you will want to use each project as a chance to expand your toolkit as well.