I was recently asked by a client why I don’t use power tools to tighten and loosen power points and light switches. He thought that it would be quicker and easier.
I explained that it increased the likelihood that the power point or light switch (made of plastic) would break. This would then lead to the power point or light switch having to be replaced sooner than it would normally have had to be.
Well the following picture shows this quite clearly.
I was testing this circuit and tried to pull out the plug that you can see in the top photo. Unfortunately the whole power point came off as well as the plug.
This could easily have been a very serious accident for a home owner or young child. Touching the back of this power point could have caused an electric shock, permanent injury or even a death.
Why did this happen?
Because the trades person used power tools (presumably) to tighten up the two screws you see in the top photo. The screws were definitely over tightened as the plastic surrounding the holes was severely damaged.
Using power tools reduces your ability to control how tightly the screws are done up, and it causes the plastic to fracture.
This is the very reason that I do not use power tools to tighten power points and light switches. While it takes slightly longer to install each fitting, it reduces the likelihood of this sort of failure occurring.
What should your response be?
If you see your trades person using power tools to tighten up a light switch or power point, ask them to stop and point them to this web page.
If they don’t stop, ask them for a signed ten year workmanship warranty.
That might get their attention 🙂
Bye for now,
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#ElectricalSafety, #Safety, #OverTightening, #Electrician