Don't Choose the Wrong Circuit Breaker
Standard circuit breaker
Circuit breakers protect wiring and equipment like furnaces, air conditioners, dryers and stoves. Standard circuit breakers are better at protecting wiring and equipment than preventing fires and protecting people. That's why they have largely been replaced by GFCIs and AFCIs. There are only a few places left where standard circuit breakers can be used, typically for large appliances.
Ground fault circuit interrupter
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) protect people in areas where they are likely to be using small appliances and where water is present. GFCI breakers and outlets have been around for a while, and most people know they're required in bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors, but our experts are still finding violations, especially in these areas: garages, crawl spaces, storage/work areas in unfinished basements, wet bars (within 6 ft. of a sink), and sump pumps. And don't forget that GFCIs need to be readily accessible in order to be reset. This means they shouldn't be installed on the ceiling or buried under a hydro massage tub without an access panel.
Arc fault circuit interrupter
Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) prevent fires in all living areas where appliance cords are prone to be pinched or crimped, or chewed by pets.They used to be required only on bedroom circuits, but the National Electrical Code now requires AFCI protection in all living areas. They're equipped with sophisticated electronics that can detect an arcing condition (like in a frayed lamp cord), which may not be detected by a standard circuit breaker until after a fire has started. AFCI protection is not just required for new construction; it's now also required where branch-circuit wiring is modified, replaced or extended into existing homes.
Don't Wire Switches Without a Neutral Wire
Don't Forget Tamper-Resistant Receptacles
They're required for all locations, indoors and out. Tamper-resistant receptacles are a great invention, so use them — it's national electric code.
Don't Use a Ground Rod Electrode When There's a Better System Available
Don't Install the Wrong Cover on an Outdoor Receptacle
Don't Crowd a Service Panel
Don't install Too Few Receptacles
Don't Forget Sufficient Electrical Bonding
Grounding is not the same as bonding. Plumbing, phone lines, coaxial cable and gas piping systems need to be not only grounded but also bonded to one another. Bonding equalizes the voltage potential between conductive systems. This greatly reduces the risk of a person becoming the path for current flow between two conductive systems in case one of the systems becomes energized. Also, in a lightning strike, equalized voltage potential minimizes the risk of a very high current jumping (arcing) between two systems and causing a fire.