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How to Do Home Electrical Repairs

Assembling an Emergency Blackout Kit

Is your home susceptible to power outages due to the local utility company, wind storms, or other problems? Even if it's not, you would be well served to make an emergency blackout kit that includes the following items:

An emergency blackout kit consists of numerous items.
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Some items for a blackout kit.

  • Candles or oil lamps and matches for area lighting

  • Flashlight, battery lantern, or other auxiliary light source for troubleshooting

  • Correct and up-to-date circuit directory posted on main entrance panel door

  • Tool kit with appropriate tools for making electrical repairs

  • Circuit tester, preferably the voltage-readout type

  • Two replacement plug fuses of each amperage rating in use, preferably Type S

  • Four replacement cartridge fuses, including main fuses, of each amperage rating in use

  • One replacement pull circuit breaker of a rating equal to the smallest size in use or one of each size in use

  • One replacement double-pull circuit breaker of each amperage rating in use

  • Selection of lightbulbs

  • One replacement duplex receptacle to match existing units

  • One replacement single-pole switch to match existing units

  • One replacement three-way or other special switches to match existing units

  • Wirenuts and electrical tape

With a little preparation and knowledge, you'll be able to handle your next power outage without being left in the dark.

It also takes preparation and knowledge to do repairs and maintenance checks on home electrical receptacles. We'll show you how to perform these tasks in the next section.