16 Electrical Tools Every Homeowner Should Have in Their Toolbox

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Gina Napsin
April 06, 2024
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Are you tired of calling an electrician every time something goes wrong with your home's electrical system? With the right tools and some basic knowledge, you can easily take care of many electrical repairs yourself. But before you start, you need to make sure you have the essential tools every homeowner needs in their toolbox.
In this blog, we'll be sharing 16 electrical tools that are a must-have for any homeowner looking to tackle basic electrical repairs. From hand tools to testing equipment and safety gear, we've got you covered. These tools will not only save you money on repair costs but also give you the satisfaction of a job well done.
So, let's get started and discover the tools every homeowner needs in their electrical toolbox!

Hand Tools

  • Screwdrivers
When it comes to electrical repairs, screwdrivers are one of the most frequently used tools. It is important to have both flathead and Phillips screwdrivers in your toolbox. Different sizes of screwdrivers are also necessary for different types of screws. Using the wrong size screwdriver can damage the screw, making it difficult to remove or tighten.
Some of the common uses of screwdrivers in repairs include loosening and tightening screws on outlets, switches, and light fixtures.
  • Pliers
Pliers are also an essential tool to have in your toolbox. There are two types of pliers that every homeowner should have, needle-nose and lineman pliers. Needle-nose pliers are functional for getting into tight spaces and gripping small components, while lineman pliers are great for cutting, twisting, and bending wires.
  • Wire Strippers and Wire Cutters
Wire strippers and wire cutters are used to strip and cut wires. It is essential to have the correct type of wire stripper and wire cutter for the job. For example, some wire strippers can handle different gauges of wire, while others are designed for specific types of wire, such as stranded or solid wire. These tools are used in many repairs, including installing light fixtures, replacing outlets, and fixing broken wires.
  • Hex Key Set
Hex keys, also known as Allen wrenches, are commonly used to tighten and loosen bolts and screws in electrical components such as light fixtures, ceiling fans, and electrical boxes. A set of hex keys typically includes different sizes of keys to fit various bolt and screw sizes.
  • Electrical Tape
Electrical tape is a type of insulating tape that is wrapped around wires and electrical connections. It helps to prevent electrical shock and short circuits. Different types of electrical tape are available for different purposes, including high-temperature applications and moisture resistance.

Testing Tools

  • Voltage Tester
A voltage tester is a tool used to measure the presence or absence of electricity in a circuit. It is an essential tool that helps you determine if wires or circuits are live, which can be crucial in preventing electrical shock. There are different types of voltage testers, such as contact and non-contact testers.
Contact testers require direct contact with the circuit, while non-contact testers can detect voltage without touching the wire. Uses of a voltage tester in electrical repairs include testing outlets, switches, and light fixtures to ensure they are wired correctly.
  • Multimeter
A multimeter is a versatile tool that can be used to measure voltage, current, and resistance in electrical circuits. It is a handy tool for testing various electrical components and diagnosing issues. There are several functions of a multimeter, including measuring AC/DC voltage, current, and resistance.
It can also be used for continuity testing and diode testing. A multimeter's use in repairs includes troubleshooting wiring problems, testing batteries, and checking outlets.
  • Non-Contact Voltage Detector
A non-contact voltage detector is a handy tool that can detect the presence of voltage without making contact with the circuit. It is a convenient and safe way to check if a circuit is live without having to touch the wires. Non-contact voltage detectors can identify live wires in a circuit and test switches and outlets.
  • GFCI Tester
A GFCI tester is a tool used to test the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet. GFCI outlets are created to rapidly turn off power in case of a ground fault, thereby protecting individuals from electrical shocks. A GFCI tester is used to check if the outlet is working correctly and protecting against electrical shock.
To use a GFCI tester, simply plug it into the outlet and press the test button. The GFCI should trip and turn off the power. If it does not, then there is a problem with the GFCI, and it should be replaced.

Safety Tools

  • Flashlight
A flashlight is a crucial tool to have in your toolbox when it comes to electrical repairs. Oftentimes, electrical work needs to be done in dark or dimly lit areas, making it difficult to see what you are doing. A flashlight helps to illuminate the area and helps to prevent accidents due to poor lighting conditions. There are different types of flashlights available such as handheld, head-mounted, and rechargeable, so choose one that suits your needs.
  • Circuit Breaker Finder
A circuit breaker finder is an important tool to have when you need to locate a specific circuit breaker in an electrical panel. It can save you time and effort when you need to turn off power to a particular circuit. In order to use a circuit breaker finder, you have to insert the transmitter into an outlet and then use the receiver to search for the corresponding breaker in the panel. When the receiver beeps, you know you have found the right circuit breaker.
  • Fish Tape
The fish tape is used to route wires through walls, conduits, and other tight spaces. It is a long, flexible tape that can be pushed or pulled through spaces to guide wires to their destination. There are different types of fish tape, such as steel or fiberglass, and you should choose one that is appropriate for the task at hand. Fish tapes can also come with different attachments, such as hooks, that can help guide wires through tight spaces.
  • Extension Cord
An extension cord is a tool used to extend a power source's reach. It is useful in situations where the power source is too far away from the device or tool that you are using. When using an extension cord, make sure to choose one that is rated for the amount of power that you will be using.
An extension cord not designed to handle the power load can cause overheating and even lead to fires. Also, ensure the extension cord is in good condition, without any frayed wires or other damage.

Electrical Supplies

  • Wire Nuts and Electrical Connectors
Wire nuts and electrical connectors are essential supplies to connect wires securely. Wire nuts are plastic caps twisted onto the ends of wires to connect them. They vary in size and color, and each size corresponds to a particular wire gauge.
On the other hand, electrical connectors serve the purpose of combining two or more wires into a single connection. They come in various types, including butt connectors, ring connectors, spade connectors, and bullet connectors, and they are chosen based on the type of connection needed.
Uses of wire nuts and electrical connectors in electrical repairs: These supplies are used to connect wires safely and reliably, preventing accidents and ensuring a consistent flow of electricity. Various repairs involve using them, such as rewiring outlets and light switches, fixing faulty appliance wiring, and fixing damaged wires.
  • Cable Ties and Heat Shrink Tubing
Cable ties and heat shrink tubing are two more essential electrical supplies used to organize and protect wires. Cable ties are small plastic straps that are used to bundle wires together and secure them in place. They come in various sizes and colors, with each size designed for a specific bundle of wires.
Heat shrink tubing, on the other hand, is a plastic tube that shrinks when heated and is used to cover and protect wires from damage. You can choose from different sizes and colors depending on the size and type of wire you need to cover.
Uses of cable ties and heat shrink tubing in electrical repairs: Cable ties and heat shrink tubing are used to organize and protect wires, ensuring they remain in good condition and reducing the risk of electrical accidents. A range of electrical repairs uses them, such as organizing wires in junction boxes, protecting exposed wires in appliances, and bundling wires for neatness.
  • Electrical Conduit and Wire Tracer
Electrical conduit and wire tracer are two essential electrical supplies used to protect and locate wires in electrical systems. An electrical conduit is a protective tube used to encase wires and prevent them from being damaged or exposed. It comes in different materials, including PVC, metal, and flexible conduit, and is chosen based on the application and environment in which it will be used.
On the other hand, a wire tracer is a tool used to locate and identify wires within an electrical system. It works by inducing a signal into the wire and tracing its path through the system.
Uses of electrical conduit and wire tracer in electrical repairs: Electrical conduit and wire tracer protect and locate wires, ensuring they remain in good condition and reducing the risk of accidents. They are used in various electrical repairs, including installing new electrical systems, repairing damaged wires, and troubleshooting problems.

Final Thoughts

Investing in quality electrical tools and taking safety precautions when doing electrical repairs is essential for every homeowner. By having the right tools on hand, you'll be able to confidently tackle electrical problems and ensure the safety of yourself and your home.
Don't let electrical service intimidate you any longer! With these 16 electrical tools in your toolbox, you'll be well-equipped to handle basic repairs and projects around your home. However, it's always best to call the professionals if you ever feel unsure or uncomfortable about a repair.
At Home Alliance, we offer reliable and affordable electrical repair services to homeowners just like you. Contact us today to book a service appointment and keep your home's electrical system in top shape!