Nearly 1 million do-it-yourself books recalled due to bad advice

Nearly a million do-it-yourself home repair books sold since the 1970s -- many under the Lowe's home improvement store brand -- were recalled because of improper instructions for home wiring, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

In all, nine different books sold between 1975 and December 2009 for $13 to $35 are being recalled because following their wiring directions could lead users to get shocked or start a fire, according to a news release from the CPSC. "The books contain errors in the technical diagrams and wiring instructions that could lead consumers to incorrectly install or repair electrical wiring," the CPSC said.

A spokeswoman for the agency could not immediately answer any questions regarding the recall -- why 35 years' worth of books were being collected, what specifically was in error or why the recall was taking place now. No incidents have been reported, the CPSC said.

The publisher, Oxmoor House, which sold the books as part of the Sunset series and AmericSpec, in addition to the Lowes brand, is offering refunds to anyone who has them.

The following are the titles and publication dates of the books being recalled:
  • AmeriSpec Home Repair Handbook (January 2006)
  • Lowe's Complete Home Improvement and Repair (December 1999 and September 2005)
  • Lowe's Complete Home Wiring (May 2008)
  • Sunset Basic Home Repairs (January 1975 and February 1995)
  • Sunset Complete Home Wiring (December 1999)
  • Sunset Complete Patio Book (April 1990, January 1998 and January 2006)
  • Sunset Home Repair Handbook (February 1985 and October 1998)
  • Sunset Water Gardens (January 2004)
  • Sunset You Can Build - Wiring (January 2009)
Those who have the books are asked to stop using them and contact the publisher to get a prepaid mailing label. After sending in a book, consumers will be sent checks for the full list price of the book. No proof of purchase is necessary.

For more information, contact Oxmoor House at 866-696-7602 or visit the company's recall site.

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