As we add more electrical devices, appliances, lights, electric vehicles, TVs and more to our lives to make it more convenient and enjoyable, we add electrical load to our older and aging wiring, electrical panel, sockets, plugs, and outlets too. While it may seem simple to get and set up these devices, we often forget to consider whether our electrical system can keep up. Also whether we can perform upgrades, installations and repairs, as easily as we can add new electrical devices. These tasks, are best left to highly-rated, licensed and insured electrical companies, to ensure your project goes right the first time.
Here are 7 reasons to avoid Doing It Yourself, or even chancing it on a cheap handyman, and hire a professional electrician when it comes to doing electrical work.
1. Danger of Shock
One of the most obvious risks of doing your own electrical work is that you could end up suffering an electric shock. While you might think that you’ve taken every precaution, it’s easy to overlook some common issues. Even if you’ve gathered together all of the equipment that you think you need, that doesn’t mean that you’re trained to use it.
Some hardcore DIY home repair lovers will get down to the business of fixing things around their house at their own peril. However, if you have a family, roommates, or a partner in your house, you need to consider the safety of everyone else. While the repair might get done correctly, a loose end or a bare wire could hit a pipe and electrify something unexpectedly.
Putting your family in danger, even by accident, is the risk that you take when you work on electrical issues in your home on your own.
Even if you don’t care about whether or not you get shocked, think about the other members of your household before you start working. One little mistake could be a trip to the hospital for someone in your house.
2. Danger of Fire
Beyond the obvious issues of electric shock, your mistakes with electrical work lead to potential fires. If you leave a wire loose, your insulation is a perfect combustible fuel for a fire between the walls of your home. Without knowing what kind of load your home is suited for, it’s easy to make a mistake that could lead to a fire.
Loose wires happen by mistake all of the time. Perhaps your soldering isn’t as good as you thought it was. If you’re using screw terminals for your wire ends, those screws become loose all of the time and result in hanging wires.
One that’s unnoticed for weeks or months that works its way into contact with water or a flammable substance becomes subject to starting a fire.
This is also a problem that trained electricians can avoid by having a prior knowledge of what kinds of loads wiring can bear. Not every type of wire can handle the kind of power it takes to run a dishwasher. If the wiring uses cheap outlets or housing, it could be poorly insulated and cause a fire.
These are things that only a trained electrician would know.
3. Mistakes Can Be Costly
When you make a mistake with your wiring, you could end up paying more to fix it than it would have cost to have the job done in the first place. If you do a shoddy job at wiring, the least of your problems is having to go back and redo the work. A more serious problem could arise if you destroy household items with your work.
When you take three or four hours out of your day to do some electrical work, that’s time that you’re not spending on the things that you love. That’s the time where you can’t work to make money or go out and do things with your family. When you do a bad job, you’re going to end up doubling that effort or have to hire someone anyhow.
If you cross two wires or improperly add resistance to your line, you’ll fail to protect yourself from power surges. Power surges, when you’ve got networking or tech equipment connected to your outlets, could destroy memory, overheat components, and cause your equipment to fall apart.
These kinds of mistakes can add up if you end up destroying the things around your house.
4. Can You Find The Real Problem?
When you notice that a fuse blew, it’s easy to change that out yourself. Sometimes you just need to flip the breaker to get things back on track. However, if the issue is more serious, can you figure out where the real problem comes from?
In most cases, the problems in household electrical wiring don’t stem from anyplace that you can see. Items that overheat or fuses that blow might be easy to see and fix but they’re often the result of another issue. If you don’t find the source of the issue, you’re going to have to deal with the issue over and over again.
Searching for the real issue takes proper equipment and training. If you don’t have either, you’re going to struggle to figure out what the issue is.
You’ll need to test your line in different locations if you’re dealing with overheating or fuses blowing. You’ll need testing equipment to get this work done or else enough training to work without that kind of equipment.
What starts out as a DIY project becomes a hunt for a big issue you’re not equipped to handle. That’s when its time to call in a professional.
5. Insurance Could Be Voided
Look at the fine print in your insurance policy. If you get too into your DIY electrical work, you’ll end up voiding your insurance. When something happens, your insurance company can wave you off when you’ve created the problem on your own.
When work is done by a professional, there’s accountability in the mix. There’s someone who’ll take responsibility and put their professional career on the line to say that they’re the one who should be held responsible. When you mess with electrical equipment on your own, you give your insurance company the out they were looking for.
Every insurance company wants a reason to not have to pay out a big settlement. When homeowners put their DIY foot in their mouth by taking on a big project that should be handled by professionals, insurance companies applaud.
They get the opportunity to deny you the money you need to recover from your loss while still collecting your premium. Instead of going through that nightmare, contact an electrician today.
6. Do You Have Time to Learn?
In the case that they want to get serious about a DIY project, some homeowners commit to learning all about plumbing, electrical work, or bricklaying. This is a fun and rewarding way to get down to the details of DIY and home repair. However, this is a time-consuming exercise that not everyone is cut out for.
Ask yourself in advance whether you have time to learn a whole new career essentially.
If you’re already burning the candle at both ends to try to get your work done, put food on the table, and fulfill social engagements, perhaps not. If you can’t put your whole attention into learning to work with electrical wiring, don’t bother doing it halfway.
For people who want to be able to devote their free time to the things they enjoy, leave it to the professionals. They’ve spent years or even decades learning the basics of doing home electrical wiring and get the work done quickly. Instead of putting off repairs or fixes, they get done properly and promptly when you hire a real professional.
7. They’re Not That Pricey
At the end of the day, it’s not that expensive to hire a professional electrician to do the work you need to have done around the house. Because so many home repairs are fairly simple jobs, electricians can get in and out quickly without having to wait for parts or make several trips.
When you do the work yourself, you risk having to do revisions, go back and forth, and put off the harder projects until you have time.
If you’re working on wiring a house up for the first time, you’re going to have to deal with building and electrical codes. With a professional electrician on your side, the work will get done right the first time and be up to standards that will get inspectors out of your hair.
When you do the work yourself, it will take much longer, be half as good, and could end up costing you more in the end. When inspectors notice that you missed some basic elements, repairs are going to run you as much as the initial work would have.
Electrical Work is Best Done By Professionals
When it’s time to do the electrical work on your home, no matter how big or small, you’re going to be better off going pro. Leave your DIY work to labor-intensive work like painting rather than the technical work that electricians do.
If you insist on installing a charging station for an electric vehicle, check out our guide before you get started.