When to Not DIY: Working Without an Electrician

Posted on: February 24, 2014

DIY, or Do-It-Yourself, repairs and renovations are a common response to many home needs or emergency situations. It can be time-saving to begin a job immediately, could cut down on the costs of hiring a professional, or may just be an opportunity for homeowners to develop a skill or work on a hobby without calling a professional.

Certain areas of home repair and improvement, like plumbing and gas fixes, should be left to professionals. Electricians especially should be called in to oversee or complete repairs and renovations, as they know the laws, have built relationships with the local utilities, and have specialized training and expertise in the field.

Why You Shouldn’t DIY Electrical Work

DIY might work for small repairs in cases of electrical work, but since these issues deal with live wires and active electricity, it would be best to be safe and call in a professional in most cases. Electricians have specialized training and access to the tools necessary to safely and effectively make repairs and renovations to electricity. The result of DYI gone wrong with electrical work can be fires, electrocution or even death, so the margin for error is slim.

Electricians know how to test wires for power and turn power on and off safely before and after they have worked. While most homeowners know to test switches against breakers, few have voltage meters and insulated tools to protect themselves while working. When replacing circuits, rewiring a new space, or renovating old systems, most communities have codes and require permits for extensive work to oversee that is it done safely and in accordance with local law. In these instances, it’s best to call an electrician.

DIY work stops being time and cost-effective when it puts a homeowner and his or her family and property in danger. There are times when a professional electrician should be called in to help.