Everyone loves a good Do It Yourself project, and why not? It's fun, practical, saves money and provides a huge boost in confidence. There are tons of how to books, websites and videos out there for every possible scenario. While some DIY activities are a no brainer, some need to be left in more experienced hands for your safety and the safety of your family. If electrical work is in your way of renovations or your are thinking there is no harm in tweaking a few wires, think again. There are many factors in home electrical repairs that can go haywire, so to speak. These could end up costing more money with risk to fire, injury or death. So before you begin your weekend warrior mission here are some projects where you should put away the tools and call an experienced and highly trained electrician.
While this may sound simple enough, a lot can go wrong. Some examples are connections that aren't made right, use of the wrong kind of wire, the upgrade isn't compatible with the existing electrical system and countless other unforeseen hazards. There are many wiring repairs and installments that have to be done up to code and those codes are constantly changing. It is the job of an electrician to keep up with the latest requirements in every situation, providing you with the safest and latest technical work on your home. If something is wrong with the wiring, overloads in electrical circuits can occur resulting in fire. In addition, many electrical repairs and installments require permits from a licensed electrician. Also most insurance companies won't cover fires caused by faulty wiring that was never approved and up to code.
In many cases this is an easy project as long as your wires match up and you of course cut the power before beginning the work. It starts getting tricky and dangerous if you are upgrading and trying to implement new wires into the equation. Adding a GFCI breaker or upgrading an ungrounded outlet entirely requires installation by a licensed electrician in almost every situation and state. Even attempting to try this your self could cause injury, fire and costly repair bills.
Repairing or replacing an existing circuit box has quite a lot of challenges for the average home owner and veteran do-it-yourselfers. Did you know there are still powerful live wires even after you shut off the main power? The main cables and main lugs should not in any circumstances be touched, even accidentally. These are live wires that can send a massive voltage of raw electricity through your body resulting in serious injury or death. An experienced and licensed electrician knows how to safely navigate through this dangerous ground. A poorly connected circuit breaker could overheat the circuits causing a fire hazard. Many home improvement sites are actually reluctant to give up the the secrets of how to replace and repair and circuit box because it is very dangerous and there are so many variables that can go wrong. This should most definitely be left to the experts.
Connecting a new construction to the main lines of the power company
This is one of the most important last details to complete after the construction of a brand new building or home. First of all, even if you wanted to try this on your own and actually did complete the job, you still would not be allowed to have power to your home, they just won't do it. This is a service that must be done by a certified and expert electrician. Each power company has requirements and codes that can only be accepted by a licensed and experienced professional. You can't get away without a building permit, plumbing and gas permit and especially not without a electrical permit. The power company has expensive equipment at stake as well as workers they want to keep safe. Unless you are running your home completely on solar power or a generator, call a licensed and bonded electrician.
Anything over your head or requires a permit
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports over 20,000 fires a year and hundreds of deaths and injuries caused by faulty wiring. Knowing your limits is the most humble act of anyone who's thinking of tackling home repairs or remodeling. If something just seems off and you are just not comfortable in trying it, DON'T! Nothing is more important than your safety, the safety of others and risk of damage to your home and property. Trying to fix something you just aren't sure about could cost you dearly and you will end up calling an electrician anyway. But Hey, don't stop those amazing home repairs and awesome weekend fixer-upper adventures! Every job has it's risk, some just more than others.