When you need electrical work done in your building, it’s crucial to only hire a licensed electrician to get the job done. DIY electrical jobs are always a bad idea, even when you think it’s just an easy fix. Most of the time, DIY electricians fall short of enough knowledge to work to code and ensure your safety.
Whether you need to install an appliance that requires its own breaker, or you need to hardwire something into an existing circuit, the only person who should be touching your electrical components is a licensed and insured electrician.
Poor installations can cause major problems
Anything electrical that gets installed wrong can cause major problems in the short-term or long-term. For instance, say your wiring isn’t done properly. If your wires aren’t held in behind your outlets by screws, a heavy load can cause the wires to pop out and lose connection. The result will be what appears to be a dead outlet, and flipping the breaker won’t make a difference.
Other potential issues are far more serious, like loose wires that can cause arcing that can lead to sparks and even a fire. It’s just not worth having a DIY electrical job.
Sometimes part of the installation process involves factors that aren’t electric in nature. For example, if you buy your own transformer for your property, and someone installs it on material that amplifies sound, like plywood, you’re going to hear it humming from far away. A qualified electrician will install your transformer on a dense, heavy surface, like concrete. You shouldn’t hear a transformer more than a few feet away.
Of course, there are other reasons a transformer might hum, including the way it was wound, its age, and how many fans it has. However, when you buy a high-quality, high-performance transformer, you won’t have to worry about that.
You don’t know what you’re getting
Wiring a building after learning about it and practicing isn’t the same as learning how to rebuild your own cabinets. Electricity isn’t as simple as doing math and making sure you cut pieces of wood to the right lengths and add hinges. That’s not to say DIY cabinets are easy – they’re just not complex. Electrical work is highly complex.
You really can’t know what you’re going to get when you hire a friend or colleague to work on your electrical system. If you’re building a new room or outbuilding on the property, you could end up with ancient technology like knob and tube wiring. While some people defend this type of wiring, it’s actually pretty dangerous because it lacks a ground wire. Most people have their knob and tube wiring replaced the moment they realize it’s there.
It’s hard to believe anyone would install this archaic type of wiring today, but an unlicensed hobbyist might stumble upon some instructions, try it out, and think it’s a perfectly acceptable solution. If they’re not licensed, you can’t verify how or what they’ve learned.
There is a major risk of fire
Self-repair jobs can lead to overheated circuits, which are a major risk for fire. If a fire happens to start inside a wall where you can’t see it, you might not notice it until it’s too late.
Licensed, experienced electricians know how to troubleshoot and repair electrical issues properly, and will avoid all the common mistakes made by DIYers. If you allow an unlicensed person to do electrical work on your building, you’re putting your entire office at risk for injury and death.
A person who makes DIY repairs can be held responsible for damages
You may not consider suing your friend if they repaired your electrical problem and it started a fire, but if that fire caused any damage to someone else or their property, they will probably want to sue your friend.
Don’t hire friends to work on your electrical problems
When you have a DIY electrical job, you’re just asking for trouble. There is no such thing as a “simple fix” because what seems simple to a non-professional likely comes with hidden risks, dangers, and necessary knowledge to implement properly.
There is a reason electricians are required to pull a permit for every job, and that’s because they need to prove they are licensed and define exactly what they’re going to do to get their permit approved.
Hiring a licensed electrician is the only way to get working electricity and peace of mind.