Getting our hands dirty and taking on DIY projects is our favorite thing to do. When it comes to woodwork and interior design projects, we can’t recommend it enough. However, there are certain things that are dangerous territory for the DIY enthusiast. There is often a fine line as to whether it can be done yourself, or whether you should call a professional. One of these areas is electrics.
A lot of people take the DIY route on electrical projects and find themselves in trouble. Electrics is one of the few home areas we advise caution. Plumbing and structural work are two others. Of course, some of it can be done yourself, but any major work should be done by the experts. In today’s post we’ll take a closer look at DIY electric work. We’ll talk about the projects and repairs that you can take on. But, we’ll also explain the implications of doing so. Most importantly, we’ll tell you when to leave it the pros.
Rewiring plugs – This is a super easy task with little or no risk, when done correctly. Wiring a plug is something that everyone should learn at a young age. If there is an electrical fault in your appliance, the problem is almost always one of two things. The first is a blown fuse (we’ll look at that next) and the second is loose wiring in the plug. Once unplugged from the electricity source, a plug is harmless. Open up the back with a screwdriver and take a look. Learn the colors of each of the three wires and make sure they’re in the right place.
Replacing fuses – As we mentioned, this is the most common cause of fault. Replacing the fuse is simple and easy. They’re also super cheap. It’s worth keeping a stash of spare fuses that vary in voltage and capacity. You never know when you’ll need one quickly. They are usually located inside the plug and can be quickly replaced. Your entire home will have a fuse box that powers the lights and some appliances. Learn where it is located and practice changing the fuse.
Installing light switches and fittings – This is a contentious one between electricians. If you have a good understanding of circuitry and electronics, this is doable. Make sure you have isolated the power to the switch and rewire it very carefully. If you get it wrong, it could mean a costly electrician visit, or – worse – an electric shock.
The issue of certification – One of the reasons we are wary of electric DIY work is the need for certification. When you come to sell your property, any electrical work needs to be signed off with official certification. If you’ve made the repairs yourself, it’s likely you won’t get the certificate. It calls into question the safety of the property and can put off buyers.
When to speak to the pros – With that in mind, we suggest calling a residential electrician if there is any doubt. With the exception of replaced fuses and the odd wiring job, it’s best left to the experts. They will handle it quickly and safely. Most importantly, you’ll get the certificate of safety.
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know we encourage DIY projects at every opportunity! However, when it comes to electrical work, it’s simply not worth the risk. Tackle the small jobs, but leave everything else to the experts.