Electrical Projects DIYers Should Not Take On - PTX Electric
Not all electrical projects should be done by a novice. But we get it – you love doing stuff on your own, especially when it comes to home improvement. But not everything that needs fixing qualifies as a DIY project.
DIY projects are a great way to save money, and that’s why we do them. Instead of paying for the services of a contractor or handyman to replace a roof shingle, fix a broken roller door, or build a patio, why not use our hands?
Nonetheless, some things are left for the pros, and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to electrical projects. You get to replace a light bulb or fix small appliances – but that’s about it.
Anything beyond those tasks comes with the risk of your safety, the safety of others, and even property damage. So think of it this way: if you’re not confident enough to turn off the main breaker before trying to replace a switch, it’s a sign that electrical projects aren’t meant for you.
It’s all too common that people who attempt electrical projects on their own end up hurting themselves or someone else. Take note that electricity is constantly running through your entire home’s wiring system, even if you don’t have appliances on.
What seems like a small repair job to you is the same as poking your finger into an electric fan with someone holding it – it just doesn’t end well.
So, whenever you’re faced with these tasks, you’re better off calling a qualified electrician:
1 – Anything That Involves Wiring and Installation
This includes replacing wiring and installing new appliances and fixtures. So often, homeowners pretend to do these jobs alone to cut down on their expenses – but this is very dangerous, especially if you don’t have the proper knowledge or training.
There’s a lot of things that can go wrong when handling electrical wires. You can do irreversible damage to your home, and you’re putting yourself at risk of serious injury. Be reminded that a minor fault in wiring installation is enough to cause a fire and burn an entire building or house down.
2 – Replacing Burnt Outlets or Fuses
You think replacing a burnt electrical outlet or fuse is a straightforward affair, but you’re mistaken. Burnt out fuses mean that there is too much current running through them – in other words, it means that you have a big problem with your electrical wiring system.
There are different types of fuses for different circuits, and the wrong replacement can cause more damage. Moreover, faulty wiring can also lead to short circuits, which are pretty dangerous – these things heat up fast.
Even a burnt electrical outlet is never a DIY type of job because you must cut out the material around it, exposing yourself to live wires. And if you don’t know how to handle these wires without hurting yourself or others, call a professional electrician instead.
3 – Handling a Circuit Breaker
It doesn’t matter if it’s a repair or replacement job – once it involves the circuit breaker, don’t think twice about calling an electrician.
Circuit breakers are essential for your home’s electrical system – they ensure that the voltage running through all wiring circuits meets appropriate levels, and it cuts down on energy consumption. So when you spot broken or malfunctioning circuit breakers, you’ll feel the urgent need to fix them. But you’re not supposed to do it on your own.
Circuit breakers are very powerful, and they can result in serious accidents when you start tinkering with its safety mechanisms. If anything goes wrong, the circuit breaker will close all circuits at once to prevent further damage – resulting in a power outage or worse.
4 – Adding a New Switch or Outlet
Replacing a switch or an outlet shouldn’t be on your DIY to-do list. These are basic electrical wiring jobs, but you should stay away from them if you haven’t done it before.
A new switch or outlet is supposed to connect with the main power line using wire nuts. If you don’t trim off the insulation on your wires before inserting them into the connectors, it can cause a short circuit or shock.
You want an experienced contractor handling this job because they can do it more efficiently, safely, and without wasting your resources and materials.
5 – Installation of Dedicated Circuits
You might be tempted to use your home’s electrical wiring system for tasks that are beyond its capacity. If you’re installing new equipment in your house, it’s best to hire a professional electrician to do the job.
It doesn’t matter if you’re adding an outlet or connecting a whole room with new wiring – these things can overload your breaker and cause problems that you might not be able to fix yourself.
Overloading can also result in overheating, which can damage your home’s electrical system and circuits. And worse, it could pose a fire hazard as well.
6 – Installation of a New Electrical Panel
Installing a whole new electrical panel is a big job that requires expertise in setting up electrical structures. You have to cut out sections from your home’s wall or floor, so it’s best to leave this task to an experienced contractor.
Modern electrical panels are way too advanced than the old fuse-based systems, so you need to hire someone who has experience working with it. It’s also an expensive project, so you can’t afford to mess it up through a DIY approach.
7 – Upgrading or Renovating Your Electrical System
If you’re adding new rooms to your home, it’s best to do away with your old electrical system. Unfortunately, replacing the whole thing is a big job – you have to cut through concrete floors and walls, so leave it to an experienced contractor who ensures that everything goes smoothly.
Adding a new room without a dedicated circuit can overload the system, but you might not be able to detect it with your untrained eyes. That’s why you have to be careful about running wiring through certain portions of your home or office – hire an electrician who can figure out which part of the structure is fit for heavy electrical activity.
Electrical projects are nothing like interior decor or landscaping jobs – the latter only involves using basic tools and materials that you can easily handle.
But electrical wiring projects involve work with live circuit breakers that need to be handled by seasoned professionals with the right experience and training. So, acknowledge the fact that practically everything about electricity is not DIY.