DIY Electrical Work – Is it Worth it?

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Jan 01, 2011 | Mark Stevens
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source: Flickr – Team Massachusetts

Electricians are called in for all types of problems. Whether you’re experiencing overall power difficulties or your lighting or appliances are malfunctioning, an electrician is the person to contact. For minor electrical malfunctions or small wiring installations it may be possible to manage on your own without an electrical contractor, though this is not highly recommended. The following are a few concerns you should take into account when considering whether or not to call an electrician.

Electrical Laws

The first disadvantage of doing electrical work on your own is that a licensed electrician knows the laws and regulations and you don’t. There is a National Electrical Code which regulates the standards for installation of electrical wiring and equipment and each state either adopts this code as law or has its own codes and regulations. If you are not a licensed contractor you probably are not aware of these laws, which change periodically. Milwaukee electricians, for instance, should know that there was a statewide electrical wiring code passed in 2007 for the state of Wisconsin.

Quality of Electrical Work

The next reason why it’s not recommended to do electrical work on your own is the quality factor. While you may be good at odd jobs and small tasks around the home which can save you the cost of hiring a painter or landscaper, electrical work is a different story. Unlike painting, in which if you make a mistake you’ll have to either live with the way it looks or call a professional, when it comes to wiring or lighting a small mistake can leave you without electricity.

Overloaded circuits, poor connections, broken conductors, and worn or damaged insulation can all result in electrical failure. This means no lights, no washer or dryer and no heating or air conditioning. In addition, your boiler won’t work so there will be no hot water, and if you have a sump pump, that won’t function either. This can lead not only to a temporary power outage, but it could cause long-term damage and necessitate an expensive rewiring or electrical panel replacement.

Safety Concerns

Finally, and probably most importantly, working on electricity is extremely dangerous. Connecting the wrong wires together, touching an exposed wire, or a host of other mistakes can lead to injury or start a fire. According to the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 40,000 home fires occur each year as a result of wiring issues. If you do not have experience dealing with electricity, leave it to a professional.

When hiring an electrician, however, there are also hazards to be aware of. You don’t want the electrician to be inexperienced or unsafe. Contact electricians networx to receive free estimates from pre-approved, licensed and insured electricians whose recommendations can be viewed on the internet.

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