For many homeowners, there comes a time when they must ask themselves whether to hire a professional or try to complete a home improvement project themselves. While some projects are safe and easy enough for the average person to handle, electrical work is not one of them. Unless you are a qualified electrician, attempting electrical repairs or installations can be dangerous and expensive if you cause further damage.
That being said, there are some simple electrical tasks that the average homeowner can handle if they take the necessary precautions. In this blog post, we’ll run through when it’s okay to tackle an electrical project on your own—and when you should leave it to the professionals.
Signs (Warnings) That You Need to Hire an Electrician
There are some clear warning signs that indicate it’s time to bring in a professional electrician:
1. You’re planning a major renovation or addition.
Any time you’re increasing the size of your home or making significant changes to the layout, you’ll need to upgrade your electrical system accordingly. An electrician can assess your needs and make the appropriate changes so your home is up to code. So contact any electrician in North Vancouver, if you are from the same location.
2. You’re experiencing frequent power surges.
If you notice that your lights are flickering or dimming regularly, this could be a sign of an overloaded circuit or faulty wiring. Either way, it’s best to have an electrician take a look as soon as possible.
3. Your outlets are warm to the touch.
Outlets should never be warm (or hot) to the touch—if they are, this means that they are overloaded and could pose a fire hazard. If you notice this happening in your home, shut off the power at the breaker box and call an electrician right away.
4. You have knob-and-tube wiring.
If your home was built before 1950, it likely has knob-and-tube wiring—early electrical wiring that is no longer up to code and is considered unsafe. While it might seem like a big (and expensive) job, rewiring your home is essential for safety reasons. The good news is that most homeowners’ insurance policies will cover at least part of the cost of rewiring if not all of it.
Common Electrical Projects You Can Tackle Yourself (If You’re Careful)
Now that we’ve gone over some warning signs that indicate it’s time to call an electrician, let’s run through some common electrical projects that the average homeowner can handle on their own—provided they take proper safety precautions:
1. Replacing old outlets:
Over time, outlets wear out and need to be replaced. This is a relatively simple process as long as you follow these steps: Shut off the power at your breaker box; Remove the plate from the outlet; Unscrew the screws holding the outlet in place; Pull out the old outlet; Connect the new outlet; Screw in place; Put on new plate; Restore power at breaker box; Test the latest outlet by plugging something in and flipping switch.
During DIY projects, if you face any emergency. Do not assume more risk.
2. Replacing old light switches:
Like outlets, light switches also wear out over time and will need replacing eventually. Replacing old light switches is also fairly straightforward: Shut off power at the breaker box; Remove the switch plate; Remove screws holding the switch in place; Remove wires from terminals; Install the new switch in reverse order; Restore power at the breaker box; Test switch by turning on light/appliance it controls.
As a general rule of thumb, unless you are a qualified electrician, it’s best not to attempt any electrical work yourself—no matter how small or seemingly simple it might be.
Originally posted 2022-11-09 07:23:14.