Change the faucet or retile the floor- these modifications won’ t kill you. Electrical work is one of the most dangerous tasks to take on. In fact, OSHA states that electrocution is the fourth leading cause of work-related death for construction workers. Don’t let a pet project be your undoing. Know what to do yourself and when to call for help.
After watching DIY guides and YouTube videos, many homeowners think that they can handle repairing electrical problems by themselves. This is simply not true. Home owners usually don’t consider the following consequences of a hacked electrical repair job:
- Homes that won’t sell without fixing a homeowner repair.
- Electrical fires that are a hazard to the structure and the occupants.
- Insurance that won’t cover a problem resulting from an unlicensed, uncertified repair.
- Building codes that are violated.
Homeowners with Good Judgment
Such tasks like repairing a simple fixture or changing an older outlet for a new one are within the realm of some DIYers. Homeowners can also invest in a volt meter to test wires for power. One mistake is all it takes to create a real problem.
When Should Electricians Handle a Job
Electricians are trained and certified to work within the field. Their work should be guaranteed. If anything happens to your home from their repair, they are held responsible. Due to this, electricians are exceedingly careful to do the job right. Do not hire a “handyman” either as most are not licensed or permitted. Homeowners get no guarantee on workmanship.
Hire an Electrician when:
- Extensive rewiring is required.
- Permits or licenses are necessary.
- Sparks or shorts are happening.
- Circuits work intermittently.
- There is evidence that a previous homeowner has done their own repairs.
- Older systems and wiring was grandfathered in.
- Insufficient outlets exist for the current needs of the occupants.
Even the basic fundamentals of electricity can be difficult to understand for the average homeowner. Take a look at OSHA’s manual and see if you can answer the basic questions for workers without any formal training before attempting electrical work. Check your state to see what electrical installations require an electrical inspection. An example of work requiring electrical inspection can be seen on the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ Electrical Inspection Basics. Look of the status of your tradesperson or contractor or look for citations when hiring. View the certificates of a potential electrical worker. It is a homeowner’s responsibility that all electrical work meets current safety regulations and requirements.