You find yourself with an electrical issue. And like most folks these days, your likely to get some good information by googling the problem. It’s always good to stay informed. Included amongst search results, you’ll likely find some “quick and easy” DIY tips and guides– and maybe some helpful YouTube videos. Or, so it seems. Like almost all things always DIY, even electrical work looks easy until you get into the thick of it.
You may have some solid experience with other DIY projects– maybe fixing or rebuilding a deck, painting the living room, or replacing wall tiles in the kitchen. Electrical work isn’t like that. It demands specialized knowledge about electrical systems and their potential hazards. Visit a home improvement store and you’ll find shelves full of electrical products. Buy the light bulbs. Let electrical contractors buy the other products.
Do it yourself?
Surely DIY “must be safe” you say? Don’t let those words be your famous last ones. Treat electrical issues like medical ones. Let’s say you have heart problems. What’s the remedy? Please don’t say you’d immediately begin to google do-it-yourself heart surgery. But you might google a certified cardiologist, or more likely, trust your general practitioner to refer you to one. And then let them provide the proper assessment and remedy. A cardiologist has been thoroughly educated and trained to know everything about your heart. You can see where this is leading, right? Electrical issues require a professional electrician.
Canada’s celebrity home improvement guru Mike Holmes tells it straight up in a National Post article “Electrical work is not DIY.” “Hire a licensed electrical contractor,” he writes, “for any electrical work in your home, even for things like changing an outlet or installing a light fixture.”
Only a trained electrician can fully assess an issue, and understand how to repair it efficiently and safely– the first time. You might get a great overview from a YouTube video, but if you do it yourself you can expect some unpleasant surprises. Skip the hassle of a crash course and hard-knocks learning. Hire someone who has years of experience to back them up.
Safety is the number one reason to hire a licensed electrical contractor. You shouldn’t need more reasons. But before you grab a pair of wire cutters and make yourself dangerous, here are a few more reasons not to do electrical work yourself.
1. Save time and money
Mistakes will cost you both. Trust us, at AJ’s Electrical we’ve seen the aftermath of too many DIY projects gone awry. Simple household electrical projects can present multiple challenges. The more the challenges, the greater the likelihood of expensive mistakes. Why get yourself into a situation where you have to pay a professional to reverse your bad experiment? Avoid the trouble and perhaps even the embarrassment of exposing your “handiwork” by hiring experts right from the start.
2. Protect yourself legally
There’s a reason professional electricians go to school for years and spend hundreds of hours apprenticing before they’re certified. There’s also a reason for something called the Canadian Electrical Code, in addition to local and provincial codes. How well-versed and up-to-date are you in those things? How about the necessary permits you’ll need in your specific situation?
Will your work hold up to an inspection? If not, then what you’re about to embark on is illegal. Electrical codes are written not as a make-work project, but in order to prevent injuries and save lives.
Safety is always the bottom line when it comes to things electrical. But if the safety message hasn’t fully sunk in yet, consider the personal financial liability should your do-it-yourself project damage or destroy your home. Don’t expect your insurance policy to cover your illegal electrical work should your house burn down.
3. Selling your house could be a problem
Expect an inspection at selling time. Wise buyers will want a home inspection and their financer will likely require it. The modest amount of money you may save at the time of an electrical repair or renovation may turn into a big expense when you want to sell your home.
If your electrical work isn’t done to code, your home likely won’t pass an inspection. Then you’re back to the same old problem that plagued you years ago, that took more time and money than you expect, and now it’s going to cost you more. But thankfully, your house hasn’t burned down in the meantime.
Save yourself physical injury, financial pain and time. Fix the issue right with a professional electrician. At AJ’s Electrical, we have the knowledge and experience to do it right and do it safely. Call us at 604-946-8946, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online contact form here to learn more.