The Risks of DIY Electrical Work

There are a lot of great reasons to take on your own home improvement projects.

Typically, DIY repair projects and upgrades are cheaper than working with a professional, and there’s no need to research the contractors in your area, comply with someone else’s schedule or deal with pesky service windows.

However, some repairs and home improvement projects are ill-suited for DIY, and electrical work is definitely one of them.

When it comes to electrical work, it’s almost never a good idea to handle it on your own. Keep reading to learn about just a few of the many reasons why.

6 reasons you should never attempt your own electrical work

#1. YouTube can only take you so far

As a new homeowner, I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am for good old YouTube tutorials. With just a quick search, I can learn anything, from how to properly unclog a drain to tips on preventative dishwasher maintenance. However, not every home repair project can or should be attempted on your own, even with the might of YouTube behind you.

Electrical work is one of those things you shouldn’t try to learn from a YouTube video. For one, most people don’t have basic electrical knowledge to fall back on to fill in any gaps in understanding left behind from the tutorial. Furthermore, most electrical projects are more complicated than your average DIY project.

#2. You could get shocked or electrocuted

Compared to many other home improvement projects, DIY electrical work is a lot more dangerous. When you’re painting your own walls, for example, the biggest risk is falling off your stepping stool, or ending up with an unattractive paint job. But, with electrical work, electrical shock is always a real risk.

Voltage levels in your average home range from around 110 volts for power outlets and lights to around 240 for larger appliances. At the low end, the shock could give you a jolt, but at the high end, the shock could be deadly.

All it takes is forgetting to turn off the power at your circuit breaker for a terrible accident to occur, and it happens all too often. It’s not worth the risk.

#3. You could violate building codes

The most common mistake homeowners make when taking on DIY home repairs is skipping necessary building permits and neglecting to comply with applicable codes. This is especially common where DIY electrical work is concerned, because many electrical projects require building permits.

If you skip a building permit, you won’t have access to a licensed inspector who can make sure that your electrical work complies with safety codes and regulations. It also means potentially risking the safety of your family and/or neighbors.

If caught, you could be penalized for failing to comply with codes or acquire the right building permits in a number of ways, including fines and possibly even imprisonment.

#4. You could start an electrical fire

Next to electrical shock, an electrical fire is probably the biggest, most dangerous risk of attempting your own electrical work. And, all it takes is one simple mistake, many of which are incredibly common.

A few common causes of electrical fires:

  • Faulty wiring – Age, improper installation and pest damage can all lead to wiring problems that can cause electrical fires.
  • Electric system overloads – Overloading your electrical system by plugging too many things into an outlet can lead to electrical fires.
  • Extension cord problems – If extension cords become old or damaged, if they’re improperly placed or relied on too heavily, they can cause electrical fires.
  • Incorrect lightbulb wattage – Installing a light bulb that has too-high-wattage for the fixture can lead to an electrical fire.

#5. You may need a professional anyway

Even if you equip yourself with the best YouTube tutorial and manage to avoid hurting yourself, someone else or your property, there’s always the risk of failure. It’s easy to do electrical work wrong, and you may end up having to hire a professional anyway.

Most people don’t have all of the tools they need on hand to do their own electrical work, which means that a DIY electrical project may require a trip to your local hardware store. Then, there’s the investment of time to consider.

A lot of people decide to do their own electrical work in order to avoid spending the money to hire someone, but it’s important to realize that DIY isn’t necessarily free. And, if you end up needing to hire a professional electrician anyway, you’ll end paying even more in the end.

#6. You could lose insurance coverage

If there’s one thing that insurance companies aren’t thrilled about, it’s risk. Insurance companies would rather not have to shell out the cash to fix things, and they certainly won’t cover a homeowner who is taking on more risk than necessary.

As I mentioned, there’s always the chance that your DIY fix won’t work, that you’ll cause further damage or that it won’t be compliant with building codes. And, unfortunately, the likelihood that your insurance company will cover you in these circumstances is slim to none, leaving you to foot the bill.

Gain peace of mind by finding the right electrician near you

There are a myriad of reasons as to why it’s not a good idea to do your own electrical work, which means that if you’re in need of electrical services, you’ll need to find the right local electrician for your needs.

Start your search for an electrician near you with Top Rated Local. You can learn about the best electricians in your area, read electrician reviews from across the web, compare electricians side by side and more — all from one place.

Not all electricians are made equal, but with Top Rated Local on your side, you’ll have everything you need to find the right one for your needs.

Find an electrician near you today!

What to Look for in an Electrician

Need an electrician in the midst of the coronavirus craziness?

There are few local businesses operating normally these days, but luckily for us, electricians are still around and there for you when you need them. But, now more than ever, if you find yourself in need of an electrician, you want to ensure that you’ve found the right one.

Inviting an electrician into your home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. In the best of times, you need to know that you can trust the electrician you hire to get the job done right with safety in mind. In these times, though, you also want to ensure that anyone you hire will also keep your safety in mind when it comes to coronavirus.

Suffice it to say, you need to know that you’ve hired the right electrician for the job, and when you know what to look for in an electrician, it can provide you with the peace of mind you need.

How to Find an Electrician You Can Trust

#1. Start with Top Rated Local®.

Often, when you search “electrician near me” on Google, you’ll end up with tons of results to sort through, each of which will claim to be the best electrician. But, unfortunately, they can’t all be the best, and the number one way to sort through the many electricians you find online is to learn what their clients are saying about them.

When an electrical company calls itself the best, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. But, when an electrical company’s clients call it the best, it means everything. There’s only one place online where you can read an electrician’s reviews from across a variety of review sites, and that’s Top Rated Local.

Top Rated Local pulls in a local business’ reviews from every verified review site it’s listed on and gives it a Rating Score™ out of 100.00 that reflects its overall online reputation. It also guides reviews by ranking business’ on the five pillars of the customer experience — quality, value, timeliness, experience, and satisfaction. In short, it’s the perfect place to start your local electrician search.

#2. Find out about their experience.

There are a variety of different electrical issues you may be facing, from wiring problems to flickering lights, and electricians vary in the services they offer and the experience they have. It’s important to ensure that the electrician you hire not only offers the service you’re looking for but also has experience doing the job.

If coronavirus has taught us nothing else it’s that you never know what will happen, and when you invite an electrician into your home these days, you need to know that they’ll be able to get the job done. Now more than ever, you don’t want to have to hire another electrician because the first one failed. You want to limit your exposure as much as possible, which means that you need to know that the electrician you hire can get the job done and has the experience to overcome any unexpected problems that may come up along the way.

#3. Make sure that they are licensed and insured.

Electrical work can be incredibly dangerous, which is why I strongly urge you to hire someone rather than trying to handle the job yourself. But, it’s also why you should always double check that any electrician you hire has the proper licensing and insurance to do the job.

One moment of carelessness could lead to a serious injury when it comes to electrical work, and you want to ensure that any electrician you hire has your safety — and that of their workers — at the top of their mind. It’s also important to protect yourself from being sued if someone gets injured doing electrical work on your property, which is where liability insurance comes in.

This also protects you financially in the event that something gets damaged on your property during the electrical service.

#4. Find out who is doing the work.

A lot of people don’t realize that there are actually three different levels — Apprentice, Journeyman Electrician, and Master Electrician. Apprentices are required to have supervision while performing electrical services, and Master Electrician is the highest possible level for an electrician.

Just because an electrical company has a Master Electrician, it doesn’t mean they will be the one performing or even overseeing the work. That’s why it’s important that you double check ahead of time who will actually be doing the work. And, if the answer is an apprentice, make sure that their work is being overseen by someone with more experience.

#5. Ask what precautions they’ve taken.

Under normal circumstances, checking an electrician’s reviews, licensing, insurance, experience, and so on would be enough, but unfortunately, these aren’t normal circumstances. We all need to be a little more cautious, and that’s especially true when you’re inviting someone into your home. That’s why it’s important to make sure that any electrician you’re working with is taking the coronavirus threat seriously and find out what precautions they’ve taken to protect themselves and their clients.

Some basic precautions that any electrical company should be taking include making sure any employee who is sick stays home, maintaining a distance of at least six feet from clients, avoiding handshakes, and frequent hand washing.

Find an electrician near you with Top Rated Local today.

There’s always a lot on the line when it comes to hiring an electrician, and these days, there’s more on the line than ever before. Don’t take the chance of hiring the wrong person. Start your search for the right electrician near you with Top Rated Local.