There are plenty of DIY projects that a homeowner can do comfortably. However, there are certain kinds of projects that people shouldn’t even think about attempting to do on their own. If someone wants to install a dimmer or replace an existing switch/outlet, it’s possible to do the job safely with some preparation. That being said, you still need to use great caution. For instance, you’d want to make sure that you don’t get an unwanted surprise when you think you’re working on a circuit that’s turned off only to find that it actually still has power. Even at home voltage, the outcome can be disastrous.
The average person probably doesn’t have expertise about adhering to code. Electrical codes change quite regularly (most of the time, for safety reasons). Unless you’re dealing with a very minor repair, the task is probably outside of most people’s ability to perform safely. I think I’m pretty handy, so I’ll change lights, install switches, and do minor things like that. But when it comes to the electrical panel, I won’t even get a screwdriver near it to take the cover off. Anything that involves changing out breakers or managing circuits is probably beyond what a homeowner can do safely.
I can think of many examples across all of our trades where someone tried to do a DIY project and ended up making the situation way worse than when they started. Someone tried to make a toilet repair and ended up with a flood. People will also try to put thermostats on their furnace and end up wiring it incorrectly. All of a sudden, the board on the furnace is blown out, resulting in the need for a major furnace repair. We frequently get situations where a client will call and say their husband or wife tried to install something and now the whole circuit doesn’t work. Nothing in the room turns on anymore. It would have cost them much less (not just money, but time and frustration) if they would have just called us instead of trying to perform the task themselves.
I wouldn’t say that electric mishaps occur as often, because people are less willing to attempt electrical work. However, I’ve certainly heard my share of mishaps over the years. If you have any doubts about tackling a DIY job, play it safe and smart. Call a qualified professional instead. Boulden Brothers can help you with any task that you’d want a residential electrician to perform, from changing an outlet or switch to instilling dimmers, lights, or ceiling fans. We can help if you have a problem with your electrical panel or if you need a new panel installed. For people with very old homes, you might have fuses instead of a panel. We’ll be able to make sure your home has adequate electricity, all the way up to installing standby generators.
Unfortunately, many house fires each year are related back to a faulty electrical system. Be smart and safe when it comes to DIY projects. Whenever you’re dealing with electrical issues, get a qualified professional to make sure the job is done right. Contact the Pros at Boulden Brothers by giving us a call or contacting us online.