10 Reasons Why You Should Never Attempt Electrical DIY
While a DIY approach to some home repairs can save time and money, electrical faults should be left to the professionals. While there are many reasons to call a qualified technician, electrical DIY is often illegal.
Regulations around Australia state that doing your own electrical repairs and installations is illegal, which includes wiring any part of your property and installing or replacing powerpoints. This doesn’t mean you can’t change a fuse, replace a light bulb or plug in a new appliance – but it does mean you shouldn’t be working on your home’s wiring system.
Here are 10 reasons why you should leave electrical work to the qualified professionals.
1. Electrical DIY is Illegal
This has already been stated and can’t be emphasised enough. It doesn’t matter how many instructional videos you watch on YouTube, if you plan to save money by doing your own electrical repairs, it can lead to legal trouble.
Unless you are a qualified electrician, you are not licensed to be doing intricate electrical work. You will be held responsible for any damage that you do and this means fines (up to $40,000) and even imprisonment if deaths or injuries occur.
2. Electrical DIY is Dangerous
Electrical DIY is not only dangerous, it’s potentially fatal. If you’re untrained and unfamiliar with your home’s electrical system, you risk the possibility of electric shock or electrocution.
Australian electricity is 240 volts, which is more than enough to result in death. A qualified electrician knows how to deal with electrical problems – from standard maintenance to electrical emergencies – and will always remember such basics as switching off the mains power.
3. You Can Put Your Family at Risk
Even if you don’t cause any major damage, a DIY solution can well be an accident waiting to happen.
If you’ve done a less-than-professional job on a power outlet or a quick fix on a particular electrical appliance, the victim could turn out to be a member of your family or perhaps a visitor to your home.
4. Risk of Electrical Fire
Electrical issues are among the main causes of fires in the home. In fact, one fifth of domestic fires are caused by electrical faults. This can come from defective wiring, overloaded circuits, electrical appliances, lighting, portable heating and more.
A qualified electrician will give you a certificate of compliance when work is completed. You can’t issue a certificate to yourself. If you carry out DIY electrical repairs that lead to an electrical fire, you will be completely responsible for it.
5. You Can Void Warranties
Many electrical appliances have warranties that are specific about the standards of installation and repairs required.
Chances are you’ll be on your own if you attempt DIY repairs or try a less-than-professional installation. Why take a risk that is likely to cost you in the long run?
6. Home Insurance Won’t Cover You
If you do cause some damage, your home insurance may not cover it. As you may expect, that’s because insurance policies exclude damage caused by homeowner negligence.
Check your policy or phone your insurance provider to be sure, but it’s a safe bet that amateur electrical work will almost certainly void your home insurance.
7. Electrical DIY is Difficult
Working with your home electrical system is complex unless you’ve studied for years and qualified as a professional electrician. There are so many ways you can literally get your wires crossed and do the wrong thing.
Why spend your spare time taking risks with jumbled electrical wiring when a professional electrician could get the job done safely? A full-time technician is not only knowledgeable on your electrical system, but they also spend time keeping up with the latest trends in electrical technology.
8. DIY Diagnosis is Risky
When it comes to diagnosing an electrical problem, you don’t have the training or the experience to make the right decision. There may be hidden electrical dangers that you are unaware of.
A quick online instruction course won’t be enough for you to properly analyse electrical faults and make the best decision that will be a safe result for you and your family.
9. You’ll Save Money
What’s this? Save money? How is it possible to get cheaper than DIY repairs?
Sure, you’ll save money at first – if you manage to avoid any accidents. But if your electrical system isn’t repaired properly or a particular appliance is still faulty, you’ll pay for it in the long run. If you have voided the warranty on an appliance, that mistake is going to cost you.
Then there are substandard installations which could prevent an appliance from working at optimum level. Cutting corners with an amateur DIY short-term solution will make you wish you spent the money in the first place.
10. Your Home Will Fail Inspection
If you decide to put your home on the market, it will fail inspection if you’ve spent years bending the rules with DIY fixes. It may have saved money at the time but – apart from putting yourself and your family in danger – it will catch up with you if your home’s electrical system is inspected.
A home with a shoddy electrical system will discourage potential buyers and possibly force you to lower your asking price.
Signs You Need an Emergency Electrician
Some of the most common electrical signs that you’ll need professional help are:
- Blown fuses – possibly caused by faulty wiring or overloaded circuits.
- Powerpoints don’t work – potentially caused by faulty wiring, a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
- Sparks coming from an outlet – this needs immediate attention. Possibly caused by faulty wiring or an overloaded circuit.
- Flickering lights – this could be loose light bulbs or fixtures. Could also be something more serious like faulty electrical connections.
- Hot outlets – If your powerpoints are hot to the touch, this is a serious problem. Possibly defective wiring or an overloaded circuit.
- Tripped circuit breakers – this happens when circuit breakers detect an overloaded circuit. Don’t ignore it.
Attempting to save money and time with amateur electrical repairs is not only a poor decision, but it’s also an illegal decision. That’s why electrical DIY should be put on the backburner in favour of doing the right thing. It will pay off in the long run.