When it comes to electrical work, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and leave it in the expert hands of a professional. For one, they have the knowledge and experience to do the work correctly — not to mention the simple fact that the quality of the work will be much better than anything the average homeowner can do. Plus, there’s just something to be said for the peace of mind that comes from entrusting the work to someone who’s been doing it for years.

However, many homeowners will still forgo the added expense and attempt to do the work independently. That can quickly become problematic and increase the chances of something going wrong. This isn’t to say that there will never be occasions when you can do it yourself, but it’s important to know your limitations.

Here are just a few of the dangers you might encounter with DIY electrical work:

  1. Increased risk of fire.

If wiring isn’t installed correctly or is damaged during installation, it can easily lead to an electrical fire. Even something as straightforward as a GFCI installation can damage the wires if not done correctly and cause a fire down the line. That’s the long and short of it.

  1. Electrical shock or electrocution.

It’s no secret that handling live wires will put you at risk of electrical shock if not electrocution. And while most of the wires in your home are relatively low in voltage, touching them can cause bodily harm. Even a low surge can lead to heart arrhythmia, cardiac defibrillation, and so on.

  1. Electrical system damage.

Faulty wiring can do more than leave a lamp, ceiling fan, or appliance without power. It can cause damage to your home’s electrical system. The extensive damage could mean your entire home will need to be rewired — which is costly.

  1. Failing an inspection.

Any plans to sell your home can quickly be squashed if you do the electrical work on your own, and the reason comes down to one word: permits. Chances are good: you didn’t pull any permits for the job, and you’ll likely fail any upcoming electrical inspections. But that’s not all. Even if you did pull the right permits, the electrical work might not be up to code. You’ll fail inspection again and then find yourself paying for a professional to come in and fix your work.

As a general rule, call a licensed electrician to handle electrical work. The decision guarantees the electrical system is kept in good working condition. That said, there will be certain projects and situations when it’s more important than ever to rely on the expertise of a professional.

  1. Electrical issues.

Some electrical issues, like flickering lights of nonfunctional outlets, may appear minor, but that’s not always the case. Sure, the culprit may be a loose connection, which may be in your wheelhouse. Faulty wiring, however, can be difficult to detect without professional knowledge.

  1. Electrical upgrades.

It isn’t uncommon for home remodeling projects to call for an upgrade to the electrical system. Don’t do this on your own. Instead, contact an electrical contractor who can best determine what might be required in the upgrade to ensure your home’s electrical system continues running efficiently after the project.

  1. Frequent breaker trips.

If a circuit breaker continually trips, you’re overloading the circuit or experiencing electrical issues. While a circuit breaker finder can certainly help you locate which breaker controls a specific set of outlets, that should be as far as your involvement in the project goes. A professional should diagnose the problem and fix what needs fixing. Your home may need a new electrical panel.

  1. Old electrical systems.

Older homes often have old electrical systems, which may not work as efficiently as newer homes. Electrical inspections can help diagnose the problem and determine whether the system needs an upgrade in wiring or the panel itself.

Do yourself and your home a favor by contacting a professional electrician to handle electrical work. The advantages generally outweigh the potential dangers of doing it on your own. Contact your local Mister Sparky today!