Like many Americans, you might pride yourself on your do-it-yourself skills. Tackling your own home projects saves you money, increases your skills, and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment.
But how do you decide between YouTube-guided fixes and calling in the professionals? Certain projects could cost you more if you attempt them yourself, and botched DIY jobs often cost thousands in cleanup and repairs.
With electrical issues, there's not much room for error. Mistakes are not only costly but dangerous. Here are a few ways to know if a project is over your head.
You've never worked with wires and electricity before
A video tutorial is no substitute for years of training and supervised practice. Even basic tasks can turn dangerous when you don't know what you're doing. If you've never worked with wires before, don't DIY.
You think something might be wrong with the system
If you smell, hear, or see something unexpected, don't DIY -- step away and call an electrician. Red flags like frayed wires, faulty breakers, and flickering or buzzing from lights or outlets all point to electrical issues. They should have you pulling out your phone immediately.
You see water nearby
Electricity and water do not mix. If your project is near a sink, faucet, or tub, don't DIY. Do yourself a favor and let an electrician handle it. Regulations require these areas of your home to have specialty outlets and equipment. The proximity of water makes electrical issues more likely and the ability to even get power there iffier.
Your electrical system is old
Every year, technological advances make electric systems safer and easier to repair. That means your system likely has dangerous wiring and outlets if you live in an older home.
If you haven't had a professional update your system, don't DIY. Your home may have very dated wiring like knob and tube. Regulations don't allow knob and tube wiring in new homes because of the risk of fires. They can release heat and start fires, and they don't have a ground wire, so you're more likely to get shocked.
You have even the slightest doubt
If you had a headache, you'd likely take a bath, grab a Tylenol and turn in early. If the headaches became recurring and severe, you'd be foolish to manage them alone. And if you found out a tumor caused the headaches, you would never try to perform the surgery yourself!
Electrical issues in your home can be as deadly as a brain tumor. Call Mister Sparky if you have any doubt about attempting a fix yourself or just want the assurance of professional work. We're here for you.