Especially during the pandemic, DIY work around the house has become more common. People are undertaking their own renovation efforts, upgrading their landscape from scratch, and even doing their own electrical work. While some DIY home improvement techniques are easy and even encouraged, others are too dangerous and must be left to professionals.
Doing your own electrical work is one example. Sure, you can study how to do your own electrical wiring through the hundreds of video tutorials available online. But this is a dangerous and complicated job that doing yourself can do more harm than good. DIY electrical wiring can pose the following risks:
Electrical problems are among the most common causes of fires, starting over 51,000 fires a year and resulting in 500 deaths and over $1.3 billion in property damage. Because electrical wiring is so complex, even the slightest mistake can cause the circuit to overheat, blow, and start a fire.
Sometimes, the fire risk is not apparent until several hours or days after your DIY project. For example, using the wrong wiring gauge on your air conditioning unit will cause the flow of current to melt through your insulation when the appliance is turned on.
Risking a faulty connection or overloaded circuit is not worth the damage they can cause. DIY electrical work does not only harm you but also your family.
Another risk involved in DIY electrical work is electrocution. Simply touching the wrong wires together, making the mistake of keeping the current on, etc. can be the culprits to a fatal electrical shock. Even a small 14 milliamp shock can result in death or serious injury.
In some cases, you can even walk away from a finished DIY electrical wiring job unscathed, but still risk electrical shock when something goes wrong, such as in instances of reverse polarity.
While you can recover from hitting your hand with a hammer or accidentally cutting yourself with the saw blade, you can’t say the same about an electric shock. This deadly accident takes the lives of more than 60 people a year — and your safety and life are not worth saving a few extra dollars with DIY electrical work.
3. Inspection and Permit Issues
Because electrical wiring is extremely dangerous and poses the most risk to people’s safety in their homes, local authorities have created rules and regulations that govern them. Electrical inspections are conducted regularly to ensure that your home’s electrical work meets the requirements of building codes and permits.
If your DIY electrical work does not pass inspection, it will be difficult for you to sell your house. No buyer would risk their safety on poorly done electrical systems and repairing or replacing them will cost you a lot of money that offsets your sale.
4. Extensive Repairs
Even if a DIY electrical job looks and seems successful, wiring that is not properly done can fail over time. When this happens, it will be beyond your capacity to repair and will cost you more than what you would have spent if you hired a professional from the get-go.
5. Wrong Products Used
Repairing or replacing wires, switches, and outlets sounds and looks easy. But there are a lot of different types of these electrical products. Using the wrong ones that do not match the wiring already in place in your home can pose safety risks, such as electrocution and worse, fires.
6. Kill Appliances
Doing an electrical job on your own also poses the risk of killing the appliances that you plug into your home’s outlets. When your wires short circuit, common home appliances and tools that require power may not be able to withstand the strong current of energy. For you, this means the added cost of having to replace your destroyed appliances.
Leave the Electrical Work to the Professionals
The most common reason people DIY their electrical work is because they think it can save them money. However, if you really think about it, it actually costs more than hiring a professional considering all the risks and dangers.
Complicated work like this is best left to the hands of skilled contractors who have the full knowledge and experience working on a vast range of electrical problems. They know exactly how to address electrical issues and conduct the best ways to fix them without risking your safety.
Further, most contractors are insured in case of future problems with the electrical work they have performed. Risking your life is not worth the few savings you get by doing your electrical work on your own. Choose your safety and call the professionals to handle it.