There’s nothing like broken electrics to ruin your day, whether it’s all the lights going out or the oven not working to issues with an electrical fault or an ongoing problem with old wiring. It can be tempting to grab your toolkit and give it a good go yourself – after all, you’ll save a few dollars and end up with perfectly working electrics at the end of the day, right? While in some cases a bit of DIY can sort you out, electrics is one area the average homeowner should stay away from. You likely remember those safety videos you were forced to sit through in school about the dangers of electrics. Those apply just as much once you’re a fully-grown adult, and the risks of messing with your electrics are just as great.
Why can’t I DIY?
Whether you’re a seasoned DIY-er or new to the whole toolbelt thing, you might want to put the pliers down and the hammer away when it comes to the electrics in your home. It’s one thing to do up your garden and hang some shelves, but it’s something else entirely to handle live electrics. Even if you shut the power off, it’s quite easy to cause thousands of dollars of damage if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are just a few of the reasons forgoing a sparkie for a DIY job is a no-go for your home:
It’s not worth the dollars you save
Sure, you might save a little cash by refusing to use a proper electrician, but it’ll cost you twice that by voiding the insurance on your home. Should the worst happen, and your home ends up on fire, the insurance company won’t be paying out any money if they find out you’ve been going amateur on the electrics.
We aren’t talking about the shoot-across-the-room movie-style electrocution; though that’s potentially possible too. Even if you’re extra sensible and turn the power off before you begin work, you could be putting yourself and others at risk. If you aren’t a qualified electrician, there’s every chance you could do a poor patch-up job, which can lead to electrical fires and even the potential for other family members to be accidentally electrocuted. No-one wants that on their conscience.
Believe it or not, in certain parts of Australia, DIY-ing your electrics is illegal. And for a good reason, based on what we’ve mentioned above. If you don’t want to end up with a hefty fine, you’ll want to hire a proper electrician to get that work done right the first time.
What if I can’t afford a proper electrician?
In many cases, electrical work costs less than you think. A qualified electrician can get the job done far more quickly and diagnose the problem straight away to save your dollars. By contrast, trial and error and poorly done repairs can cost you far more. Hiring a domestic electrician may have up-front costs, but they’re more than worth the outcome and peace of mind you’ll get.
What electrics can I DIY?
As a rule, any electrics in your home should be handled by professionals. What could seem like a quick and easy job can soon become complicated if you aren’t trained and qualified – and can lead to you making the situation worse. If in doubt, hire a sparkie – and hire one if you aren’t in doubt too.
What happens if I do DIY my electrics and it doesn’t go well?
Other than the legality issue, if you’ve had a go at your electrics and made a bit of a mess – or you’re worried about the safety of your fix – always speak to a professional electrician as soon as you can. Many sparkies have experienced all kinds of interesting fixes to simple electrical issues; they’ll be able to put it right safely and quickly and make everything above-board again. If in doubt, bring in the experts. It’s a better price to pay than the alternative with unsafe electrics.
How do I find an electrician for my home?
From urgent jobs to flickering lights that have been on the to-be-fixed list for months, hiring an electrician is easy. Domestic electricians, specifically, handle all aspects of electrics for the average home – so that’s the kind of sparkie you should be looking out for. At Smillie Electrical, we carry out a wide range of different residential electrician jobs, from emergencies to fixes to overhauls of outdated electrics. If you’re considering DIY, put down those tools and give us a call. We’d be more than happy to help get your electrics safe, sound and repaired professionally and legally.