Depending on the aptitude, knowledge, and experience of the homeowner, some electrical work can be conducted as a do it yourself project. It’s important to make sure you don’t get in over your head as an improper electric job can be a nuisance at best or a safety issue at worse, and it nearly always costs more to fix a botched job than to hire a professional to conduct it properly in the first place. Another mistake people make is to have a carpenter or painter who is already working at the house conduct electric work. You would be right to think they probably know how to do light electric work, but because it isn’t legal you have no protection against any damage they cause and your insurance may not recognize a claim made based on unlicensed work.
Repairs and Replacements
Replacing or repairing a ceiling light fixture or the switch that controls it may seem like a simple enough job, and what the homeowner sees of the repair isn’t very difficult. However, there is more to it than simply disconnecting two or three wires and reattaching them to the new piece. A licensed electrician also inspects the wiring and checks for a deeper issue which may have caused the problem in the first place. Someone without proper training and experience, as proven through licensure, likely doesn’t know how to conduct the deeper part of the job.
Upgrading Old Wiring and Modernizing Your Home
Upgrading old wiring and adding outlets always requires an electrician. Such a job usually requires additional circuit breakers or even a conversion from fuses to circuits. The layman generally has to tear out portions of the walls to access the job whereas a licensed electrician has specialized tools to keep such damage to a minimum if it needs to happen at all. Furthermore, a licensed electrician knows modern code requires more than what was needed at the time the house was built and understands you can’t just replace the old with newer of the same thing. The licensed electrician knows what modern code is, why it contains certain requirements, and how to meet those standards. In some cases, the building code only defines the bare minimum whereas the actual project requires a higher standard and this is where the professional electrician’s experience comes into play as he understands how best to accomplish your goals.