The job of an electrician is more difficult than it may appear. It certainly is more difficult than simply tying a few wires together, twisting a few screws, collecting a paycheck, and calling it a day. It requires the knowledge and dedication of a licensed specialist. Even with the experience and understanding required to pass the licensure test, most states recognize the number of various problems that arise in the field and require the electrical contractor to be bonded and insured against accidents.

Simple Jobs You Can Do

There are simple things most homeowners can do, or a competent handy man can handle. Removing electrical outlet covers for painting or replacement is a task most people can handle. It does require some thought and caution as it exposes live electric wires. Outlet covers should never be removed and left unattended, and no one other than a licensed electrician should attempt further inspection or cleaning of the area inside the cover plate.

Seemingly Simple Jobs

Other jobs may seem simple enough, but can actually turn into a disaster for a homeowner to attempt. Changing an outlet, light fixture or ceiling fan are examples of this classification of jobs. If everything goes perfectly, anyone with any level of mechanical aptitude can perform these tasks. However, a professional electrician is trained to know what types of problems to expect and prepare for. In any home and especially older buildings the old wiring may not meet current code and the job requires more than simply removing the old and installing the new in reverse of the removal process. In other cases, the problem being addressed may have a deeper source than the fixture itself, and the licensed electrician knows how to check for it.


Remodels always require a professional electrician. Even a do-it-yourself remodel job without a permit is going to reveal electric components. Once they’ve been uncovered they should be inspected. They can become damaged over time. Perhaps more importantly, code changes over time and if the building is old enough to warrant remodeling the electric system is likely not up to the new code requirements. Once the wiring has been exposed and there has been an opportunity to repair it, the grandfather clause no longer applies. The home could potentially lose a large portion of its value should this come to light during a sale in the future.  We at Harrison Electric can help you with any size job. Contact us at 763-544-3300.