There are a million DIY videos online, do you really need an electrician? Short answer, yes. Electrical work can be incredibly dangerous to handle on your own. Beyond painful or fatal shocks, unprofessional electrical work can also lead to fire hazards and electrical issues down the line. Below, we will discuss some scenarios in which you should definitely call a professional electrician to get the job done.

Circuit Breaker Repair

If you have an issue with your circuit breaker, you should call an electrician. Signs of circuit breaker issues can include regularly flickering lights, burning smells from outlets or light switches, and efficiency loss on appliances. You may experience an electrical overload as a result. Attempting to replace or repair circuit breakers can be very dangerous. Shocks, burns, and even fires can occur if done incorrectly. Additionally, it is important to choose the right types of breakers for your circuits. The wrong breakers can lead to further, and potentially more hazardous overloads to come. A licensed electrician will know how to safely navigate the repairs and properly set the right breakers for your circuits to prevent overloads.

Do I Need an Electrician to Replace Wiring?

An electrician will know how to safely replace the wiring in your home as needed to keep your home up to code. They can also add additional circuits and breakers.This can happen as the needs for your home grow and change over time. Improper replacement of wiring can lead to fires within the walls of your home. Insurance companies may not pay out for electrical fires caused by repairs not done by a professional.

Wall Outlet Replacement

Sparking outlets can be a sign that they need to be replaced. While it may seem like an easy task, it is important to make sure that no electricity is flowing to the outlet. If you are upgrading an ungrounded outlet (2 holes) to a grounded outlet (3 holes).
Additionally, if the outlet has a GFCI switch (the reset and test buttons), or needs one, you should probably consult a licensed electrician. GFCI switches are especially important in bathrooms and kitchens. There are generally distance requirements for electrical outlets near water sources to be GFCI enabled. If you need to replace an outlet in the kitchen, bathroom, or outside, you should absolutely contact a licensed electrician because of this.

Appliance Repair

Generally, DIY repairs will likely void warranties. Even if you unplug an appliance or turn off the breaker, the capacitor on the appliance may still hold a charge, This means that you may still be in danger of receiving a nasty shock. Metal tools touching charged components can be extremely hazardous, as well. Generally, it is best to call an electrician for any appliance repair or technical maintenance.

Contact an Electrician for Any Projects Requiring a Permit

If your project requires a permit, you should call a licensed electrician. Whether the permit is required by the municipality, power company, or building management company, you should always call a professional for permitted work. Trying to do work that requires a permit by yourself could potentially have legal or financial ramifications. Code violations can also cost much more to fix than it would cost to hire a professional in the first place.

When in Doubt, Call a Professional Electrician

DIY electrical work can be shockingly (pun intended) dangerous. Incorrect repairs can cost you much more to fix. Avoid nasty shocks, fire hazards, and code violations. Call a professional, and get it done right.

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