It is very easy for the home handyman to think it’s okay for him to fix small electrical problems around the house. After all, it can’t be that hard to take apart an old light switch or power point and install a new one, can it? Every electrician would tell you that it is illegal for the DIYer to do work like this, even if it appears to be easy. In fact, if it is not done correctly it’s likely to electrocute someone.
Electrical maintenance work should only be done by a licensed electrician because of its inherent danger. It is fatally easy to do some small thing wrong and it can result in a house fire or worse, loss of life. Government regulations allow only small things to be done by the untrained person and you can be in trouble if you repair or replace light switched yourself. How would anyone know?
- Firstly, if a fire was in your home, insurance would do an inspection and if they found anything wrong with the wiring, they will suspect you of meddling with it.
- If anyone is hurt in a fire or electrocuted, the police are likely to be involved and they will have someone examine the wiring.
- If the house is sold, there is likely to be an inspection and if there is something found to be wrong with the wiring you would be a suspect, especially if there were new renovations done by you.
- You might tell someone what you did and they could report you.
Government regulations are there for a purpose, so even if you do know how to renew an old light switch, you shouldn’t do it because there can be danger. It is far better to stick with doing those other renovations and repairs that you are so good at and leave the electrical stuff to those who hold the relevant license.
Then if something goes wrong it won’t be traced back to you and the electrician has insurance to cover it. That is why you should always ask the electrician for proof they carry insurance. No ethical licensed electrician would work without it. If you find one that does, don’t hire them. They may not even be licensed.
The home handyman can save a lot of money on the cost of repairs and maintenance in and around their home. But a wise person will stick with the law and with what they know rather than putting themselves and others in danger doing electrical work they are not trained to do. After all, there is plenty of stuff to do that will keep you busy most weekends without doing electrical work.