A quick search on YouTube yields do-it-yourself instructional videos on almost any topic, including electrical repairs and upgrades. Although it might be tempting to tackle electrical work on your own, there are risks to consider when attempting projects involving electricity. Botched electrical jobs could lead to electric shock or electrocution, fires, or legal trouble.
For the technical jobs below, be safe and hire a licensed electrician. Don’t try this at home.
Replacing a Breaker Box
A breaker box might need repairs if lights on the same circuit flicker or fuses short out because of heavy voltage loads. Watch out for warning signs such as buzzing, crackling or sizzling sounds coming from the electrical panel; a panel that is hot to the touch; or lights that dim when an appliance is turned on. Trusting a licensed electrical contractor to replace a breaker box helps ensure that the electrical panel is working properly and according to industry standards, local codes and your home’s electricity requirements.
Rewiring Your Home
Some signs that your home might need rewiring are circuit breakers frequently tripping, fuses blowing out or switches becoming charred or discolored, buzzing sounds, and burning smells. When it comes to rewiring, having the job done by a trained, licensed professional who follows electrical codes ensures that legal issues don’t arise from inspections or insurance situations. Not to mention it’ll keep your home safe from fire dangers caused by faulty wiring.
Choosing Cables and Wires
Using the right wiring and cables for a project is key to keeping your devices, equipment and appliances operating properly and safely. Improper materials can lead to overheating and short-circuiting. Choosing cables and wires should be left to professionals who know the right pairings.
Sometimes outlets need to be added to a home or existing ones replaced to protect against fire, electric shock and electrocution. Upgrading outlets from the basic variety to those with ground-fault circuit interrupters or other technologies can bring a home up to code and increase resale value. But such a project should be left to a professional so that installation is done correctly.
Remember: Just because a YouTube video or other online tutorial makes electrical repairs or upgrades look easy, it doesn’t mean that it should be a DIY project. When in doubt, leave electrical work to the pros.