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Should I Call an Electrician or Do it Myself?

With so much information available online, the words "do it yourself" have earned their own acronym. Just about every facet of home improvement, including electrical work has a "DIY" department. Whether it's online, in a store, or on a television series, we as Americans have inherited a new confidence when it comes to conquering our neighborhood castles. But how do you know if you will be the King or Queen of your project.. or wind up as the resident Joker?

Let's look at working with electricity. First of all, we all know electricity can severely damage your body, and even kill you. Yet we live around it in harmony all day long. It's natural, like lightning, and it's man made, like a light bulb. Humans have harnessed it's power to light up our lives for over a century now. But that power, when not working properly can be disastrous to a home.

Here are a few guidelines to consider when tackling electrical projects on your own.

Electrical Safety is always the most important concern.

Does the electrical project come with clear instructions? Typically projects that include instructions, are considered something a non-professional can handle. Like installing light bulbs or fixtures. But sometimes very basic knowledge of electrical wiring is needed. For example if you are reading instructions that have color coding on wires, and the wires on your fixture don't give you a clear understanding which ones connect to your home wires, you should not expect to get lucky. Just remind yourself of those old films, where they guy is sweating profusely, looking at a 30 second timer, trying to choose whether to cut the red or blue wire to diffuse a bomb. At the point you find yourself guessing about wires, it's the point where you should abort the mission, and call an electrician to come over. Incorrect wiring on the simplest electrical project can damage your fixture or worse, cause a fire.

If a problem arises, do you have a qualified professional you can call to resolve the issue in a timely manner?

First of all, when working with anything that has to do with electricity you should always turn off the main electrical breaker to your house. If you don't know what that is.. it's already time to call an electrician. If you run into a problem, meaning arcing, flickering, or anything not working properly, you should have an immediate back up plan. Make sure you have an electrician check your work. Otherwise you will need to keep your main breaker off, and then you will be powerless, in more ways than one.

Have you spoken to professional electricians about your project?

Many times licensed electricians can give you insight and recommendations on whether you should be able to handle a project on your own. There are reasons that electricians must go through training and get a license. Working with electricity can turn into an extremely dangerous situation. Especially if there is water near the location. Speaking to an experience electrician is an easy and helpful way to gauge safety. And you also may pick up some really helpful tips.

Safety is the most important aspect of electrical work. Many homeowners insurance policies will not cover damage caused by electrical fires, if the electrical work was not completed by a licensed and bonded electrical company. If you do use an electrical company you also want to confirm they are insured, and you should ask for their license number to safeguard your assets.

If you are considering starting an electrical project yourself, or need a licensed and bonded electrician to look at your project, contact Advance Electric today at 352-394-2874. They have been in business since 1952 and are a great source to discuss whether you should tackle a home project, and can give you great insight and tips. Also, there is no job too small, too unique, or too creative for Advance Electric electricians.

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