A Guide to Electrical Repairs: What to Leave to the Professionals
Electrical issues can be dangerous and challenging to troubleshoot. You might not even know you have an issue until it's too late and your power is out. That's when you need to call in the professionals. Electrical repairs, plugs, and switches can often be tricky for anyone working with electricity every day. If you're up for a DIY electrical project, read through this guide on what to do, what not to do, and what to leave to the professionals before moving forward on your own. We always recommend calling an electrician to perform any electrical repairs.
It can be challenging to tell if electrical issues in your home can be a DIY fix or if you need to call an electrician. While we always recommend calling an electrician for any electrical repairs, there are some repairs you can do safely and quickly. Things like replacing light switches and light fixtures can be easy if done safely. Always make sure you turn off the power to the area you are working on to avoid hazards like an electrical shock. Making sure you practice proper electrical safety when doing DIY projects is essential.
For small projects, you might be able to do some electrical work on your own. But for anything beyond the scope of a simple plug or switch, it's best to call in an electrician. Before deciding to take on any project yourself, there are a few questions you can ask yourself as a starting point:
- Is this project worth the risk?
- Do I know what I am doing?
- Can I afford to make mistakes?
You should consider hiring an electrician if you answered no to any of these questions. If you answer yes to all three questions, you can likely tackle the project yourself!
It's important to know what not to do for DIY electrical projects. The following are some tips for staying safe and avoiding potentially dangerous issues:
- Never replace an old outlet with one from your local hardware store. Safety standards have changed, and outlets from today may not be compatible with the wiring in your home.
- If you're going to put new wires into walls or ceilings, make sure they're rated for "wet" locations (places that come into contact with water).
- Power has no smell, so if you smell something burning, please turn off the power immediately and call an electrician!
If you suspect a more serious electrical issue, it is always best to call a local electrician. You can inspect to see if you can pinpoint the issue, but again safety is critical. Always turn the power off to the area you are inspecting. This will help eliminate the risk of accidentally electrocuting yourself or someone else. The next step is to check for any visible signs of a problem, like exposed wires or loose plugs that could cause a fire and need to be repaired. Another way to know if there's an electrical issue is by checking your circuit breakers and making sure they're not blowing. If they are, it means there's an overload on one of your circuits, and it needs to be repaired immediately. You'll also want to test all your outlets as you walk around the house with a lamp plugged in. If the lamp goes out as soon as you plug it in, then there's something wrong with that outlet, and it needs attention from a professional. Lastly, if you have smoke coming from any of your outlets or switches, then stop what you're doing and call an electrician right away!
If you're thinking about doing electrical work yourself, please don't! There can be many potential hazards when it comes to DIY electrical projects. For example, many people don't realize that a simple mistake in wiring a light switch can become a fire hazard. It's no secret that electrical repair work can be dangerous, which is why it's always best to leave it to the professionals. The risk is not worth the potential injury to DIY electrical projects. If you think you have an electrical issue, don't hesitate to call the professionals at Bengert Electric. You may be able to fix an easy DIY project, but never when it comes to electricity. Contact us today for all your electrical repair needs!