Partly as a result of a down economy, and surely due to the rising popularity of home improvement shows, many handy homeowners are choosing to do many of their home improvement projects themselves. While there are many books, internet resources and other places to go for help with the majority of these projects, it is also important to know when to draw the line. The major drive of DIY home improvement projects is to save on the cost of hiring the contractor. When it comes to electrical work, however, there is a reason that the labor is so seemingly expensive. Electricians train extensively in order to gain the skills required to perform their jobs safely and properly. When completed improperly, electrical improvements can go catastrophically wrong, in turn costing you much more than it would have cost to have it done right the first time.
Common Electrical Mistakes
Changing a Fuse - Although changing out fuses may seem like a very simple task, it is something that is frequently done improperly. Furthermore, many people do not know how dangerous a fusebox actually is. When changing out fuses, one must be careful to choose the proper sized fuse. Oversized fuses can lead to overheating and other dangerous electrical situations that could result in fire or electrical shock. Rather than trying to replace a frequently blown fuse with a larger one, consult with your electrician to see if you need an electrical upgrade. Older homes were not designed to handle the amount of electricity that we use every day. Trying to force an undersized electrical system to channel that much electricity could be disastrous.
Modifying Electrical Outlets - Electrical outlets are highly important to the proper functioning of your home. As your primary source of electricity from your utility company, you rely on them daily to give your electrical devices and appliances the power that they require. One potentially deadly mistake that people make is to try and replace, move or otherwise modify an electrical outlet. There are many different reasons why you should not do this. One top consideration is the age and type of your electrical system. If you are not fully familiar with your electrical system, making any modifications could interfere with the grounding of that particular outlet. As a result, your devices, the outlet cover and anything else nearby could become energized.
The moral of the story is to leave any electrical work that you require to the pros. Although it may seem as if the cost of hiring an electrician is very expensive, it is much less costly than having someone come out to fix a mistake that you made. Furthermore, electricians are well-versed in local building codes and ordinances, and will ensure that your home stays up to date. If this is not done, you could be breaking the law. If nothing else, improper electrical work will come back to bite you whenever you sell your home. Stay safe and hire an electrician.
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