DIY Don’ts – When To Hire An Electrician

DIY Don’ts – When To Hire An Electrician

Bucks County electrician

Photo: davef3138, Flickr Creative Commons

This post is for you, fearless do-it-yourselfers! We’ll start off by saying we admire your pluck in taking on home improvement projects on your own. It takes gumption to tackle repairs and upgrades on nights and weekends, following instructions from YouTube or the guy from the Home Depot.

But this blog is about when it’s time to put your power tools aside and call in the pros. Particularly with electrical issues, there are certain home improvement jobs you just shouldn’t do yourself, because they’re: a.) dangerous, b.) difficult, c.) costly if done wrong, or d.) all of the above. Put the following on your list of times when you should hire an electrician:

1. When you need to replace your wiring

The first issue here is danger. If you’re attempting a DIY wiring replacement, you can easily make a mistake and cause an electricity overload, one of the most common causes of household fires when the happen within walls. What’s more, many insurance companies won’t cover damage brought about by homemade wiring.

Not to mention, building codes change every few years, and only a licensed electrician is likely to know the latest requirements.

2. When you need to repair or replace a circuit breaker

Once again, the risk here is that something will be installed improperly and cause an electrical fire. If the circuit breaker box is incorrectly installed, it can heat up, short out, and spark a fire — an outcome that a licensed electrician who knows how to design circuits can avoid.

Plus, the sheer quantity of electricity that’s channeled through a circuit breaker means you should leave this one to the pros.

3. When you need to change the type of wall outlet

We’ll let you off the hook when it comes to replacing a power outlet. That’s a plausible DIY project for the home-improvement enthusiast who does the research and makes sure the power is SWITCHED OFF.

But if you’re switching the type of wall outlet — from an ungrounded outlet to a grounded one, with the addition of a GFCI switch — it’s time to hire an electrician. This job can be very dangerous, and someone without the proper training risks being shocked or doing something wrong and causing a fire later on.

4. When you’re hooking up a new structure to the power company

Power companies must be vigilant about protecting their employees and their costly equipment, which means they have certain measures in place to block botched electrical setups from receiving service. Most likely, your local electrical company has rules against connecting homemade work to the grid, so save yourself a headache by hiring a licensed electrician.


Thanks for keeping up with our blog! When in need of an electrician, Bucks and Montgomery County residents know to call us in. For small- and large-scale electrical jobs of all kinds, including wiring, lighting, and safety inspections, dial (215) 855-3340.