As information has become readily available on the web, a wave of do-it-yourself (DIY) guides and tutorials for homeowners has flooded cyberspace. One survey of homeowners from 2020 showed that 80 percent of respondents had tried their hand at a DIY home project with varying degrees of success.
Social media posts, web walkthroughs and other online content can make it look easy to complete renovations and home fixes without a professional. Many guides can give you step-by-step instructions for indoor and outdoor home projects, like creating a raised flower bed or refurbishing cabinetry.
However, you may want to hang up your DIY hard hat for electrical, plumbing and gas fixes. Home wiring projects are more complex and dangerous than other remodeling tasks. You can potentially damage your home and seriously injure yourself if you tackle residential electrical problems without proper tools, training and experience.
Home Wiring DIY: What Are the Risks?
It's great to know about your home's residential wiring system. This knowledge can help you identify potential problems in your home. However, attempting to fix the problem on your own may pose a greater risk than you realize. Most homeowners don't have the training, equipment or experience needed to make home wiring DIY repairs or installs.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International estimates that there are approximately 400 electrocutions every year in the U.S. Fifteen percent of these electrocutions involve consumer products. According to the most recent United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) report, large and small appliances caused 29 percent of these deaths, and household wiring accounted for four percent.
An attempt at a “minor” fix can quickly turn dangerous when you don't address it with a trained hand. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, anywhere from 1.0 to 4.3 amps of current can stop your heart. Most homes in the United States are rated to handle 100 to 200 amps of electricity flow at any given time.
Electrical malfunctions are also the leading cause of residential fires. But, if you're still wondering why turning your DIY wiring project over to a professional is a good idea, let's look at some of the reasons electricians are worth the price tag.
Residential Electrical Safety: When to Hire an Electrician
Each state has different requirements for an electrician to get their license. However, it's important to note that most states, cities or counties require electrical journeymen and contractors to have thousands of hours of on-the-job experience as an apprentice before taking the license exam.
In addition to on-the-job experience, most electrician apprenticeships require applications through national organizations, like the National Electrical Contractors Association or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The application process helps ensure the individual can meet the organization's standards for technical proficiency.
Electricians aren't just knowledgeable about electrical systems; they have the requisite experience to back it up.
Home Wiring DIY: Why Other DIY Projects Are Great!
There are a lot of reasons to try other DIY projects. When you're able to remove the "middleman," it helps keep things simple and saves you a little bit of dough. It's a great feeling to work with your hands and develop a sense of accomplishment.
However, a few parts of your home require extensive training and knowledge to improve or fix, including your home's wiring. If you’re determined to tackle a DIY project, there are many great ways you can boost your home's value and save a few bucks without touching your home's electrical system.
Learn More About Electrical Safety
If you have questions about electrical safety at home, outdoors or on the road, check out our other content for more information. We want to help you make more informed decisions to keep yourself and your family safe from electrical hazards.
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