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Beyond Electrical Shock: Other Dangers Of DIY Electrical Work

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The risk of electrical shock is ever present for those who love dabbling in DIY electrical work, but it isn't the only danger you face by servicing your electrical wiring and appliances on your own. Here are other risks of DIY electrical work:

Electrical Fire Risk

Any fire outbreak is dangerous, but an electrical fire is even more dangerous because it is difficult to stop and can spread very first. Haphazard DIY electrical work can easily lead to an electrical fire outbreak, for example, if:

  • You use a small wire that cannot handle the current you are forcing it to carry.
  • You overload an electrical outlet, extension cord, or breaker.
  • You install a defective electrical appliance or fixture during installation.
  • You fail to insulate electrical conductors properly.
  • You use an electrical cable or appliance in the wrong environment.  

Code Violation

Due to the inherent danger of electricity, there are laws and rules governing electrical designs and installations. These rules are contained in the National Electrical Code (NEC), which regional authorities have the right to alter. The local authorities also have the power to enforce these codes, and you will face their specified punishment if you violate the code. For example, most regions require electrical outlets in the bathroom to have GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection. Installing such an outlet without GFCI protection is a code violation that may land you in trouble with the authorities.

Expensive Fixes

Another problem with DIY electrical work is that you can easily make a mistake that will require considerable expense to fix.  Imagine the money you would spend on repairs if you install a fan the wrong way, use the wrong cables in your wiring, or install outlets in the wrong locations. It is much cheaper to get the installations right the first time by using a professional residential electrician.

Inefficient Electrical Services

Lastly, DIY gone wrong can also make it difficult to enjoy the electrical installations or services in your home. For example, making mistakes during an installation of lights may leave you with lights that frequently flicker or blow out. Making mistakes with circuit breakers may leave you with breakers that constantly trip. Another example is a mistake with the sizing of an electrical panel that cannot support all your electrical needs. In the end, you may not even enjoy living in your house due to all these mistakes.

As you can see, you need to be very careful when trying DIY electrical service; only try out projects you are absolutely certain you can manage. Ideally, electrical services and installations should only be handled by professional electricians.


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