You might think of DIY electrical work as fast and cheap, but that is not a guarantee. If you are not careful, your DIY work can lead to one or more of these problems.
Injuries are some of the worst effects of DIY work gone wrong. For electrical work, here are the two types of injuries to worry about.
You experience an electrical shock when electrical current passes through your body. You might suffer an electrical shock if:
- You handle live electrical wires without turning off the power at the main electrical power.
- You handle electrical wires or contacts that you don't know are connected to the power.
- You use the wrong tools and instruments that are not properly insulated.
- You are not properly grounded during your DIY wiring.
The above are just a few examples of triggers for electrical shock; there are other potential triggers.
Malfunctioning electrical wiring can trigger an electrical fire that can cause severe injuries. An electrical fire typically starts when an electrical malfunction causes overheating, arcing, or sparking in a circuit. Some of the specific causes of electrical fires include:
- A short circuit that allows electricity to flow where it shouldn't
- A thin wire that cannot handle the electrical current you subject it to
- A loose connection that increases electrical resistance and leads to overheating
Again, the above are just a few examples, and managing them doesn't guarantee fire-free electrical wiring.
In addition to the risk of injury, you also need to worry about the risk of damage. Both your house and your electrical system can suffer damage if you are not careful. For example, you might damage the house if you drill holes in the wrong places and hit plumbing pipes. Damaged plumbing pipes can flood your house with water.
Even if you don't cause damage or suffer injury, you cannot be sure of the quality of your DIY work. For example, you might use low-quality installations (such as cables) that deteriorate fast. Another example is if you forget to include protective devices, such as ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), in the necessary areas. You can even end up with installations that don't work, such as fans that don't rotate, outlets that don't have power or light fixtures that don't light up.
If you have to try DIY electrical wiring, restrict your work to things you intimately know. A professional electrical contractor from a company like Dunedin Electric Co., Inc. should handle everything else.