Home improvement stores have everything you need to do your own electrical repairs and upgrades, and you can look online to find out how to perform nearly any kinds of electrical work. However, there are multiple reasons why you should hire a residential electrician rather than perform the work on your own. These reasons include:
The dangers of performing electrical work
Of course, the primary danger of working with electricity is the possibility of injury from electric shock or death by electrocution, but there are also less obvious safety hazards. Using the wrong gauge of wire, for example, can cause an overload which may lead to overheating and fire.
Twisting sharp wire ends together or connecting them to outlets or switches can cause severe cuts if it is done improperly. Penetrating walls and floors to run wire or install equipment can present exposure to dirt and debris, which could cause allergic reactions or eye injuries.
Some electrical repairs require the use of ladders, adding the risk of falls to the dangers present in electrical work.
Local building codes and regulations
All electrical upgrades and repairs must adhere to local and state building codes. Electrical work that doesn't meet building code standards will need to be redone if you intend to sell your home or have it inspected for any other reason. A licensed residential electrician will be familiar with the existing code, as well as any updates or changes to code specifications.
Expertise and experience
Electrical work must be done using the proper equipment for each job. Each component in a project must be matched to the other components according to their intended use. For example, in a wet location, a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet must be used. These outlets detect small fluctuations in power, and shut off if compromised by dampness or wet conditions.
Wire and circuit breakers must be matched according to the amount of power needed in an existing or upgraded line. Running wire through existing walls and ceilings is extremely difficult, because of obstructions within them.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but hiring a residential electrician to perform your electrical work can actually be cheaper than doing it yourself. You will need to purchase at least a minimum amount of electrical tools to perform most projects, and buy expensive copper wire at retail prices. An electrician has all the necessary tools and can purchase supplies at wholesale prices, which lowers the cost of a project.
Cost can also be a factor if you attempt and fail at performing electrical work, because you may need to pay the additional costs of dismantling your handiwork before an electrician can perform the work correctly. (For more information on electricians, you can contact Excel Electric Inc)