The Do’s and Don’ts of DIY Electrical Projects

When you own a home, there are many times when doing the job yourself can save you some money instead of hiring the project out. That said, it’s important to remember that you don’t want to do a job bigger than you can handle.

When looking at electrical projects, some of the things you can do yourself include the following:

  • Change a light fixture
  • Replace a wall outlet
  • Replace a switch
  • Rewire a lamp
  • Attach an appliance cord

However, even these things need a little bit of knowledge to accomplish, so make sure you do the proper research before starting your project.

There are jobs you absolutely should not attempt, but rather find a professionally trained electrician to do. These are:

  • Rewiring jobs
  • Wiring room additions on your home
  • Wiring breaker boxes

If you are embarking on a DIY Electrical Project, here are some do’s and don’ts you’ll want to consider.

Do: Use Proper Tools

For example, you want to use wire strippers to cut electrical wires. Any other tool might damage the wires, and be a hazard to your fingers. Having a flashlight handy is always a good idea, especially if you are in an area where natural light does not reach.

Don’t: Rush the Job

Make sure you have plenty of time to complete your task. Even when changing a light fixture, you may run into an unforeseen issue. Once replaced, if a light fixture is on a switch, that switch may not work after it is turned back on. Make sure you have researched your project fully to know what you should do if this problem arises.

Do: Test All Switches Before You Start

Make sure you know and label what all switches are for. Test them again with a multimeter after you’ve cut the power to make absolutely sure they have no electricity flowing to them. You do not want to start work and receive any kind of shock!

Don’t: Trust Breaker Box Labels

Even though your breaker box is labeled with rooms, it may be different than what you would consider that room to be. If you did not build your home, or put on your own breaker box labels, you need to test all circuits before you start work. You  may flip a switch for an area labeled as “office” only to find out that the are you think is an office was originally a dining room and was labeled as such. Checking and double checking that power is cut is the first rule of electric work.

Do: Know When You’re In Over Your Head

If you get into any kind of DIY electrical project and run into problems you aren’t prepared for, it is better to call an electrician than to risk making a small project a large problem. Not just for the wellbeing of your electrical system, but for your physical safety as well!

Southwest Florida Electric has a team of experienced electricians who are ready to ensure your home’s electric projects are done properly and carefully. Anytime you need a professional, reach out to our helpful customer service professionals who can provide you with a highly trained electrician for your home project.