Most people are sensible when it comes to working with electricity: they call in a professional or someone who is qualified. Carrying out electricity work isn't like plumbing work. Anyone with basic DIY skills can change a tap. If you do it wrong, you'll get wet. Botch an electricity job and you can die.
Check Laws and Regulations
Always do some research into laws concerning electrician work. They are changed regularly and often restrict the type of job unqualified electricians or the homeowner are allowed to carry out. In some countries, only certified people can carry out electrical installation work, or the work must be certified upon completion.
Some electrical work, such as repairs on existing circuits, can be undertaken immediately, while some work, such as adding new circuits, must be sanctioned by the local authority before the job is carried out. For this reason, it is best to always use a qualified, professional electrician who will assess the job, notify the local authority if necessary, and certify the finished work.
Certified electricians not only have the technical knowledge and expertise to carry out an electricity job to a high standard, they will also have the requisite knowledge of how to work safely. Sometimes it's not enough just to know to switch off the electricity supply at the mains, remove relevant fuses and seal the fuse panel, or test that the supply really is off.
Professional electricians will obviously know all the correct procedures to carry out before starting the job, but they will also ensure that the working environment is safe, and work safely with additional tools and electrical components.
Differences Between Pros and DIYers
While DIY enthusiasts may think they know the ins and outs of carrying out an electrical job, technical details and experience separate the amateurs from professionals. Professional, qualified electricians will know the following:
- Up-to-date regulations.
- Up-to-date industry changes, e.g. cable core colour changes, mandatory types of circuit breaker.
- Whether or not to notify local authorities about the job.
- Remove flooring safely and with minimum fuss and disruption.
- Exactly where to drill in a wall to fit cables.
- The best places and ways to fit cables.
- What thickness of cables to use.
- What size of fuse or circuit breaker to use.
- How many sockets can be run from one fuse.
Would you trust someone who is unqualified to rewire your home or business, or repair a faulty circuit? Make sure the electrician you use is fully qualified. In the UK, make sure the electrician is either NICEIC, ECA or ELECSA certified. In the US, ensure your electrician has passed a National Electrical Code inspection. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the job will be done safely and no damage will occur to your property.
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