Do You Need an Electrician for These Tasks?
Whether it’s at home or in the office, doing repairs or other tasks that involve electricity is something you need to be very cautious with. It’s dangerous and can be fatal. You need the right skills, knowledge, and tools in doing things that expose you to the risks of getting electrocuted. This does not mean, though, that you always have to call for an electrician whenever you need something.
Below are some common repair, troubleshooting, or replacement tasks involving electricity or electrical parts that may or may not require the services of an electrician. Find out which among these are doable or not doable (as a DIY task) for you.
- Protecting Wires from a Leak
If you have a leak on your roof that could send water flowing into your electric wires, what should you do? It depends on how severe the problem is. Of course if you can quickly seal the leak, it’s no longer an electricity-related job. However, if it’s difficult to locate the leak and it becomes an urgency to set up something to prevent the wires from soaking, you have to turn the circuit breaker off and proceed to putting up a barrier to prevent water from dripping into the wires or disconnect the wires temporarily until you seal the leak. If your wires are in an area that will likely be affected by leaks, it would be better to move them. You can do this on your own or you can contact an electrician to more proficiently do the job.
- Fixing or Replacing a Light Switch
No, this is not about replacing the light bulb. Repairing or replacing a light switch is certainly not as easy as unscrewing a busted bulb and putting in a new one. There’s some unscrewing involved but it’s something that should be done cautiously. The circuit breaker should be turned down first before you can do anything.
Most of the time, if your switch starts to malfunction, the most logical thing to do is to simply replace it. If it breaks down within a few days after buying it, you may have to bring it to the store to complain about the defect, so you will still end up having to replace it. This is something you can do on your own with the right tools
- Replacing a Fuse
Many appliances stop working because of a busted fuse. A fuse gets busted because it has served its purpose, which means it has melted to disconnect an appliance from the power supply that is sending more electricity that what the appliance can handle. A busted fuse can no longer be fixed; it must be replaced
It’s not that difficult to replace a fuse. The problem is not knowing how to open the appliance and being not knowledgeable enough to know how to replace the fuse. You can actually do the replacement on your own, maybe with the help of some tutorials you can find online. You just need to make sure that the replacement fuse you buy is the right replacement.
- Fixing or Replacing the Main Circuit Breaker
Most households contact an electrician to have a damaged circuit breaker fixed or replaced–and this is the sensible thing to do. It takes a proficient electrician to know what to do with a damaged circuit breaker, which is extremely important in the power connection of a household. Choosing the wrong replacement can lead to dire consequences.
- Fixing an Appliance that Gives Out a Mild Shock
There are times when you encounter appliances that give you a mild shock. They’re not painful or seriously threatening but they indicate something wrong with the appliance. This is something commonly noticed in laptops that come with three-pronged plugs (for the charger) that are used on two-pronged outlets (through an adapter). The most common reason for this mild shock is improper grounding. Three-pronged plugs are designed to be grounded, something that does not happen when you use it on a two-prong outlet. You can do a temporary fix for this by connecting a wire to the third prong (inserting it into the adapter) and connecting the wire to a conductor rod that will then be staked on the ground outdoors. For other appliances (not necessarily with three-pronged plug), you are likely going ot need the assistance of a professional electrical technician.
- Dead Outlets
Often, you would need a professional electrician to handle this problem. Unless the problem is just in the outlet, dead outlets can mean bigger problems that may require the attention of an experienced electrician. You might be able to replace the outlet on your own but you may not find the associated problems or the real cause why the outlet is no longer supplying electricity.
In summary, it boils down to four things: ability, knowledge, tools, and confidence. You may no longer need the assistance of a professional electrician if you know what to do, if you have the right skills or ability to do it, if you have the right tools, and if you are confident enough that you will get the job done.
Of note, it’s indeed advantageous being able to do your own electrical repairs, especially for minor repair or replacement needs. Imagine having a professional electrician coming to your house, well-equipped and highly experienced—even toting a tablet with an electrician software—only to be asked to repair something you can actually do on your own. The electrician may appreciate the ease of the job but you’re wasting money on something you could fix using basic tools and some common sense.