Some homeowners may feel comfortable with replacing a light switch, light fixture, or outlet. But there are many things to consider if you’re going to attempt electrical work. Any trained electrician will discourage novices from trying to do anything with their electrical system, as it can lead to burns, shocks, and electrocution. Here, we’ll look at when performing electrical maintenance yourself may be OK and when it could be a bad idea.
Check the Law First
In Oregon, you can obtain a permit to do electrical work yourself if you’re the owner and occupant of the home. Otherwise, a licensed contractor must perform the work. Permitting also involves inspections that ensure the job is done safely and correctly. An electrical permit is required when you install:
- Permanent wiring
- Additional wiring
- Electrical outlets
- Light fixtures
- Garage-door opener receptacles
- Security alarms
- Computer systems
Converting from a fuse box to a circuit breaker panel is another project that requires an electrical permit in Oregon.
However, you don’t need a permit to replace broken or damaged electrical outlets, light fixtures, or switches with similar devices, or replace light bulbs or fluorescent bulbs. If replacing an existing garbage disposal, electric water heater, or dishwasher with a similar unit under 30 amps, no permit is required. A coaxial cable for cable TV with the appropriate insulated wire, or an existing doorbell, can also be installed without obtaining a permit.
Why Hire a Contractor for Electrical Maintenance
While you may want to save money, can’t find an electrician, or feel confident in your abilities, electrical work comes with many risks. Some home repairs are fine for a DIYer. However, nothing else comes with the risk of electrocution or fire quite like electrical work does.
The reasons you should hire a professional electrician rather than take chances include:
Electricians Are Trained
To become licensed, an electrician must take many classes, master various skills, and receive on-the-job training. They must become certified in their state to do any electrical work, and must stay up-to-date on the latest safety codes and regulations. Plus, they’re equipped to quickly troubleshoot and diagnose the underlying problem, resolve it, and check for common issues during routine maintenance.
Electricians Play It Safe
Licensed and certified, professional electricians understand the dangers and challenges of the work they do. They take precautions when on any job, including performing safety checks and wearing protective gear. An electrician works slowly and methodically to avoid mistakes that can cause major damage, serious injury, or even death.
Electricians Are Committed to Quality
There’s no online tutorial that can prepare you for electrical work. Even installing a light fixture on your own can result in costly mistakes. Using substandard products to save may result in poor results. A skilled electrician will always apply their knowledge and expertise to ensure quality results and your safety. They also know what inspectors look for and perform their duties with no guesswork as to the latest electrical standards.
Hire An Electrician Who Is Bonded and Insured
Performing electrical maintenance yourself, or relying on a handyman, does not come with the perks of working with a professional who is bonded and insured. If a professional electrician makes a mistake or runs into an unexpected problem, you won’t have to pay to correct it. And if they are injured on the job in your home, the costs will be covered by worker’s compensation and not by you.
Contact Sky Heating & Air Conditioning
Our electrical maintenance experts are trusted throughout the Portland area for upkeep, inspections, and testing of electrical devices and components. With regular professional maintenance, your electrical system can run more smoothly, and blackouts, damaged appliances, electrical fires, and other safety issues can be avoided. Wiring, switches, circuit breakers, and other parts of your electrical system wear out over time, but we can spot issues early on and correct them.