Why DIY Electrical Work is Rarely Recommended
Generally speaking, it is legal to do your own electrical work. However, it is rarely recommended. Not only do DIY electrical projects have a significant risk of electrical shock, fire, and other hazards, but you also must adhere to building codes and regulations. Below we discuss the different building and electrical codes you will need to adhere to and when it is safe to DIY an electrical project. We also review the types of projects for which you should always hire an electrician.
Local vs. National Electrical Codes
When it comes to remodeling or working on your electrical system, it's important to be aware that you have several different codes you will have to follow. Additionally, it is not only electrical codes that you have to be concerned with. In many cases, you will also be required to follow building codes and even acquire permits before beginning your project.
Depending on where you live, you may have to follow codes from the following governments:
- Municipal government codes
- County codes
- State codes
- National or federal codes
In Marietta, you generally need a permit whenever you install or alter any electrical system. Additionally, Georgia requires you to follow the National Electrical Code when working on your electrical system. For information on acquiring a permit in Marietta, review the city's website here.
If you are ever in doubt regarding what building and electrical codes you are required to follow, you can call your local permit office.
When Is It Safe to DIY?
Several small electrical projects around your home are generally okay for homeowners to tackle. Some examples of electrical tasks that you may be able to handle on your own include hanging string lights in your backyard, replacing lightbulbs throughout your home, replacing smoke detector batteries, replacing small appliances, installing simple under-cabinet lighting, or peel-and-stick LED strips to provide mood lighting. You can even install some of the more popular video camera doorbells, like Ring doorbells.
Review our blog here for tips on preparing for a DIY electrical project.
When You Should Work with a Licensed Electrician
Beyond the aforementioned projects, or in any situation where you are unsure of your abilities, we recommend that you work with a licensed, experienced electrician like ours at Lightning Bug Electric. Lighting, in particular, is one area where you want to work with a professional. You may see guides online telling you how to install ceiling fans, chandeliers, and even recessed lighting. However, these larger projects should always be handled by an electrician.
Relatedly, an electrician should also handle anything involving your wiring, such as repairing or installing new outlets, integrating an electrical appliance into your system, or rewiring your home. Wiring and other electrical work that is not handled correctly or with care can lead to serious injury or an electrical fire.
Finally, you should never attempt to work on circuit breakers or service panels yourself.
The risk is simply too great. If you have an electrical project, large or small, contact the electricians at Lightning Bug Electric. Safety is our top priority, and our electricians are highly trained and licensed, with years of experience behind them. When it comes to electrical systems, we never take risks, and you can be sure the job will be completed correctly and safely.