Many electrical tasks, such as replacing light fixtures or electrical outlets, can safely be done at home by the homeowner. However, many people mistake their ability to replace a light fixture with the ability to properly diagnose an electrical fault or short circuited. Moreover, many people have gotten themselves hurt by tackling electrical jobs outside of their ability. That begs the question: when should you call an electrician?
Remembering Basic Electrical Safety
Remember, before working with electricity it is important that you practice appropriate safety precautions. Never attempt to work on or troubleshoot exposed wiring, frayed wires, your electrical panel, or power cable. These conditions should only be addressed by a qualified electrician.
- Disconnect the circuit at the electrical panel – flip the breaker to the “off” position (or remove the fuse if you have a fuse box instead of a breaker box).
- Turn off the switch that controls the circuit you will be working in – If you are inspecting a light fixture, ensure the light switch is set to off.
Symptoms that Require an Electrician to Properly Diagnose
If you are comfortable working with basic electrical concepts, and assuming you follow appropriate safety precautions, you should be able to handle some of the more common household electrical tasks. However, be careful and observe caution when assessing more serious electrical problems.
Call us for:
- Lights dimming or flickering when activating appliances or electrical devices – This may seem innocuous, but it may be indicative of a larger underlying problem with the circuit, electrical panel, or outlet. Our electrician will determine what is causing the behavior in the circuit and what the appropriate course of action will be.
- Sparking electrical devices or outlets – Anytime you see sparks you should give us a call. This represents not only an shock hazard, but a fire hazard as well.
- Damaged outlets, wiring, or built-in electrical systems – The wiring in your home should be done to specific building codes. Our electricians are equipped to quickly assess damage of this type and to correct it. Considering the built-in nature of these items, only an electrician should be working on them.
- Any work involving your electrical panel – Only an electrician should be opening up and working within your electrical panel. Inside your panel are live connections that are dangerous when mishandled.