When it comes to DIY projects, there are videos online showing us how to do everything from plastering walls to building furniture. But some projects should always be left to qualified professionals.
Electrical work is complicated, risky, and can cause injury, so no matter how good you are at DIY, you should always call an electrician to take care of the electrical work in your home.
In this post, we’ll show you why doing your own electrical work is so dangerous and the six electrical jobs you should never DIY.

Why is it Dangerous to Do Your Own Electrical Work?

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission did some research showing there are more than 400 electrocutions in the States every year. Around 20% came from wiring hazards, while ladders hitting power lines accounted for around 10%. 

Unless you know what you’re doing, messing with the electricity in your house can be incredibly dangerous. And if you’re still unconvinced, here are some risks of doing your own electrical work. 

Electrical Shock 

Did you know that electrical shocks are the leading cause of death for construction workers – even though they are professionally trained and have all the correct equipment?

As an untrained homeowner, your risk of giving yourself a shock is greater, and it’s not worth the risk. 

Code Violations

There are strict codes in place to keep homes compliant. If you’re taking on a renovation, you might violate local codes by doing electrical work yourself. This could end up costing a lot to put right, so it’s always best to consult with a professional electrician first.  

Inspection Issues 

Any electrical component has to pass an inspection before it can be used. Whether you’ve got faulty wiring or a new light fixture, you’ll need a qualified electrician to conduct an inspection or risk substantial fines. 

Property Damage

Building codes aside, you also risk damage to your home. Trying to install a new electrical board or rewire an appliance could end up short-circuiting and melting the wires. 

Damage to wiring or circuit boards can be costly to fix, and you might end up creating a larger job if you’re wiring is affected. 


Faulty electrics cause the majority of house fires. It’s a huge risk and why it’s difficult to qualify as an electrician. Even a minor electrical job done wrong can cause a spark that starts a major fire, so don’t put your home and family at risk. 

Risky Electrical Jobs You Should Never DIY

If you’re doing a renovation or think of yourself as a keen DIYer, there are six electrical jobs you should never attempt yourself. 

  • Installing new circuits or rewiring

When a circuit has too much power running through it, the breaker and outlets become warm and pose a fire risk. If you’ve added more electrical appliances to your home lately, you might end up needing new circuits installed to cope with the extra load. 

We spoke to Ryan from PadPCB about how electricians install new circuits and why it’s not a job that homeowners should take on without an understanding of electrical systems. 

“Using a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is a great way to make sure your home electrical work is safe and efficient, especially when installing new circuits or rewiring. PCBs are made with a copper layer and are designed to control the flow of electricity, making them an ideal choice for use in electrical projects. They are also relatively easy to use and can be cut to size, allowing electricians to create custom circuits for your specific needs. But we never recommend homeowners tackle their own circuit board installations without a solid understanding of the electrical system and without the use of proper safety measures when working with electricity.“ says Ryan of PadPCB.

  • Upgrading electrical panels

If your electrical panel is old and you’re going through a renovation, it will probably need upgrading to meet the latest regulations and the added electrical load of new wiring and appliances. 

But upgrading an electrical panel is a pretty big job and not something a homeowner should attempt themselves. Changing a fuse board is complicated and far too easy to get wrong, so you’ll definitely need a professional electrician. 

  • Working on electrical appliances

When an electrical appliance stops working, there are some checks you can do yourself before contacting an electrician. For example, you might feel comfortable changing a fuse and doing a quick visual check of the wiring. 

However, if you’re dealing with a complex electrical appliance like an oven, refrigerator, or solar panels, you’ll need a qualified electrician to pinpoint the source of the problem safely. 

  • Installing outdoor lighting

If you want to replace your outdoor lighting or something more modern, exchanging like for like is quite a simple job if you feel confident (just remember to turn the electricity off at the electrical board!). 

However, installing new outdoor lighting can be incredibly dangerous. Water and electricity don’t mix, but there’s a greater risk of moisture getting into the wiring when working outdoors. So, it’s always best to hire a professional electrician if you want new outdoor lighting. 

  • Fixing electrical issues in walls or ceilings

This is probably one of the most dangerous jobs to take on yourself. If your house needs rewiring, it’s going to involve fixing electrical issues inside the walls and ceilings. Locating wires and safely replacing them with new is a complicated job that you need to be trained to do safely and legally. 

No matter how good at DIY you are, always consult a qualified electrician if you need to fix issues inside walls or ceilings. 

  • Replacing outlets or switches

If you’ve got some experience changing an outlet or switch, this can be a straightforward job. However, if you’re not confident, it’s best to call a professional. Although it seems like a simple job, it only takes one incorrect wire to cause a fire or injury. The safest option is to leave it to an electrician. 

4 Clear Signs Your Home Needs Electrical Work

Whether you’re planning a renovation or simply becoming a little concerned about the age of the wiring in your home, there are some clear signs your home needs rewiring. 

Flickering lights or outlets that don’t work

If you have one flickering light, it’s most likely a faulty bulb. However, if you notice lights flickering regularly or multiple outlets that don’t work, it’s a sign there’s a more significant problem with the wiring that needs to be addressed. 

Burning smells or sparks

If you’ve burned your toast, there’s no need to worry. But a consistent burning smell with no visible cause could be telling you there is an overloaded circuit somewhere. An electrical burn has a very distinctive smell that’s almost like fish, so you’ll recognize it quickly. 

Electrical shocks or buzzing sounds

If you’ve ever pulled a socket out of the wall and had a minor shock or heard buzzing, you need to contact an electrician immediately. This is a clear sign there is faulty wiring that is posing a serious safety risk. 


No matter how good you are at DIY projects, there are just certain electrical jobs you shouldn’t do yourself. From changing an outlet to rewiring a fuse board, call the professionals to keep your house and family safe.