Electrical systems are complex and potentially dangerous, which is reason enough to let an experienced and knowledgeable electrician do the work instead of you. Although homeowners are never advised to try to DIY repairs, Australians know that amateur repairs are even illegal. The law here is much tougher than in other countries, and under the Electrical Safety Act of 2002, unlicensed electrical work includes”the manufacturing, constructing, installing, testing, maintaining, repairing, altering, removing, or replacing of electrical equipment.” Apart from dizzying fines, rest assured that your home insurance provider won’t have much sympathy for your heroic DIY buzz work. Let’s look into a few situations when an electrician’s expertise can save the day.
Early malfunction signs
To an amateur, diagnosing an electrical problem might appear complicated and abstract. Still, there are several early warning signs that can tell you something’s wrong. For example, the smell of burning plastic at a power outlet, appliance or a switchboard. The second level of emergency is discoloration of any outlet cable or appliance. Situations like these might be so urgent that you can’t wait for the electrician to arrive. As soon as you notice signs like these, turn off the electricity in your home by flipping down the three main circuit breakers on your switchboard. This is something every member of the household should know how to do. Ideally, you should know which breaker shuts down what, but in an emergency, there’s no time for taking chances.
Hazards of DIY repairs
According to Fire & Rescue NSW report, in 2014 there were 150 home fires and five deaths, with electrical malfunctions being the top cause, after unattended cooking. In the short period between 2002 and 2004, about 1,500 people in Australia were hospitalized for electrical injuries, with 162 electrical-related deaths between 2001 and 2004. Although these figures may seem low when compared to other household dangers, they are not to be ignored. Apart from immediate physical injury, any kind of amateur repair attempt can result in serious property damage. AT the very least, an inexpert intervention can damage the appliance or the electrical fixture you are trying to repair. However, there is always a risk of fire, with damages that definitely outweigh the expenses of a professional electrician you should have called in the first place.
Skills that keep electricians in business
Aside from understanding electric currents, voltage, power ratings, etc., a professional electrician understands the mechanical aspects of the components they need to install. Pinpointing the problem in the shortest time frame largely depends on the electrician’s understanding of how the system operates. In many situations, complex components need to be taken apart in order to access the problematic area. Finally, an electrician should understand and apply various electrical codes and laws by which they’re regulated. Some projects you had in mind will require permission from city planning offices. When a home inspector comes by, they need to make sure that everything your licenced Sydney electrician has done meets all the code requirements and regulations of the trade.
Knowledge you can’t buy
Experienced electricians can perform a wide range of electrical jobs. Apart from being familiar with all sorts of electrical components and their function, they possess a vast knowledge of electrical currents, their properties and side effects, such as electromagnetic and thermal. By knowing how electrical circuits interact with one another, and how they need to be grounded properly, an electrician can ensure that your whole system functions seamlessly. Anyone can purchase a new part or cable, and even learn how to replace a broken one, but only licenced electricians can see “the big picture” and can guarantee the safety of their work.
After all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed, unless you are a commercial licensed electrician yourself, better leave everything to professionals. Apart from changing the light bulb and manipulating circuit breakers in an emergency, anything above isn’t worth risking injury, property damage and voided insurance policy. Your best course of action would be to learn how to recognize a problem early on and contact an emergency electrician who operates in your neighbourhood.