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Can a Homeowner Do Their Own Electrical Work?

Based on the state, homeowners are allowed to complete electrical tasks. However, there are risks involved if the work isn’t done correctly.

In many places, homeowners can perform their own electrical repairs and installations. This saves money and time from having to wait on an electrician to show up at your door. Though, you will need a permit. Your district needs to know what you are doing, and your permit informs them of your electrical project. Some areas even make you take an electrical exam.

DIY Electrical Work: Is it Legal?

Whether you can do electrical work in your home depends on what type of work you plan to do, as well as your county and city’s laws. This information helps you decide whether you should continue with your DIY electrical project or hire a professional.

A situation that plays out in many areas is that a homeowner can legally perform their own electrical work if they prove to be the owner or occupant of the home. You also must prove that the work is being done for your benefit, not commercially.

Electrical Permits for Homeowners

You can find the process for obtaining an electrical permit on the county or city’s government website under the licenses and permits section. Typically, to get an electrical permit, you must prove a few things including:

  • You are the homeowner.
  • You’ve lived in the house for a specific amount of time.
  • The home is your primary place of residence.

Usually, installing electrical systems or work done to electrical panels is not permitted by homeowners.

Electrical Work Done Without a Permit

If the local authorities catch you doing electrical work without a permit, you could end up paying fines due to code violations. Also, without the right skills and knowledge of a certified electrician, you could interrupt your electrical service or cause a fire due to bad wiring. If you aren’t comfortable or nervous about any DIY electrical work, it’s best to call a professional electrician.

Another major issue is not meeting the code. You could install wire, and it won’t align with your local code. It may not seem important right now. However, if you ever resell your home, you will have problems after getting the house inspected. These problems could have you paying more in fines than if you just went ahead and hired an electrician in the first place.

Tips for Doing Your Own Electrical Work Safely

If you decide to DIY, consider these safety tips before starting any home electrical job:

  • Be sure to cut off the power to any circuit you will be working on by turning off the circuit breaker
  • Cut off and unplug any appliances you plan on repairing
  • Be sure you are using the right gauge of wire for the Amperage rating
  • Remove your watch, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces (anything metal)
  • Use a non-contact Voltage Tester to make sure all your electricity is off
  • Leave the gas pipes and plumbing alone

Take some time to learn about your home’s electrical system beforehand. But if the work gets to be too much, it’s time to call a Denver electric company and hire a professional. What job requires you to study for a long time is second nature to an electrician.