Poor electrical work can have some serious consequences. You may be tempted to save time and money on quick electrical jobs by hiring a budget electrician or handling the work yourself. However, this is not a good idea for a whole handful of reasons and the consequences can end up costing you way more than just the money you hoped to save.
Causes Of Bad Electrical Work
Most bad electrical jobs are the result of an untrained person performing the work. They tend to fall into two categories:
Doing Your Own Electrical Work
Electrical jobs are a lot harder than they look. Licenced electricians spend years training to understand the electrical systems they work on. You might think that you’ll be able to work out what to do after following the trail of wires or watching a Youtube video, but trust us – it’s far harder and far more dangerous than it looks.
If you try to resolve your electrical issues without the necessary knowledge and experience, you’ll likely make a mistake. You could connect the wrong wire to the wrong place, cut the wrong thing, or do a whole raft of potential issues because you don’t know what you’re really doing. This can not only lead to bigger electrical problems, but it also puts you and others at risk of serious injury now and in the future.
Hiring A Cheap or Unlicenced Electrician
Simply looking for the cheapest electrician can result in many of the same problems as trying to do the work yourself. Half the time they’ve trained themselves at the university of YouTube too.
Work performed by cheap or unlicenced electricians is often inefficient, wired dangerously, and ends up costing you much more down the road.
To be able to provide cheap repairs, cheap electricians often cut corners, skip checks and balances, and swap trusted components for low-quality alternatives. As a result, these repairs are more likely to fail and can leave you with malfunctioning equipment or a complete power outage. You’ll then need to hire another electrician to repair the damages caused by the cheap electrician, completely defeating the intended purpose of saving a few bucks – and costing you way more than it would have been to do it right the first time.
You can avoid this problem by choosing a quality professional electrician from the start. Do your research to find a reliable electrician with a solid reputation for providing quality work.
Risks Of Bad Electrical Work
A poor electrical job can have serious ramifications. This goes far beyond your lights not working or you needing to hire another electrician. Here are some of the biggest risks of bad electrical work:
1. Legal Issues
To start, do-it-yourself (DIY) electrical work is illegal in Australia. Penalties for illegal electrical work can vary from state to state with fines as high as $40,000 for individuals and up to $200,000 and three years in prison if injuries or deaths result from the work.
The following jobs are considered electrical work and must be handled by a certified electrician:
- Rewiring a house
- Replacing a light switch (yes, really)
- Installing a ceiling fan
- Repairing an electrical appliance
- Replacing a plug on a lead
- Installing an air conditioner
This leaves pretty much changing a light bulb or putting your Christmas lights up as the electrical work you can handle yourself. This may seem restrictive, but it’s for a good reason! It’s in your best interest to avoid the many potential hazards associated with DIY electrical work.
2. Insurance Problems
Hiring an unlicenced electrician or handling the work yourself can have a major effect on your home insurance coverage. If your improper electrical work results in a fire, you will not be covered for any loss. This means that the electrical job that would have cost you a few hours of a professional electrician’s time could result in you losing your home.
Even if you avoid a major incident like a fire, choosing an improper repair will negatively impact the value of your home. That electrical work will lower the resale value of your home if you go to sell it and you may even face legal ramifications as a result of them.
It’s also important to note that home and contents insurance companies won’t recognise work performed by an unlicenced electrician. This goes beyond just your insurance. Unlicenced electricians don’t have public liability insurance which means you won’t receive any compensation from them if their work injures you or your family.
3. Electrical Fires
Electrical fires are dangerous and easy to start. All it takes is an improperly installed outlet or some faulty wiring. Close to 20% of all Australian fires are electrical fires. Once they start they are very difficult to put out and can spread quickly.
Professional electricians are able to recognise the conditions that lead to electrical fires. Amateur DIY enthusiasts and unlicenced electricians cannot.
4. Electric Shock
Choosing to handle your electrical work yourself can easily end up with you being electrocuted. All it takes is forgetting to turn off the right circuit breaker or touching the wrong wires together to experience serious injury or even death.
5. Ends Up Costing You More
A bad electrical job can end up causing more damage that needs to be repaired. The cost of fixing additional issues will understandably be greater than the original repair. You also lose valuable time that you spent handling the repair yourself or reaching out to the unqualified electrician.
Bad electrical work is a serious hazard that can result in many long-term consequences. Fortunately, avoiding bad electrical jobs is simple. You just need to hire a professional.
Not to toot our own horns, but with over 50 years experience in the field, Faraday Group provides the professional and reliable service you’d expect from an expert licenced electrician. Contact us today for all your electrical installation and repair needs!