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What Every Homeowner Should Know About DIY Electrical Work

electricel fire

The 6 Dangers of Doing Electrical Work Yourself

While it may seem like attempting DIY electrical work is a cost-effective and easy solution for your electrical repairs and installation projects, you can encounter serious risks when doing these projects yourself. We often take for granted just how powerful and dangerous electricity can be.


As the premier electrical contractors in Gilroy, CA, and the Santa Clara Valley area, the Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric team knows firsthand the dangers associated with DIY electrical work. It is far better to hire a Gilory electrician to complete your electrical work than to hire an emergency electrician to clean up an accident.


Read on to learn more about the dangers of DIY electrical work and why you should always trust the pros to get the job done.

  1. Electrical Hazards

One of the most potent dangers of DIY electrical work is the risk of an electrical shock. Electricity is a powerful force that can lead to severe injury or even death. Even a tiny electric shock hazard can cause your muscle to contract quickly, leading to falls or other accidents. More importantly, strong shocks can cause fatal ventricular fibrillation, when the heart contracts so fast that it does not adequately pump blood to your body. Even non-fatal accidents can lead to electrical burns that require medical attention.


Even DIYers who think they know what they’re doing need to tread lightly. A slight mistake can result in severe consequences, like electrical fires.


Professional electricians have the training and experience to approach each job safely. In the case of an accident occurring, the electrical contractor is responsible for the damage.

  1. Damage to Your Home’s Electrical System

DIY electrical work poses risks to your home, which could mean anything from work that does not meet your state/city electrical codes to overloaded circuits. A damaged electrical system can lead to further issues down the road, like expensive repairs or life-threatening electrical fires. Damage to your home’s electrical system may not be apparent immediately, meaning the damage may not happen for days, weeks, or months after the project is complete.


An electrician with a license can also help troubleshoot and diagnose potential issues before they become major ones. If the electrical damage has already happened, you can count on an experienced electrician in Santa Clara County to get things back up and running.

  1. Violating Local Building Codes

DIY electrical work can lead to serious and expensive code violations. Every state and local area has specific building codes to ensure electrical safety at home. A DIYer may not be aware of these codes or try to circumvent them to save time and money.


While saving money on a project is certainly ideal, it is not worth the larger risk. The City of Gilroy has an entire department that promotes public awareness and community safety. Violating local building codes can lead to enormous fines, which, combined with legal fees, can go into the thousands of dollars—not to mention the potential safety risks of not doing work correctly.


Your local electrician understands your area’s electrical codes and will work to ensure all work performed is legal and safe.

  1. Limited Warranty and Liability

Another risk you take into your hands with DIY electrical work is what happens if something goes wrong. Imagine a scenario where you install an electric car vehicle charger yourself. You have never done one before, but you watched a video on YouTube that seemed to make sense. It was not your exact situation, but you felt confident. Unfortunately, you made a small mistake that any untrained person might make. The result: damage to your new electric vehicle.


Unfortunately, even though the EV is under the manufacturer’s warranty, you are still on the hook for repair costs because you caused the damage. If your mistake leads to an electrical fire that damages your property, your homeowner’s insurance may deny your claim due to negligence. On top of that, if someone gets injured due to your DIY work, you will be liable for associated costs, and you might even get sued for additional damages.


A licensed electrician will provide you with a warranty for their work and can handle any issues. Your electrical contractor should also carry insurance covering any accidents or mishaps during the job. It is worth the peace of mind to hire a pro versus taking the risk of doing it yourself.

  1. Lack of Experience

Even if you have helped complete a few electrical jobs in the past, your lack of expertise can lead to costly mistakes. Without the proper training, it is easy to miss a critical part of a project. Something as simple as using the wrong type of fastener in an electrical box can cause equipment not to function appropriately or pose the risk of an electrical fire later on.


In California, a licensed residential electrician must have at least 4,800 hours of experience across multiple fields and pass a 210-minute, 80-question exam. A general electrician, like the one you will find at Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric, must have at least 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and pass a 270-minute, 100-question exam.


It takes someone working 40 hours a week almost four years to earn 8,000 hours of experience. There is no comparison of the expertise and experience between a licensed electrician and even the most competent DIYer.

  1. Time-Consuming Stress

Anyone who does DIY projects knows nothing ever seems to go as planned. What should be a simple task ends up turning into a massive ordeal. No two situations are the same, even when you watch online videos or read DIY electrical work manuals. Unexpected issues are part of the job, especially in an older house.


A licensed electrician understands the bigger picture of how electricity works. They can handle unexpected issues and save you stress. When you hire the right team, you can focus on other things, knowing that your electrical project is in the right hands.

Let Watson’s Handle Your DIY Electrical Work

When you need an electrician who knows everything from wiring safety and risk assessment to local codes and proper procedures, trust the team at Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric. Our licensed electricians know how to quickly and accurately complete your electrical work. If you are in the Gilroy or Santa Clara Valley area, call us to schedule your free consultation today.