Did you know that over 500 people are hospitalized each year from completing their DIY electrical work? And that males are 4 times more likely to be injured in a DIY electrical project? It can be tempting to save some money, jump on YouTube and give it a crack “blue wire here, green there, snap this back on and done” – it seems simple right but it’s extremely dangerous, against the law, may lead to heavy fines and loss of life.
Major property damage from an electrical fault as a result of DIY jobs also means zero insurance coverage. Even qualified, experienced electricians have nasty accidents, amateurs can’t begin to understand the complexities of household electrical systems, yet it’s still happening.
What if I do the work and then get the professionals to come and check it?
Licensed electrical workers are required by law to ensure electrical work is performed under legislative requirements and any applicable code of practice and technical standards. It is against electrical safety regulations to retrospectively certify any DIY work – even if it is 100% compliant as it was performed illegally. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that DIY work won’t lead to a dangerous fault in the long term and cannot be covered by liability insurance.
Tasks that you can perform by yourself:
Here are some tasks that you can perform by yourself:
· Replacing a drive belt in a washing machine.
· Cutting openings for, but not connecting, air-conditioning units.
· Fitting, but not connecting, an electric wall oven in a kitchen cabinet.
· Install garden lighting and pond pumps.
· Install battery-operated smoke detectors.
· Changing a light bulb or fluorescent tube.
· Resetting a circuit breaker or safety switch.
· Turning the main switch on or off
Tasks that you are forbidden to do:
Under section 18 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002, electrical work includes “the manufacturing, constructing, installing, testing, maintaining, repairing, altering, removing, or replacing of electrical equipment”.
· Installing a new powerpoint
· Replacing a light switch
· Replacing a batten holder with a new light fitting
· Repairing an electrical appliance like a heater
· Altering the location of an existing powerpoint
· Replacing a light fitting with a ceiling fan
· Constructing an extension lead
· Replacing a plug on the end of an extension lead.
The above are some usual things people may try to DIY. If it’s electrical don’t DIY.
What are the penalties?
All DIY electrical work is regarded as illegal (Electrical Safety Act 2002; Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 QLD) and comes with penalties up to $40,000 for individuals. A breach that exposes another person to a risk, death, serious injury or illness may attract penalties up to $600,000 for an individual and/or up-to 5 years in prison.
How can you choose a good electrician in Brisbane?
If you are the owner of the property you have the responsibility to report faults to the real estate agent straight away, so an appropriate electrical contractor can be sourced.
When you are choosing an electrician, you must ensure that they have a current contractor’s license. Ask your electric contractor’s to show you their license. They will be able to issue you with a certificate of compliance ensuring legal “rules” have been met. For faults with plug in appliances, you should contact the authorized service agent or a licensed electrical contractor that has the skill set to repair it.