Should You Call an Electrical Repairman,
or Do the Job Yourself?

By: Ezra Plank

Receptacle Improper Wiring Indicator

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  • Essential safety/diagnostic tool.
  • Works with any 115V 3-prong outlet.
  • Instantly shows circuit status for individual outlet.
  • 2 yellow lights and it's OK to use.
  • "How many expensive pieces of electronic equipment could have been saved over the years if someone had just checked the outlet first?"

Most of us really don't want to be without our electricity for long. That's why electrical repairmen are in such great demand. As long as everything is working properly, we tend to take our electrical service for granted. Modern electrical wiring and electrical appliances are highly reliable. But it still behooves us to keep them in good working order.

If you like doing your own home maintenance, there are many electrical jobs that you can easily do yourself, if you can handle a screwdriver and wire cutters. Theoretically, if you can change the plug on a lamp cord, you can fix electrical wiring. The identifying colors on the wire insulation are the same all over your house.

DSC04234 by nichameleon, on Flickr
Replace the plug on a lamp cord.
  • Learn how to safely turn your power back on after it gets shut off by a blown fuse or circuit breaker. See More Articles... at the bottom of the page.
  • The only difficulty you might have with doing electrical repairs would be designing a circuit yourself. However, there is a lot of information available to help you. Use your home repair guide. If that doesn't help, you can usually find wiring diagrams and instructions on the internet.

    Old Murray Fuse Box by p.Gordon, on Flickr
    An old-fashioned fuse box.

    Working with electricity can be hazardous. But if you're careful to shut off all power to your area, and always use insulated tools, it shouldn't be a problem. If you are still a bit leery, then you can always call an electrical contractor or repairman to do it for you.

    There are other situations where some professional help might be the way to go.

    • Electrical contractors will have better equipment, and can find the source of a problem a lot faster than you could.
    • Photo_100607_004 by TheHormans, on Flickr
      Circuit breakers are common.
    • They also have experience getting into areas of your home that might seem inaccessible.
    • And they likely have all the wires and fittings that are needed to do the job.
    • If most of the wiring in your home is completely out of date, so that it is beginning to cause safety problems, hiring an electrical repairman is probably best.
    Florian, on Flickr
    A junction box can be complicated.

    When you're looking for an electrical contractor it's important to make sure that you hire a fully qualified and competent person. Try to get references from other homeowners who have used his services. And check the contractor's license to ensure that he is up to date on all the local electrical codes. This is no time to be taking chances.

    More Articles on Home Electrical Repair

    These articles will give you specific directions on how to perform a few simple maintenance tasks that anyone should be able to do without needing any help.

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    by Ezra Plank, an Ezine Articles Platinum Expert Author