DIY Electrical Fixes vs. When to Call a Professional Electrician

When it comes to electrical issues, it’s crucial to know when you can handle a DIY fix and when it’s best to call in a professional electrician. While some smaller electrical problems can be tackled by homeowners, others should be left in the hands of a trained expert. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the key factors you need to consider before deciding whether to attempt fixing an electrical problem yourself or seek professional help.

Understanding Your Limits:

Before delving into specific scenarios, it’s important to acknowledge that not everyone possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to safely and effectively address electrical issues at home. Electrical work requires expertise and compliance with safety measures due to the potential risks involved. If you lack experience or confidence working with electricity, it is typically safer for you to seek professional assistance from a licensed Auckland electrician.

Simple Fixes You Can Handle Yourself:

1. Changing a Light Bulb:

The simplest electrical issue that often arises at home is replacing a burnt-out light bulb. Homeowners can easily accomplish this task without any technical expertise.

2. Resetting Circuit Breakers:

When a power outage occurs in one part of your home, check if a breaker has tripped in the electric panel box. If so, you can try resetting it by flipping the switch back on yourself before contacting an electrician.

3. Resetting GFCI Outlets:

GFCI outlets are designed to prevent electrocution and rapidly shut off power if there is any fault detected in the circuit. Often installed in kitchens and bathrooms, these outlets can trip due to moisture or other issues. Homeowners can usually reset GFCI outlets themselves by pressing the “reset” button on the outlet.

4. Replacing Switches or Outlets:

If switches or outlets become outdated or start malfunctioning, homeowners with some DIY experience can follow simple instructions available online and replace them themselves following proper safety precautions.

When It Is Time to Call a Professional:

There are several situations where attempting a DIY fix could be dangerous or lead to further damage. In such cases, it’s crucial to know when to step back and call a professional electrician.

1. Electrical Shocks or Burn Marks:

If you experience electrical shocks when using an appliance, notice sparking outlets, or discover burn marks around switches or outlets, it is vital to contact a professional electrician immediately. These issues may indicate serious electrical problems that require expert attention.

2. Frequent Circuit Breaker Tripping:

While tripping circuit breakers can be normal occasionally, frequent and repetitive trips are a sign of potentially hazardous underlying conditions such as overloaded circuits or faulty wiring. A professional electrician can assess the situation, determine the root cause, and provide appropriate solutions.

3. Flickering Lights:

If your lights flicker persistently or if dimming occurs when using certain appliances, it might suggest loose connections in the electrical system that could lead to more significant problems over time. An electrician can investigate and fix any issues before they escalate.

4. Malfunctioning or Non-Functioning Outlets:

If outlets become hot to the touch, emit strange odours, show scorch marks, or stop working altogether despite checks conducted on devices and breaker switches, it’s essential to contact an electrician for immediate inspection and repairs.

5. Severe Weather Events:

If your home has been affected by severe weather events such as hurricanes or floods, it is highly recommended to have a professional electrician inspect your electrical system afterwards to ensure safety and identify any potential hidden damages that need addressing.



While minor electrical issues such as changing light bulbs and resetting circuit breakers can often be handled with confidence by homeowners themselves following proper safety precautions, it’s important not to underestimate the risks involved with more complex problems. Homeowners should recognise their own expertise limits while addressing electrical problems at home. But safety must always come first. It is highly recommended to engage professional electricians for any significant electrical problems, such as recurring circuit breaker trips, flickering lights, and faulty outlets. Professional assistance always ensures the resolution of issues with utmost care and adherence to stringent safety standards.

Photo by Anete Lusina

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