DIY Works Related to Electrical Installations That You Can Do Yourself
At times taking on a minor electrical project at home in your own hands is a great idea. It not only saves some of your hard-0earned bucks but also more importantly contributes heavily to you make you feel good. But if the truth is to be said, most of these DIY electrical works are never simple. Danger always lurks above your head and in addition to that there are so many regulations to take care of. Do you have a clear idea the types of electrical works you are allowed by law to do by yourself? Well, most people in the UK as such do not have this idea. Let us take a quick look.
The jobs that you are allowed to by yourself include the following –
- Minor repairs and maintenance related to electrics in your home
- ‘Like for like’ replacements – like replacing sockets, ceiling pendants and switches
- You can also replace a damaged cable
You surely know how to replace a light bulb. But the majority of electric jobs are not that simple. In case you go careless even for a minor fraction of a second, you are likely to put your life in grave danger. In the following section of the blog post, therefore, let us explore the electrical works that are relatively less risky and alright to be handled by untrained pairs of hands.
Electrical safety comes first and foremost everything
Every time you try out anything with your home electrics, do practice these safety instructions –
Switch the power off – the first thing while dealing with electrics is to switch off the power supply from the fuse box to the particular room or zone of the house. For illumination make use of items powered by battery. Alternatively consider a plug extension from another room or zone.
Double check to make sure the power is off – after you have switched off the power, double check to make sure no electricity is surging through that circuit or zone. Use a tester, try switch on a light or plug in an appliance to make sure the power is down.
The technology of RCD or residual current device – this device is meant to cut off the power supply in the event of detecting an electrical fault. These are usually installed inside a CU (consumer unit) or fuse box. Modern homes invariably have this safety device installed. In case your house is not fitted with an RCD, make sure to get it as soon as possible.
A cable detector is reliable – while a renovation project is ongoing, people mistakenly drill, nail or even screw into walls. These actions damage electrical cables and thus are better to be avoided. Rely on a cable detector to locate every wall that passes between your walls before drilling, nailing or screwing. A cable detector is a reliable device to save your home from accidents related to electrics.
Inspecting and repairing damaged equipment – several electronic appliances and power tools come with a plug and a lead. This plug and lead part is prone to get damaged frequently. Carry out regular inspection to detect any sign of damage – like frayed wire. Do fix the damage before using it again.
Always seek help from professional and registered electricians – in any circumstance of doubt or confusion you should always get in touch with a professional and registered electrician. An electrical blunder may prove severe for both lives and property.
Understanding the Part P of Building Regulations
The Part P of Building Regulations categorically deals with the aspect of electrical safety in the UK. As per the instructions included in the regulations, all electrical works that you get done in your home have to meet the regulations to ensure your own electrical safety as well as that of anyone coming into your home. In case a guest gets electrocuted in your home resulting from any electrical work that you got done which does not comply with the regulations included in the Part P, then stand the risk of being prosecuted in a court of law.
Electrical works that you can perform yourself without calling in professional intervention
The following works are termed as notifiable in the Approved Document P. These works must be done by a certified electrician under any circumstance –
- New circuit installation
- CU or consumer unit replacement (also called fuse box)
- Any addition or alteration made to existing circuits in special zones of your home
Special zones in your home are typically the bathroom and the kitchen that have close proximity to water. Even a swimming pool or a room that has a sauna heater installed is the special zone of your house.
How to decide whether you need to call in a professional to handle a particular electrical work in your home? First check whether the work is covered in the Building Regulations. Usually, the Building Regulations focus upon partial and full rewiring. These works must be approved by your local authority and the job must be given to a certified electrician.
Then there are non-notifiable works which you can do yourself without involving any professional. However, considering your safety as well as that of your family and your property, even non notifiable works are better if handled by professional and qualified electricians.
It is important mentioning here that even a minor electric work in close proximity to water sources or works that involve high demand of electricity of appliances can turn extremely dangerous. Such works must be conducted only after notifying your local Buildings Department.
Every other work is non notifiable, which means there is no need to notify your local authority or submit full plans to execute those jobs, explains a registered professional busy with electrical installations in London. Changing a light bulb or a socket is a minor job and you can do that yourself. But these jobs may require to be acknowledged by a building supervisor with respect to the material used and necessity of the work. All other works that have been completed are to be inspected and tested by a registered and competent professional or a buildings control body. As far as electricians alterations are concerned, only a trained and experienced individual is allowed to perform those tasks, who can also certify the work done.