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When Do I Need an Electrician?

It’s never been easier for homeowners to try to do their own electrical work. With solutions just a click away on Google or YouTube, DIY confidence has never been higher. You can locate step-by-step guides for just about any electrical installation or repair project. There are hundreds of videos and tutorials for everything from electrical outlet and ceiling fan installation to major projects like wiring a new electrical panel for your backyard shed.

Doing your own electrical work can seem like a great way to save time and money. So, how do you know when you should call an electrician?
The real answer is surprisingly simple – call a certified electrician for any electrical project around your home! If you don’t, you’re risking injury, damage to your home, and many other expensive problems. At Westphal & Co, our experienced team of licensed electricians is here to handle all of your needs, whether you’re on the isthmus in Madison or our in the countryside of Southern Wisconsin. Here are a few examples of electrical repair and installation projects that always require a trained professional.

ELECTRICAL OUTLET INSTALLATION & REPLACEMENT
There are many blog posts, articles, and videos online claiming that installing or replacing your own electrical outlets is safe and easy. All you have to do is turn off the room’s circuit breaker, and the rest is simple, right? Wrong! Installing or replacing an electrical outlet or light switch is a project that requires a trained, licensed electrician. It’s surprisingly easy to get the wiring wrong.

At best, a poorly wired outlet simply won’t work. At worst, it will cause a short that can damage your hardware or even cause a fire. It just isn’t worth taking that chance!

LIGHT FIXTURE REPAIR & REPLACEMENT
New light fixtures can transform the look of a room. It’s a surprisingly cost-effective upgrade that can brighten your home’s interior and create a premium look that potential buyers will love. But, is it really as easy as removing the old fixture, twisting a few wires together, and installing the new fixture? It isn’t. In reality, there’s a lot that can go awry if you wire and install a new light fixture yourself.

As with electrical outlets, a DIY light fixture replacement risks everything from a non-functioning fixture to serious damage to the fixture and your wiring to shorts and electrical fires. Don’t cut corners with your new light fixtures! Just call Westphal & Co, and we’ll provide a fast, affordable professional installation.

CEILING FAN INSTALLATION & REPAIR
A ceiling fan can make a room much more comfortable in nearly any season, potentially saving you money by keeping the AC or furnace off longer or running less overall. It may seem obvious that new ceiling fan installations aren’t a DIY project, but a surprising number of homeowners attempt these projects themselves. Any time there’s the need to install new wiring in your home’s walls or ceiling, you need to hire a trained professional.

ELECTRICAL PANEL WORK
Electrical panels take the electricity from the grid and separates it into various circuits throughout your home. They also route the electricity through circuit breakers, which cut the electrical flow when a short or surge is detected. These are incredibly important systems, and they’re also highly technical pieces of equipment that are very easy to install incorrectly. Faulty electrical panel wiring can lead to poor power quality, unreliability, or even dangerous faults that can cause expensive damage or even a fire. If you’ve finishing your basement or thinking of an addition, don’t take any chances with your electrical panel.

Why Use a Licensed Electrician?
Here are a few of the many reasons why you shouldn’t risk doing electrical work yourself. Consider the points below, and you’ll see why calling Westphal & Co for a licensed electrician is the best way to handle any electrical project.

Risking Shorts & Fires
If the wiring in your home isn’t installed correctly, or wires are too close together, electricity can jump between them. This is called a short-circuit, or just a “short”. Shorts cause lots of heat to build up, potentially melting your wiring, damaging the surrounding areas, or even causing an electrical fire that could destroy your home. Not only is doing your own electrical work dangerous, it could also lead to major tragedy.

Complying with Building Codes
The dangers of faulty wiring has led to building codes requiring a licensed electrician to handle any wiring work. These codes are surprisingly detailed and complex, and noncompliance can be dangerous and make your home hard or impossible to sell. Electricians study building codes extensively, so we know exactly how to handle your project safely, legally, and reliably. Don’t risk expensive fines or trouble selling your home in the future!

Risking Greater Costs in the Future
There are many ways DIY electrical work can end up costing you more than hiring a professional electrician in the long run. First, you could cause expensive damage to your wiring, electrical panel, or fixtures. You could also cause a fire that might destroy some or all of your home. Finally, noncompliance with building codes could lead to expensive fines, lower home value, and difficulty selling in the future. Any of these issues will be more expensive than having the work done properly in the first place!

Need Help with an electrical project for your home? Contact Westphal & Co today!

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