How much electrical work are you allowed to do yourself?

When it comes to DIY many of us think we can do it all. But when it comes to electrical work it's best to be informed on what work you can do before it's too late. Matt Slater, Director at EAV answers how far you can go with your DIY electrical work.



“One of our lightbulbs has stopped working and I have done a bit of research online and it looks like it might be an old cable. Am I able to replace this myself?"


The short answer is “yes” but there are some strict guidelines that go along with that answer. Firstly, you must own and live in the home (you cannot do electrical work in a rental property, either rented or owned).
You may replace, alter or extend a sub-circuit providing that you do not enter any enclosure where there may be live conductors and you cannot connect the wiring to the supply. Once ready the work must be inspected, tested and connected by a registered electrical inspector (not just an electrician), which he will then liven the supply.
Often when there is one cable that requires replacing, there are more. I would advise that you engage the services of a registered electrician to determine the extent of the work required. If the cable from the light fitting back to switch needs replacing, then more than likely you will find the cable feeding the switch does too.
This will then be part of a “circuit” and in turn more than just a straightforward job. A registered electrician will also be able to offer advice on what other rewiring and/or switchboard work may be required.
For peace of mind, using a trained, registered expert is definitely my recommendation, electricity is a dangerous energy source and one that shouldn’t be played with by the untrained.
All work that you may choose to carry out need to meet the current electrical safety regulations.

You might be interested in reading: Create an electrical plan before you start your renovation.

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This article by Matt Slater featured on page 33 in Issue 018 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.

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