5 reasons why risky DIY electrical work is illegal in Australia

Every now and then, you probably ask yourself: ‘Why not try some DIY electrical work? How hard can it be, right?’ Wrong! Considering the high risks when dealing with electricity, it’s always better to be compliant with the law and trust the professionals. So before you head to the circuit breaker, here are 5 good reasons you should hire a certified electrician instead of trying to fix it yourself.  

‘Do It Yourself’ activities have gained a lot of popularity lately. With the help of some YouTube tutorials or home improvement shows, many handymen try to save a few dollars on the electrical work. However, this can be extremely dangerous and even have devastating consequences for your home and your dear ones.

What does ‘electrical work’ actually mean?

What kind of DIY electrical work is illegal in AustraliaAccording to the Australian Electrical Safety Act 2002, electrical work includes ‘the manufacturing, constructing, installing, testing, maintaining, repairing, altering, removing, or replacing of electrical equipment’.

This means that pretty much any electrical job requiring the right tools, skills and certificates would fall under this category. Therefore, make sure that all these demands are met before carrying out any electrical work around the house.

What kind of DIY electrical work is illegal in Australia?

First and foremost, what kind of task you think it’s safe and legal if you don’t hold an electrical license? If your answer includes things like changing a light bulb or plugging in electrical appliances, you are actually right.

In Queensland, for example, DIY electrical work is illegal when:

  • Installing a new power point
  • Replacing a light switch or a light fitting
  • Repairing an electrical appliance
  • Replacing a plug at the end of a lead

For more information, check the Electrical Safety Regulations 2013 and learn about how to meet electrical safety requirements.


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Need a certified tradesperson to take care of your domestic electrical needs? Call us at 1300 452 742 and talk to the experts today!

What are the dangers of DIY electrical work?

1. Electric shock or electrocution

It’s no secret that one of the biggest concerns when dealing with electricity is a potential electric shock. In fact, when performing DIY electrical work, you risk from minor to major injuries or, even worse, your life.

Every year, a lot of fatalities occur mainly because of household wiring accidents and are performed by DIY unlicensed workers. This is often a result of touching the wrong wires together or forgetting to turn the power off. Unfortunately, it’s enough to neglect one step and that can lead to deadly consequences.

Because electricity is a powerful force, it’s critical to know exactly what you’re doing when you’re dealing with it. For this reason, domestic electricians go through years of training to learn how to safely work around it. Plus, a professional should always follow a very specific set of guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety.

2. Fire hazards

Just like in the previous case, the danger of causing a fire due to faulty wiring is a real danger for DIYers. With so many different electrical components to work with, it can be confusing trying to fix wiring issues. All it takes is placing a single wire in the wrong spot and this might be a recipe for disaster. Other causes may be: an overloaded circuit, faulty connections or the wrong gauge of wire used. All of them represent common mistakes of DIY electrical work and can lead to overheating, sparks or even a fire.

Furthermore, according to Fire Safety Australia, electrical fires represent around a fifth of all fires recorded in the country. And once they start, it’s incredible how rapidly they spread. This is why calling your local qualified electrician for any electrical issue will offer you the necessary safety and peace of mind.

Remember! ‘Don’t try this at home’ when it comes to electricity!

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Until next time, stay tuned to find out why DIY electrical work may bring you extra worries and eventually cost you a lot of money.

Your friend and electrical expert,

John Ricca