DIY electrical work: an expert’s opinion

 

Carrying out your own electrical work can be tempting. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there regarding what we’re allowed to do ourselves and what has to be left to a professional. We spoke to electrician Darren Pennington, of Pennington's Electrical, and member of RatedPeople.com to give us the reality of the situation.

Is it true that as a homeowner, I can carry out simple electrical jobs myself?

D: As a homeowner you are entitled to carry out any electrical works in your home. Some smaller jobs may not be required to be notified for Part P compliance. However, should you need to safely certificate the work in accordance with BS7671 wiring regulations and register it with Part P building control for compliance, you will be required to provide evidence that you are a 'competent person' and have carried the work out correctly. You will need to provide certification.

Is there a particular DIY no-no that homeowners tend to attempt more than others?

D: Most homeowners attempt to carry out smaller electrical jobs like installing light switches and light fittings, wall lights etc as they feel this is a small simple job that would be too costly to call an electrician in for. What is a simple job for a qualified electrician can turn into a nightmare for a homeowner.

We have been called out numerous times to rectify faulty wiring that has been caused by the homeowner attempting to carry out the job themselves, we have had damaged light fittings, damaged cables and switches and in some cases we have had electrical accessories that have caught on fire. In the end this costs the homeowner a lot more money to rectify than it would have to hire the electrician in the first place. Electricity is extremely dangerous. It can kill. Leave it to the professionals and don't chance it to save a few quid.

How common is it for electricians like yourself to be asked to verify a homeowner’s own electrical work?

D: It’s very common in this industry for a homeowner to ask us to certificate their own electrical work. We won’t do it. The work needs to be carried out by a professional to begin with.

If you’re a homeowner and you carry out your own electrical work, should you ever move or rent your property you will be asked to present all the certification for the electrical work carried out. You cannot obtain the appropriate certification following your own installation of electrical work at a later stage.  If someone is injured or a property is damaged your insurance will be invalid if you do not have the appropriate certification to prove the system is safe. 

Any last words of advice for the homeowner?

D: Always use a qualified electrician. Ensure they have Part P certification and ask for their scheme enrolment number and registered body. You can then check that they have the right credentials. Ask to see previous reviews on their work by using tradesmen recommendation sites like Ratedpeople.com. On completion of work, ensure that you have been provided the certification as required and store this in a safe place as you are more than likely going to need it at some point!

You can find an electrician in your local area here.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence