DIY Electrical Work Versus Hiring an Electrical Contractor

New Zealand law allows quite a lot of electrical work to be undertaken by the homeowner and residential property provided care and attention is taken.

I had an experience many years ago when my new house was being built where I was quoted a very high price for the very minimum number of light switches and powerpoints. I studied up the law and came to the conclusion that my Bachelor of electrical engineering degree qualified me to carry out all my own house wiring. Of course I knew nothing about how to wire a house but I certainly knew how to study and so I purchased the very large electricians Handbook from the correspondence school and set to work on my property.

For the same cost as the original quotation from the electrician Whangarei I was able to virtually triple the number of light switches and powerpoints, although I did come unstuck in a number of key areas. I forgot to make sure that all cable runs in the walls with vertical down to the light switch for PowerPoint and this meant that after we moved into the house we had no knowledge we are it was safe to have a nails on the wall for pictures etc. I also forgot to install the hot water remote switch cable for the power company, which meant that I had to run this from the foundation fuse box up through the house frame and walls into the main switch box after all the walls have been lined and the kids room had been fully installed. Although this was somewhat embarrassing but was also a very good learning experience.

When it came time for the final inspection the city council inspector was not impressed by my careful lacing and forming of all the live leads in the main fuse box, as this presented quite a significant fire risk. The easily fixed the problem by cutting all the ties and spreading all the wires into a spaghetti mix.

After I completed the work I published an internal document for all my engineering colleagues at work on how to properly install the wiring in your own home. It was gratefully received.