If ever you are considering making repairs to an electrical system or appliance, the first thing to consider is safety. Unlike plumbing or carpentry, where mistakes usually cause property damage alone, electrical tasks can easily cause death. Electricity is extremely dangerous. If you have any doubts about your abilities whatsoever, you should call a professional.
In general there are a few basic rules that apply to whether or not you should call a professional to repair or install electrical devices.
Thanks to the internet, it is fairly easy to learn everything that you need to know in order to repair minor issues or install basic devices. YouTube.com is an excellent source of video tutorials and should be able to teach a complete novice how to deal with minor projects.
Larger projects that involve cutting or installing wires within a building should always be left to the professionals. These projects include anything that requires wiring to be accessed through the walls of a building.
If there is a minor issue like a blown light bulb, it is possible for a novice to repair it. If the problem persists however, it could indicate an underlying issue like faulty wiring. All issues that come up constantly should be inspected and repaired by a professional.
Any electrical work that falls under the jurisdiction of electrical compliance must be done by a certified professional. No professional will sign off on work that they did not do. If you repair wiring in your home that must be certified, it will be impossible for you to get the certification. Without the certification, you will not be able to sell or rent your property. If there is an accident, caused by your faulty wiring, you will be held liable.
When should I repair something myself?
There are many benefits to repairing your own electrical devices. It is cheaper, takes little time and is generally more convenient. This only applies if you are adequately prepared. If you make any mistakes, it could easily end up costing you more to have them repaired than it would have if you had called a professional in the first place.
To prepare for an electrical project, always make sure that you have the correct protective equipment, proper tools to do the job and enough reference material to guide you.
Here are some examples of simple projects you could do yourself: