How to Safely Do Your Own Electrical Wiring at Home

How to Safely Do Your Own Electrical Wiring at Home


As a homeowner, you may find yourself wanting to take on small electrical projects around the house to save money on hiring an electrician. However, electricity can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly. There are ways you can safely do minor electrical work on your own if you educate yourself, take proper precautions, and get any required permits. I will walk through the essential information you need to know before doing your own electrical wiring as an amateur.

Learn Electrical Basics

Before ever touching wires or picking up tools, you must educate yourself on electrical fundamentals. Here are some of the key concepts to learn:

Spend time learning about each of these core electrical principles before attempting any projects. Refer to guides, books, online resources, or take a class.

Purchase Proper Tools and Materials

Doing electrical work yourself requires having the right tools for the job. Some essentials you'll need include:

Only use high-quality electrical tools and materials from reputable brands like Klein Tools and 3M. Never try to cut corners with cheap alternatives. Using subpar tools can lead to electrocution when working with electricity.

Know Your Limits as a DIYer

It's critical to recognize which electrical projects are safe for a homeowner and which require hiring a professional electrician:

Safe for a homeowner:
- Installing or replacing light switches and outlets
- Upgrading light fixtures
- Running new circuits with available capacity
- Adding low-voltage lighting systems

Should hire electrician:
- Upgrading home's main electrical service panel
- New wiring that exceeds available capacity
- Working with 240V circuits for large appliances
- Swimming pool or hot tub wiring
- Generator installation

As a general rule, only take on simple, low-voltage AC wiring projects within your existing home's electrical system capacity. Know when a project is beyond your skill level and requires a licensed electrician.

Work Safely

Your safety should be the top priority when working with electricity yourself:

Working on wiring yourself without proper training can be extremely hazardous. Prioritize safety by educating yourself, using safe practices, and calling in experts when needed.

Obtain Electrical Permits

Most jurisdictions require you obtain a permit before beginning any major electrical work:

Failing to get a required permit can risk fines, issues when selling your home, and create liability if improper wiring leads to fire or shock. Taking the time to get proper permits is a crucial safety precaution.


While not overly complex, working with electrical systems does require technical knowledge and special precautions. If you take the time to educate yourself thoroughly, use proper tools and safe practices, and know when to call a professional, you can take on basic electrical projects yourself. Just be sure to make safety the top priority. With adequate care and caution, DIY electrical work can allow you to improve your home and save on electrician service costs.