Electrical repairs should almost always be handled by a licensed electrician. Even the most DIY-obsessed folks know to bring in a pro when there’s electricity involved. If you try to fix a leaky pipe and water keeps dripping, you can try something else. When you mess up an electrical job, you might not know there’s a problem until a fire starts months later.
In California, you need a licensed electrician for any work that requires a permit. That means small jobs like a ceiling fan installation as well as larger projects like the electrical rough-in for a finished basement.
Repairs and replacements may not strictly require a licensed electrician, but the work still needs to be up to code. Better to hire a contractor to do the job correctly from the start rather than wait until you’re selling the house or getting an inspection for insurance purposes.
The bottom line: Homeowners should never alter or repair their electrical systems unless they are perfectly comfortable and knowledgeable at the task. Even then, only attempt straightforward replacements with no wiring alterations. A licensed electrician can save your life, save you money, and save you headaches down the road.
Electrical Repairs You Can DIY (Maybe)
If you have clear instructions on hand and own tools including a voltage tester and insulated screwdrivers, you might be prepared enough for some commonplace electrical repairs. These include:
That’s about it—and you should still call a licensed electrician to handle those jobs.
If you have a melted electrical outlet or a circuit breaker that won’t reset, simply replacing the broken equipment might be dangerous. Who’s to say you don’t have an underlying wiring problem that will ruin the new part, too?
Be especially hesitant about making DIY electrical repairs to a home that is more than twenty years old. Ditto for warning signs like burnt or frayed wiring. You need a licensed electrician to troubleshoot and determine a real solution.
When Do You Need a Licensed Electrician?
In Sonoma County, examples of situations that require a licensed electrician include:
- Wiring repair or replacement
- Major appliance wiring
- Ceiling fan installation
- Add a subpanel
- Replace an electrical panel
- Electrical wiring for garage, carport, or shed
- Install or replace light fixtures
- Install or replace a bathroom fan
- Add a whole-home surge protector
Your licensed electrician can pull a permit, if necessary, and will always perform the work according to the National Electrical Code and local regulations. It’s not just about “red tape.” Faulty wiring creates a shock hazard and fire risk!
Find a Licensed Electrician Near Santa Rosa
Not every licensed electrician has the same background. There are residential electricians, commercial electricians, and those with experience with telecom wiring and other specialties. Read the reviews, ask for references, and look for a Santa Rosa electrician who regularly performs the work you need done.