By September 10, 2013

Electricians Tell Their Secrets: 5 Of The Worst DIY Attempts


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Over 14 million men in Britain have admitted that, when DIY work has gone wrong, it resulted in wrecking their home. More than half confessed to still having at least one DIY project unfinished in their property. Each job on average totals up to £170 – which means that there’s an enormous 2 million pounds worth of DIY fix ups to be done in the UK!

Most people prefer to do their own handy work instead of calling in the professionals. This may seem a cheaper alternative since it would save money to do it yourself rather than paying somebody to do the same job.

But this is how DIY disasters are caused. Electrician Martin from MF Electrical in Heanor agrees: “It is whether it has been done safely and won’t endanger a life. Is it worth taking the risk rather than getting a professional in to do it?”

We asked some professional electricians about some of the worst DIY attempts they had seen. Here’s what they had to say.


“A couple had an immersion heater wired in coax TV cable, an 8.5kw shower wired in orange lawn mower flex. One of the classics we used to see regularly was tin foil wrapped round the old style cartridge fuse in fuse boxes.” – Martin from MF Electrical in Heanor

“I think the worst thing that I’ve found would be a ‘junction box’ in a loft. This was basically the connections snapped out of a light fitting and left underneath loft insulation live and with all the live parts exposed.” – Kirsty from Kirsty Cockerill Electrical

“My friend’s husband took some power out to the garden deck. He ran a socket out there and then ran some lights off that. He did it all in 1mm lighting cable and didn’t consider IP ratings (protection from moisture). He plugged in a couple of heaters. There was a big bang!” – Karen from She’s Electric


“I was called out to a home where the lady of the house was getting a shock as she washed her hair in the kitchen sink. It turned out to be a DIY light at the bottom of the stairs her husband had installed – I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not it was intentional!” – Roger from C.J. Timms

“Joists catching fire, since the builder drilled half of it out so that his downlight would fit, sockets and showers with no earth, whole houses with no earthing, circuit tripping as a socket under sink was full of spilled fabric conditioner.” – Donna from ATB Electrical

So now you know how not to do it, here are few sage words of wisdom from those electrical pros in the know. 

Helpful Tips

“If you have an old-style fuse box, get it replaced. It could save you and your family’s lives.” – Roger from C.J. Timms

“Never risk it and check it yourself. Most electricians will give you free advice, so if in doubt just give someone a call. It could end up costing you more in the long run if you try to fix it yourself.” – Kirsty from Kirsty Cockerill Electrical

“Just because it works doesn’t necessarily mean its safe. If you are at all worried about your electrics, get them properly tested.” – Donna from ATB Electrical

So what’s the moral of the story, boys and girls? Don’t try attempting any DIY work if you’re not 100% what you’re doing. You may end up paying out more to repair any faulty D.I.Y than actually having a professional do it for you.

Have you ever had a disastrous DIY attempt? Or got any of your own tips? Let me know in the comments below.

Sarah Garvey has a fair share of knowledge of electrician DIY work, especially about ICT and from her own personal experience. She recommends Alert Electrical.

Posted in: Home Improvement

About the Author:

Jon Clark is an Internet Marketing Consultant, Entrepreneur and current editor of the Facebook Marketing Blog. Jon loves coffee, sports and NY. You can follow him on Twitter @jonleeclark or circle him on Google+.

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