By law either you need to perform the work yourself or hire an electrician. In most cases you will need to get a city/state permit to perform the work. If you hire an electrician, they may purchase the permit for you, but might also ask that you do so to keep the purchase outside of their costs.
Electrical work may be broken down into three separate groups, each of which have their own particular needs and requirements.
Low Voltage Wiring
Low voltage wiring consists of wire and cable used for:
- cable or satellite,
- Ethernet connections,
- in-wall home theater equipment,
and other similar categories of wiring. This is most frequently the safest wiring for a home-owner to do by their self, but may also require more technical knowledge and specialized tools for each different type of cabling.
The 120v Circuit is the standard distribution system used to provide power to your everyday appliances, computers, home entertainment, and other devices. This Circuit starts (in the house) with either a fuse box or a breaker box; from either, the wiring runs to that standard two- or three-prong outlets, switches and dimmers, and built-in lighting.
While this wiring may be done by the home-owner, it is often safer to hire an electrician and have them perform the work. A 120v Circuit can electrocute the person doing the work if they are unfamiliar or do not enact proper safety guidelines.
This Circuit is the least likely to be installed, maintained, or repaired by the home-owner. The 240v Circuit combines two 120v Circuits in a single 4-prong outlet (or direct wire) for heavy-duty power users such as dryers, HVAC systems, and large computer servers.
How to use a multimeter
Electrical projects you can do yourself
- Replace a light switch
- Replace an outlet
- Replace a light fixture
- How to strip a wire
- How to splice wires together
- How to rough wire a room
- How to wire a breaker box
Finding good contractors
If you decide to hire out please refer to Finding Good Contractors.