When do you need an Electrician?

If you’re a confident DIY-er, you may want to try your hand at a few electrical jobs around the house. However, electrical work is not only more complicated than many other household jobs, but some of the work must be carried out by a fully qualified electrician by law. At MG London we’re often asked what kind of electrical repairs ordinary members of the public are allowed to do, and when you need to call in a professional. So we’ve put together a list for you, so you know when to do it yourself, and when to call us.

Part P of the Building Regulations

Since 2005 the law on who can carry out electrical repairs in the home has changed. These laws, known as the Building Regulations, were updated in 2012 to include clarification on what is termed ‘Part P’. This states that it’s the householder or landlord’s responsibility to ensure that any electrical repairs are completely safe and don’t pose a danger to anyone in the property. These are not guidelines – they’re a legal requirement and are strictly enforced.

When Part P was brought into effect, a list of jobs was drawn up that should be tackled only by a qualified and registered electrician. These ‘notifiable’ jobs are those that may be more challenging for someone with little or no formal training, and need to be ‘signed off’ by an electrician approved by the local building control body. So if you have to do any of the following jobs, you’ll need to employ a fully qualified and registered electrician:

  • Re-wire sockets or lights that are faulty and causing the fuse to trip
  • Replace an old or damaged fuse board
  • Install outdoor or garden lights that run off mains electricity
  • Install additional sockets or a light switch as a spur from a ring main
  • Install communal hallway smoke alarms or emergency lighting
  • Install home entry systems
  • EICR
  • Run new circuits
  • Install electric radiators (where there weren’t any before)
  • Install electric towel radiators if there isn’t any existing electrical feed and A new a electrical circuit is required

Repairs you can do yourself

However, there are some jobs that you can do yourself without calling in a qualified electrician as long as you are competent with DIY/Handyman works around the house. These do not fall under ‘Part P’ guidelines, so you don’t have to notify your local building control body if you want to:

  • Replace light bulbs or plug fuses
  • Replace a simple light fitting
  • Replace an existing socket or light switch like for like
  • Make repairs to loose wirings in switches, light fittings, or plugs
  • Replace a hard-wired smoke detector
  • Fit a replacement door bell
  • Replace dimmer modules
  • Replace light switches
  • Replace sockets
  • Replace spotlight transformers
  • Connect or disconnect appliances
  • Re-position sockets (as long as it doesn’t involve a running new circuit or wiring)
  • Install new or replacement extractor fans (like for like)
  • Replace like-for-like electric radiators
  • Replace like-for-like towel radiators

So as you can see, even if you’re not a fully qualified electrician there are still plenty of jobs around the house you can do yourself. However, if you don’t feel confident about doing any of those little fixes around your home (and we do understand that people are naturally wary of working with electrical fittings), then don’t hesitate to call in a professional.

At MG London, we have a team of fully qualified and registered electricians and handymen who can take care of those little jobs for you, whether they fall under the Part P notification requirements or not. So if you have any questions or want to book an appointment with one of our team then don’t leave it to chance – call us today or use our contact form and we’ll get straight back to you.