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Sep 1, 2012 10:06PM
As an electrician i find the instructions on the ceiling fan inadequate and  incomplete i think this guy has been smoking something Any electrical work done if the homeowner is not competent in the trade .Then i advise anybody to hire a licensed electrician stuff happens and i have seen it first hand when folks who do not know what they are doing and cause expensive damage and  in a few cases burn the house down
Sep 1, 2012 9:40PM
We hired an electrician to install a ceiling fan in a vaulted ceiling that was pre-wired.  The electrician was installing the fan (and I was in the other room), when I heard a crash.  The fan had dropped to the floor and was broken. The electrician thought he had latched the fixture to the ceiling mount, but it was not secure.  As it was clearly his error, the electrician paid for a new fan to replace it and installed the replacement.  He also informed me that the person who did the pre-wiring when the house was built had wired it incorrectly and he had to fix it.  If I tried to do it myself, I would not have know about the incorrect wiring and could have electrocuted myself or started a fire.  It was well worth the money to hire a professional...
Sep 1, 2012 6:19PM
I just got hosed by a plumbing company.  I should have at least tried to do it myself... ouch!
Sep 1, 2012 6:00PM
As a lifetime DIYer I agree all of these can be done without a contractor, however with the ceiling fan they did leave out that you can't install a ceiling fan in a box intended to only support a light fixture. I also must agree that some people just shouldn't DIY, it does take quite a bit a research and study to do some jobs safely. I understand the desire to DIY, contractors can be very expensive and not always reliable. There are many great professionals out there, but I have also personally seen work done by licensed professionals that was of poor quality and not even to code.
Sep 1, 2012 5:26PM

LMFAO after you screw it up, call me I'll fix it for you.

Unless you KNOW what your doing don't do it.

Do some research and find out how or consult a person that does know how to do it.

Please....your what we call job security. In my line of work I see it every day.

Sep 1, 2012 5:16PM
To recommend that people can do this type of wok is irresponsible, dangerous and self serving(given the sponsors affiliations with certain store chains). Get real professional help just as you would with your vehicle, health, or legal matters. What do you do for a living? Would you recommend that people do it themselves? Get real!
Sep 1, 2012 5:06PM
Do you realize that you are endangering peoples lives by giving this advice? The liability falls in your hands when you recommend this work to be done by a novice. The possibility of being electrocuted is real. All circuits are not necessarily labeled properly due to changes that may have been made to the home. I have worked in the electrical trade for 31 years and have seen the damage that can be caused by electrocution. It also is not cheaper to do this yourself after you buy a reliable circuit tester, learn how to use it safely, travel to the store, and buy what you hope is the right part. The people that work in the big box stores are not qualified to give you advice either. This type of work is no joke.
Sep 1, 2012 4:27PM
I have owned 6 houses in my life..all of them needed repair, remodeling, all that stuff that is in the article.  I agree these things can be done, but the time estimates are crazy!...my rule of thumb is you figure out how long the job will take, how much it will cost, multiply by 7..and that is usually realistic!
Sep 1, 2012 4:21PM
I am both an electrician by trade and volunteer firefighter in my spare time.  Last year our department responded to a home fire in which the family lost their youngest son due to the incident.  The Fire Investigator determined the cause was the living room ceiling fan hanging by the wires, a task that the homeowner had tried to do himself.  Unfortunately, these are not uncommon mistakes we see all to often simply because someone thought they were able to handle a "simple five minute job" and save $100.  Please be smart, spend $100 if you don't know what you're doing, and potentially save a life.
Sep 1, 2012 2:27PM
It would figure that anyone that is trained in these repairs would advise against an average homeowner to do these repairs himself.But most homeowners that are mechanically inclined can do these repairs.My wife and I bought our first home together 8 years ago and it was brand new.The dryer outlet was installed in the kitchen and the stove outlet was installed in the laundry room! So licensed electricians dont mean much to me. As a homeowner I LEARNED how to do those things on my own with a little bit of common sense and saftey precautions.
Sep 1, 2012 1:54PM
If you can't do those fixes you don't need to own a house.
Sep 1, 2012 12:53PM

People in the trades love homeowners who DYI.


It's always more money to undo a screw-up than to do the job right the first time.

Sep 1, 2012 12:41PM

Telling a novice or non electrician that he can do ANYTHING electrical is unwise and could be deadly. Telling someone who is not a trained electrician to install a ceiling fan is outright stupidity .Existing fixture ceiling boxes are not to be used for fans under any circumstances fans must be installed on a fan box so in all cases the old ceiling box is not to be used and must be taken out and replaced with the proper box which is a job in itself and only someone who has been trained for this work should attempt it.

This is why electricians spend 6 years in school and four years on the job before they can take an extremely difficult test to be licensed to perform this work.

whoever is writing this article is not helping the general public save money but instead they are endangering the person attempting this work ,THEY SHOULD CEASE THIS AND APOLOGIZE FOR CREATING AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CONDITION!!

Sep 1, 2012 11:44AM

These articles are a joke......simply changing a light switch or even a toilet or faucet repair is not necessarily complicated but it is not suggested you do these repairs if you are not trained properly. I am a long time facility maintenance manager, electrician, and construction manager and I am not saying this because of any reasons besides, property damage and/or death. There is a reason plumbers and electricians go to school for 4 or more years.


1st working with electricity ie: switches, dimmers, receptacles, fans, etc. What many people donot realize is that the installation requires finesse correct connection of the conductors, grounding and makeup will keep you from a fire.


Another thing is that there may be multiple home runs or seperate circuits running to multiple breakers could be running through 1 j-box which means you may be working live even if the breaker appears off. In addition, in residential 2 circuits share 1 neutral the white wire, meaning  the shared circuit could be energized through the neutral.


3 way switches- have travellers conductors and there are many ways to wire a 3 way circuit so the terminals on the 3 way switch must be connected correctly or it will not operate and may cause a fire risk.


Ceiling fans- if you replace a lighting ceiling fixture with a fan the electrical box must be uninstalled, and a new fan rated braced design 3-0 box installed in it's place attached to the joists on both sides. A standard lighting box cannot hot the weight of a fan and may fall hit you and cause a fire.


Plumbing, anything with supply water lines, valves, connections, have heavy water pressure and can flood you home within a few minutes. without proper tools as well as glues, putty, pipe dope you are asking for a leak. In addition, the water connections must be checked after installation or repair with hot water flow, and a follow up to tighten connections. If you have a major leak that is not dried out in time can cause serious mold, which puts you at risk for sickness as well as lowering the value of you home, and have to disclose mold upon selling the property.


Many property insurance companies will also refuse insurance due to fire or flood if the work was not done to code and by a licensed contractor.


Hopefully this will give you some insight on safety and options.


There have been a few experienced posts here on this subject that are valuable but most  would ignore, just because someone can physicall install or repair something doesn't mean they are qualified. You may never have a problem doing repairs yourself, but it is the small thing you may miss that could cause damage.

Sep 1, 2012 11:19AM
I hope that this article doesn't get someone hurt. Most simple jobs around the house are easy enough to do, but you should always talk to someone first. Ask around work or ask friends it they know anyone that can lend a hand or some advice. If you are not at least vaguely familiar with how ceiling fans and light switches are wired up it could be deadly. Even 110 can kill you. I try to stay away from any job that involves mortar or concrete. I have worked in industrial maintenance for twenty plus years so I have enough confidence in myself to do plumbing repairs or electrical work. I know enough to leave the concrete and mortar jobs to someone that does it everyday. It not always as easy as it sounds or looks on tv.
Sep 1, 2012 10:53AM

i do all of my work myself ,dont like the over charge for simple stuff ,plus i put pride in my work..


Feb 25, 2012 8:29AM
it amazes that some idiot tells you , you can change a light switch, then this individual goes out and get into an office where the lines are not 120 volts but 227 volts and get hit by the neutral on an unbalance load, sure the breaker was off.  Leave maintenance to the professionals. Anyone can change a switch, but safely is the question.
Nov 5, 2011 6:03AM
BTW, Very Important, Home Depot DOES NOT have experts. Do not rely on their advice. While they may have good intentions, they work there because they were not proficient enough to keep a job as a tradesman. They have a few good people scattered among many who really do NOT know what they are talking about. Be careful not to spend time and money only to hire someoneto fix your mistake.
Nov 5, 2011 5:58AM
This article has a few valid points, although it discounts the experience a professional instinctively uses on even the simplest repairs. For example, when tightening a plumbing connection to stop a leak, how tight do you go? If you overtighten or undertighten, the leak may be worse. If it is not right and you are not sure, you may come home to a flooded house. How much will you spend to save $100?
Oct 26, 2011 4:58AM
When replacing a light switch make sure you know if it's a simple on-off switch or a 3 way (has 3 wires on it). If it's a 3 way switch one of the screws is usually a different color, make sure that wire goes onto the right screw on the replacement switch or it's not gong to work right.
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