House Wiring Work

In recent years Government has relaxed regulations regarding what electrical wiring work a homeowner can do in their house.  It appears like the only work that is not allowed to be performed by the homeowner is work on the switchboard or anything to do with  connecting the house to the street supply. While it legally the homeowner can do most things in terms of repairing or even adding to your own wiring it is recommended in most cases that they do employee and electrician if they do not fully understand what they are doing.

Two or three decades ago electricians pretty much heard it all to themselves and had to be employed for most wiring work including minor repair work to ceiling sockets and switches etc. Back then the only home owners allowed to do their own wiring were registered electrical Engineers.  We had our first house built and the quotation for the electrical wiring was not only very expensive but also gave us the beer minimum number of switch points and lighting points. I realised that I was legally allowed to do my own wiring and so I purchased the correspondence school handbook on house wiring and set to work.

I would be tripling the number of light and switch points for less than half the cost of the quotation, so it was really a no brainer. However I did make some fairly rookie mistakes, they all took a lot of effort to repair or remain hidden to this day. We worst mistake I made was saving on electrical cabling buy running a cable directly to the light switch at an angle through the wall instead of dropping the cable vertically from the ceiling.  Direct problem we experienced after moving into the house was that we had no idea we’re the lighting cables work when we came to put nails into the wall for pictures mirrors and clocks etc. Hopefully none of the subsequent house owners have accidentally discovered wiring in the walls while hammering in a nail.

Another rookie mistake I made was forgetting to install the hot water switch and cable. In fact I had no idea initially that such a cable was legally required, and I therefore had to install the cable pretty much after the house was completed. I had also forgotten to install a foundation fuse box, and I had to use a Kango hammer to cut a hole in the foundations for said fuse box.

In the process I accidentally knocked out a very large section of concrete and so had to box up the foundations and pour more concrete. Running the hot water switch cable was also a difficult  process in what was basically a finished house,  and I had to thread the cable under the floor and it up behind existing cupboards and out through the wall including past all the insulation that was installed in the wall.

I made a number of other rookie errors that were humorous in retrospect, and later on I prepared a detailed paper for my work colleagues explaining what not to do when installing your own house wiring.