There is a very simple answer to the question – “When do I need an electrician?” The answer is always. You should never have any electrical work done on your home unless that work is performed by a Licensed Electrician or a Registered Electrical Contractor.
Without proper qualifications you cannot really do more than change a light bulb in your own home.
While Australians pride themselves on being DIY-ers, when it comes to electricity ignoring the rules is a potentially very dangerous undertaking.
While the danger could certainly be due to shoddy workmanship by a non-professional, the bottom line is that it is actually illegal not to use a Licensed Electrician or a Registered Electrical Contractor.
Licensed Electricians and Licensed Electrical Inspectors are the only people who can authoritatively inspect wiring, and only Licensed Electricians can rectify faulty customer installations.
Australian Electrical Standards
The Australian Standard 3000:2007 “Electrical Installations or Australian and New Zealand Wiring Rules” define an electrical job as “The manufacturing, installing, testing, maintaining, repairing, altering, removing or replacing of electrical equipment”. Any of these jobs require an electrical contractor to complete the work. These laws are also laid out in the QLD Electrical Safety Act 2002.
Whats the difference between an electrician and an electrical contractor?
An electrician is known as an electrical worker or an individual qualified tradesperson. An electrical contractor is a suitably trained individual or business that holds the required insurances and can employ an electrical worker.
Electricians are typically not allowed to perform work for the public unless under the employment of an electrical contractor.
Registered Electrical Contractors are usually the responsible party for testing and certifying their own work – however they need to apply to the relevant State Regulator, or designated distribution companies for connection of new premises.
Insurance companies will not pay out in instances of fire where there is evidence of illegal electrical work. This could end up very costly when house or contents are lost or damaged by fire.
You are entitled to a Certificate of Conformance (Certificate of Electrical Safety) for any electrical installation work carried out in your property. Before any work starts, you should always ask your electrician or electrical contractor to provide the following:
- Their licence.
- A Certificate of Compliance for the work carried out.
If the person cannot comply, then you shouldn’t have any work done by them.
Queensland Regulator: Worksafe