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How to Avoid Expensive Electrical Problems

With over 25 years of experience in the electrical industry, our Master Electrician Bryan Butler has seen his fair share of electrical disasters. While we are always willing to help out with any electrical issues, Butler Electric is aware that saving money is important. In today’s post we are exploring some of these electrical horror stories and learning what (not) to do, including ways to prevent these situations from occurring in the first place.

The Most Expensive Fixes

Situation #1: Amateur Wiring

In an effort to save money and with the availability of YouTube tutorials, it is common to find that a homeowner was in over their head when attempting to do their own electrical work. Even worse, sometimes a homeowner pays an individual who is not skilled or trained in electrical work, which often results in having to pay someone else to fix their mistake.

In terms of the cost, we have witnessed amateur wiring cases that have taken up to 260 hours of work to fix—which amounts to about a $20,000 investment. To save homeowners money in the long run, we highly suggest that you contact a certified electrician for any electrical project on your home.

We’ve also outlined several projects that can be safely DIY’d on our blog, like lowering your utility bill, identifying a brownout, getting rid of mercury lightbulbs, learning about your fuse box, installing a new light fixture, and saving energy at your home or office. For information on what projects you can safely tackle on your own, and how to take proper precautions, you can view this blog [link when blog is made]. If you do not feel comfortable tackling one of these projects on your own, please contact us at 616-643-8287.

Situation #2: Calling an Electrician for a Non-Electric Issue

A customer called Bryan and said that, while getting some home renovation work done, they had potentially buried their smoke alarm in the ceiling and it had started chirping. There were multiple boxes in the area where the chirping was coming from, so Bryan asked the homeowners to move the boxes so that he could access the ceiling. After moving the boxes, the homeowners noticed that the chirping had changed locations. Bryan eventually located an old carbon monoxide detector in the bottom of one of the boxes. The good news is that we fixed the problem; the bad news is that this was not an electrical issue at all, and the job took much more time than it could have had the problem been identified correctly.

Let’s be clear: don’t hesitate to contact the professionals if you have an electrical concern. However, it’s always worthwhile to visually investigate the issue yourself, if you can do so in a safe, secure manner. For example, you might check if a light that won’t turn on can be fixed by simply resetting the relevant fuse or replacing the light bulb.

Situation #3: Neglecting Electrical Maintenance

When power providers aren’t diligent, nature can interfere with power lines in a dangerous way. As you may remember from Evan & Tianna’s Story, a tree limb had grown around part of the powerline, causing an electrical fire and rendering many housing wires unusable. After all was said and done, we ended up running new power for appliances, replacing lights, adding a surge protector, replacing the main breaker, and replacing several outlets in order to correct the electrical issues within the house.


The best thing that any homeowner can do to protect themselves from an electrical issue is to have an electrical inspection done by a reputable, insured, and licensed contractor. Do not just go off of suggestions from others - make sure you do your research to make sure that your electrician is qualified and will improve the state of your electrical. This is especially important for those who are considering buying a new home, but also relevant for longtime homeowners who are overdue for an electrical tune-up.

Concerned about the state of the electrical in your house or business? Give us a call today at 616-643-8287 or contact us for a quote.


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