I have a lot of ideas for electrical projects — upgrading electrical sockets to USB combo sockets, changing light fixtures, adding new sockets...ect.

As a general rule of thumb, what kinds of electrical projects are safe to as a DIYer?

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    I would have to say, if you don't have a basic understanding of Ohm's Law, none. If you have at least that, then the next question would be, just how much electrical knowledge do you have? – BillDOe Jan 31 '16 at 6:26
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    How does Ohms law factor into replacing an output or switch? You don't have to understand the relation between resistance, voltage and current to know that making a good electrical connection is important, and no amount of understanding of Ohms law will tell you why it's important to get hot and neutral (and ground) connected correctly even if the outlet would work even if it's not -- all you need to know is that you get shocked (possibly fatally) when you touch 120V. – Johnny Jan 31 '16 at 7:19
  • I have no understanding of Ohm's law. I can do basic carpentry and other DIY tasks. I can follow instructions. – Betsy Dupuis Jan 31 '16 at 20:37

It all depends on how much you are willing to learn. If you are confident in your ability to do it safely, go for it. If not, do more research until you are or hire an electrician.

Personally I am confident doing anything up to replacing a main electrical panel. That is something I would have to hire an electrician for, even though I could in theory do it, because you need permits and the hydro company's involvement and such.

Replacing outlets and light fixtures is pretty easy once you know how to work around electrical safely. One small tip though - when you pull them out, but before you disconect anything - take lots of photos of how all the wires were hooked up. Just having those photos would prevent tons of the electrical questions we get here.

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    Ditto on the photos. Especially since photos are so darned easy these days with nearly everyone carrying around a smart phone. The photos are actually of more benefit to the DIY'er than they are to the folks who answer questions here. – Michael Karas Jan 31 '16 at 9:47
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    Hell, I take photos (sometimes video so I can explain something) when I'm done sometimes - it recently saved me from having to figure out how I'd wired a couple junction boxes 4 years ago. – Comintern Jan 31 '16 at 23:52
  • @comintern every renovation project I take photos of every walll before all the drywall goes up - very handy years later when I want to change something, or need to know exactly where a pipe or wire is. – Grant Feb 1 '16 at 4:05

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