Playing with mains electricity

I'm of the belief that most of us have played, in some form or another, with mains electricity. Whether it be fixing the power cord we accidentally cut in two, or juicing up a computer psu... So. I'm wondering if any of you have an electrician's licence. Reason I'm asking is that in Australia, doing anything with mains power requires one. Playing with power sockets, power plugs or cords, installing lights etc. Firstly, do you have this problem in the US? I've seen a few projects which involve light fittings and licence-requiring activities, and I have to wonder whether you're all licenced to do this sort of thing, or whether you're all licenced. And just thinking that there could be a potential loophole in the regulations... If you hooked up two ac transformers to step down the step back up, so you're where you started, technically, you're not running off mains power... if you get my drift. anyway. you all ignore this little aspect of the law or what? cheers

LasVegas10 years ago
Here in the USA, the "Mains" ends at the power meter. If you own your own home, you're allowed to work with anything your side of the power meter. Any major rewiring (IE: additional rooms ), depending on the local jurisdictions, usually would require a building permit and inspection by a licensed electrician (especially if you want to sell the house someday). You would also have to be licensed if your working on someone else's property.
Punkguyta10 years ago
Well here in canada, unless you're touching the main wires coming into the house, you have nothing to worry about. I've installed electrical socket myself, cieling fans, ect,. Sure you can get an electrician to do it. But the only reason would be if you don't know how or you want someone to sue if it "fucks" up and burns your house down :-)
trebuchet0310 years ago
Some of the things on here are technically peripherals. That is, they are not related to your house's infrastructure - plug and play type of things that are permanent. A project like a junction box on the end of an extension cord is a perfect example.

Are you allowed to change a plug on an extension cord? This is not hardwired to mains power (like a cieling fan would be) so I'd think it would be excluded from the laws your talking about. I don't know, just speculating as I'm not familiar with your laws (which part of Australia are you from?).

I know locally, these things do not require an electrician. In fact, the hardware stores sell cords for large appliances (stoves, washing machine, dish washer etc.). You need to wire these things up yourself. It's not a big deal really. I'd think if it were illegal to do yourself, it wouldn't be sold at a DIY oriented store o.0

It does suck when you're limited by frivolous laws meant to deterr those that are likely to do something stupid (it really sucks that those people don't know their capabilities).

Is there a project you have in mind?
jtobako10 years ago
in the US building and remodeling codes are all local, some require permits and some don't, depending on how much is being done. in my area, the work doesn't have to be done by an electrician, but it has to be inspected to be sure that it's safe/meets code requirements. anything that is plugged into the wall (not hardwired) isn't covered unless you are trying to sell it, then it comes under different laws. i think that the step-up/step-down plan would fail because it would still be hardwired to mains electricity.