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Plumbed Fridge and Dishwasher Installation New Top Contributor To Darwin Awards

If you fancy yourself a DIY type around the home, no doubt you love putting your skills to the test to save a buck. In this economy, who wouldn’t? 

But it’s important to understand your DIY limitations. You might paint around the bathroom light switch like nobody's business, but when it comes to DIY electrical and plumbing work, that’s as close as you should get. 

We know what you’re thinking. What about installing a dishwasher or fridge? Technically that’s an electrical installation, right? All that’s required is rolling it into place so the feet sit in the same decompressed spot in the lino and then plug it in. Well, not always. 

While we hate to throw water on your unearthed live wiring, Australian electrical safety standards and regulations are not optional and ignoring them has consequences that might make your hair stand on end – literally!

So don’t be a contender for this year’s Darwin Awards - aka the “dumb ways to die” award given to someone who improves our gene pool by removing themselves from it. 

Can A Homeowner Install Their Own Plumbed Fridge or Dishwasher?

If all the plumbing and electrical are already present and were originally installed by a qualified tradie, yes, you can. If you’re simply switching out an old appliance for a new one, the process should be straightforward. 

So when can't you handle the installation yourself? Absolutely every other time. Not convinced? Read on to discover the real consequences of DIY!

Life and Death

Electricity and water are not friends, and most modern fridges and dishwashers require a combination of water plumbing and electrical wiring. There are regulations in place that keep you and your family safe from electrocution. Electricians and plumbers have specialised training and operate under strict standards. Without that knowledge, it’s the Wild West of wiring. There are deaths every year because of DIY electrical wiring, so don't become a statistic. 

Insurance Voided  

In case you haven’t read the fine print on your home insurance contract (who does?), you can be certain there’s a clause about unlicensed electrical and plumbing work. When you call in a licensed tradie, they’ll provide paperwork certifying their work which is crucial if you need to make a claim. If your insurance company suspects you’ve been DIYing, you can kiss your insurance payout goodbye. And when dodgy wiring can lead to house fires, saving a buck on electrical appliance installations might turn into the worst BBQ ever.  

It's Illegal - and Expensive

If you are tighter than the elastic in a tradesman's waistband, consider this. Unlicensed and DIY electrical work attracts fines of up to $40,000. Illegal electrical work that creates a serious risk of electrocution can result in fines of up to $600,000 or five years in jail. 

So save the adrenaline rush for bungee jumping in New Zealand and get your new appliances installed by a licensed professional. After all, nobody wants their tombstone to read, “Died installing the new dishwasher.”