When To Hire an Electrician
Whenever you need installations or repairs to your electrical components, it’s best to hire a professional electrician and not your cousin Bob. However, some are really good at doing their own wiring projects – they manage to get the light or ceiling fan installed with no problems.
But it can be a good idea to have a pro come in to at least inspect your work (especially if permits and official electrical inspections are involved) or do some of the final stages of the project to make sure it all works well.
Another thing to keep in mind – someone may be handy with electricity but not be aware that they are overloading a circuit by adding new fixtures or outlets. When the electrical components are initially installed during construction, there could have been a faulty design to begin with and adding a new problem will only make things worse. It could be something as simple as making lights dim when an appliance starts or it could even damage an expensive fixture or appliance. Even worse, it could start a fire. Professional electricians are trained to be able to look at the whole picture of your electrical layout.
If you do try to find an electrician on your own, make sure you contact several of them and have the electricians come out to review the project before they bid on it. Multiple quotes means you have the best chance of getting the best rate to complete your project.
It is the responsibility of the Customer to obtain the services of a qualified, licensed electrical contractor to perform the installation. Surgeassure™ and Advanced Protection Technologies maintain a database of electrical contractors and make this database available to those Customers who need help locating a qualified, licensed contractor in their area. Customers are not required to use one of the electrical contractors listed in our database. Surgeassure™ and Advanced Protection Technologies make every effort to identify qualified, licensed contractors throughout the USA but we do not guarantee to have contractors available in all areas. Surgeassure™ and Advanced Protection Technologies do not guarantee the quality of work, or customer service, you will receive from the contractors listed on our site and will not be liable for any action, or inaction, on the part of a contractor referred through our website.
Although it’s tempting to hire the contractor who quotes the lowest price, there are other factors to consider. Following are some tips for hiring a qualified, experienced electrical contractor.
- How long has the contractor been in business? We recommend choosing contractors who have been in business 5 years or more.
- Is the contractor licensed and registered with the state? Hiring unlicensed contractors can be risky. Ask to see their license and be sure it is up-to-date. If you are still unsure, most states have a way to check license numbers.
- Is the contractor insured? – Contractors should have personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage. Avoid doing business with contractors who don’t carry the appropriate insurance as you could possibly be held liable for any injuries and damages that occur during the project.
- Will the work being done require a permit? To the best of our knowledge, installing surge protection does not require a permit in any state but other projects may. A competent contractor will get all the necessary permits before starting work on your project. Be suspicious if the contractor asks you to get the permit(s). It could mean that the contractor is not properly licensed or registered.
- What will the total cost of the project be? This may require an on-site inspection by the contractor but reputable contractors will give you an exact total before beginning any work. Beware of contractors who want to work by the hour and “see how it goes”.
Finding an electrician and a plumber
About 6700 fires a year are reported as having an electrical source, which includes faulty or inadequate wiring. Cables, switches, socket-outlets and other equipment can get worn over time and so it is important to get them checked and replaced by a qualified electrician. Also, get advice on employing competent and trustworthy professional plumbers.
Finding an electrician – what you need to know
It is important that electrical work is carried out only by those with the necessary knowledge, skill and experience of the type of electrical work to be undertaken.
Some organisations runs registration schemes for competent electricians (these are sometimes called ‘competent person’ schemes):
These schemes ensure that traders who sign up are fully qualified to do electrical work and provide a complaints procedure. You may also need to use a competent person to comply with building regulations.
The following organisations run competent person schemes: