These are the things to look out for when looking for a home electrician who is qualified to do the work you need. Faulty wiring can set off a chain reaction. This is a reason to hire an electrician who has the experience, but it’s not the only reason.
While wiring may seem simple and straightforward, it is actually a complex interdependent network. Circuits that deliver the wrong amperage can cause damage to electronic gear and appliance motors if they are not properly designed. Even partially loaded circuits may flicker when appliances are in use. The breaker might trip, the fuse could blow, and the circuit can be shut down completely. These problems can be avoided by hiring an electrician who is experienced.
Electricians are known for their specializations. There are a few who specialize in new construction and others who do only commercial work. Others focus on repairs or service for dead fixtures or outlets. Remodeling specialists are skilled in wiring homes and adding new ones. This includes snaking wires through walls and assessing their capacity. They also evaluate whether an additional service panel (located where the circuit breakers) is necessary to handle higher power demands.
General contractors usually have a list of reliable electricians. However, if they can’t recommend one to you, ask your local home-builders’ association or an area electrical-supply house for recommendations. To ensure that they are matched with the right pro for the job, tell them what kind of work you do.
Ask for a copy of the electrician’s state license and proof of insurance when interviewing him. Both must be current. A typical electrician who works on a residential-remodeling job needs to have at least $500,000 of liability insurance and workers’ comp coverage. Check references and review previous jobs to ensure everything is in order.
It is much easier to find a qualified electrician than a skilled carpenter or plumber. While you can assume an electrician is competent when they show you their state licenses, there are two levels of a pro.
Pro2Pro Tip – There is another layer to the safety net. The permit for most electrical work must be issued by the local building department. The inspector must inspect the work before he can give his approval.
Master electricians have passed a standard test and at least two years of experience. They are familiar with the National Electrical Code, as well as any amendments made by your state. They can plan, design and install an electrical system for your project.
Although journeyman electrician is not eligible for a master’s license, they are also licensed by the state. Some states require that journeymen electricians work alongside master electricians. He cannot design systems but can install wiring and other equipment.
Although it can take a skilled eye to spot mistakes made by electricians, you can still eliminate names from your list based on the quality of their work. A job that’s not neat is probably not safe.
You can access a site if you have the means. Find a spot where several wires are connected, often near the service panel. Romex, the flat, white plastic-sheathed wire common to residential wiring, should be run in an orderly fashion to the service panel. The electrician will not do a safe job if cables are twisted or crossed, or if they drop from one joist to the next. This isn’t about nitpicking. It is easier for electricians to match cables with the correct circuit breaker if they are arranged at the service panel.
The cover plates for outlets and switches should be placed in the living room at an even level with the wall. The electrician didn’t take the time to place the utility box, which is the box behind the wall holding the outlets and switches, squarely against the wall. You should hire an electrician who is more attentive to details if the work appears rushed.
Large remodeling projects, such as whole-house renovations or additions, require electricians to work from plans created by an architect or designer. These plans will show the location of outlets and switches and also label the types of fixtures, such as incandescent and fluorescent. The electrical plans can be drawn up before you have had the chance to choose the fixtures. You will need to provide this information to your electrician.
Avoid confusion by determining when the electrician will require the fixtures. Next, shop around for the right products — but don’t buy. Make a list with the manufacturers, model numbers, and locations you saw the fixtures. Then, give the list to the electrician. He will make the purchases. The markup electricians add to the price of their work is 10-20 percent. However, they will buy materials and products at a discount than if you made them yourself. This is because the electrician will take responsibility for any warranty issues, broken products, or missing parts. This can help you avoid having to pay a journeyman to go to the store to replace a broken set screw. The electrician can also help you avoid dangerous or low-quality items while you shop.
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