In The Spotlight

How To Find The Best Electrical Contractors

Whether you experiencing electrical problems at your home or have a major electrical project that you need to have done for your business, selecting experienced and qualified electrical contractors is key to ensuring that the job is done safely and correctly. Electrical work is definitely not an area where you want to cut corners or hire unqualified personnel. Use these tips to help choose the best electrician for your job.

1. Determine what your specific electrical project or problem is.

Electricians often specialize in specific kinds of electrical projects or work. That’s why you need to know what kind of electrical work needs to be done so that you hire the right electrician for the job. Electrical emergencies and rewiring home projects are two entirely different kinds of jobs. Not every electrician is suited for both. Get estimates from several different electricians who specialize in the kind of electrical project or work that you need to have completed.

2. Ask for recommendations.

One of the best ways to find a great electrician is to ask people you know for referrals. Talking to people whose opinions you trust is a fantastic way to get feedback based on real life experience. This information is invaluable when it comes to finding the best electrician for your specific electrical needs. When get opinions from people you personally know, you can be confident that they will be truthful and provide you with accurate information.

3. Interview several electricians.

Call a few different professionals and ask questions regarding their experience, areas of specialization and whether or not they have the appropriate licenses and insurance. Ask them to provide references and get a written estimate for the electrical job you want to have performed. Pay attention to how well the electrician communicates and answers your question. This will give you a good indication of how well you will be able to work with this particular professional.

4. Verify licensing.

Every state and many counties will have their own specific licensing requirements for electricians. Make sure that any electrician you hire has all the appropriate licenses and is compliance with all state and local requirements and laws. Any competent professional will meet all these requirements. On the other hand, it is a big red flag if someone claims to be an experienced electrician but tries to cut corners by not having all the required licenses.

5. Verify that adequate insurance is carried by any electrician you are considering hiring.

All electricians need to carry liability insurance. It covers any damages that might happen at your house while the electrical work is being performed. Electricians that have employees should also carry Workman’s compensation. Make sure that you ask to see the electrician’s proof of insurance and make sure that the policy is current. It is imperative that any electrician that performs work at your home or business is fully insured.

6. Follow up with references.

The electricians you interviewed should have provided you with references. Contact these past customers and find out what their experiences were like. Were they satisfied with the electrical work that was performed for them? Was the work done on a timely basis? Do they recommend hiring the electrician you are asking about? These are all important questions that need to be answered.

7. Get a written estimate.

Get several estimates from different electricians for comparison purposes. Obviously you do not want to make your final decision on price alone, however it is a very important factor. Make sure to also take into account level of experience, areas of specialization, feedback from references and any other important characteristics that are meaningful for you that will help you make your final decision on which electrician to hire for your electrical job.

Finding the best electrician is not a difficult process if you follow the advice given in the above tips. It is mostly a matter of taking the time to do your research, following through on references and other information that has been provided to you, and then carefully comparing the characteristics of the different electrical contractors that you are considering so you end up hiring the best one for your electrical job.

The Benefit of Hiring Emergency Electricians

Having the right information during an electrical emergency is crucial, and has the potential of saving a life. Electrical emergencies can cause serious problems in the home and may require experienced electrical contractors to fix. Because of that, it is best the homeowner understands exactly what to do when they happen.

Power Outage

If the electricity goes out in the home, there are a few steps that any homeowner can take. This includes:

Resetting the Breaker – The electrical outage in the home may be a local issue, and not a regional one. In fact, the circuit breakers might only need to be reset to turn the power back on. If homes throughout the neighborhood have no power, there is likely a regional power outage caused by an issue with the electricity provider. Check the circuit breakers to see if any of them are tripped, and require resetting. If the reset circuit breaker trips again, likely there is a serious electrical problem, which requires the skills of emergency electricians.

Report the Power Outage – If the neighborhood power is out, call your local utility company to report the outage.

Turn off Electrical Appliances – While the power is out, turn off major appliances, electrical components and lights. This includes the air conditioner, computer, DVR, television, dishwasher and other equipment. This will help protect the electrical components in the house in the event that there is minimal voltage fluctuation or serious circuit overloads in the line.

Keep the Refrigerator Door Closed – Keeping the doors of the refrigerator and freezer closed while the power is out will help maintain the coldness inside, and protect stored food.

What to Do When Power Returns – After the power has turned back on, wait a few moments before plugging in turning on the appliances and lights.

An Exposed Live Wire

Emergency electricians are often called to a home whenever there is an exposed live electrical wire. Commercial electricians would respond to similar calls from a business or institution. Any contact with an outdoor high-voltage wire could cause serious damage or death to anyone that comes in direct contact. Because of that, everyone should remain as far away from the exposed live wire as possible. Emergency electricians have the proper equipment and expertise to handle the situation safely.

An Electrical Shock

Many of us never even consider the electricity running through wires in the house, unless something catastrophic happens, or the power goes out. However, we should always remain fully aware of any danger involved in using electricity. This is because an electrical shock can cause more than just a slight discomfort. It can easily cause heart failure and severe burns. An electrical shock can be created from a variety of sources that include:

  • Damaged electrical cords
  • Faulty appliances
  • Faulty household wiring
  • Being connected to an electrical appliance when in contact with water

Fully understanding exactly what causes an electrical shock can be challenging. Because of that, it requires the skills of emergency electricians to professionally check out the entire electrical system of the house. Repairing the problem is best left to professionals that have the best diagnostic equipment and knowledge in how to repair the electrical system properly.

Tripped Breakers

Modern homes now have electrical boxes fitted with circuit breakers instead of fuses. Anytime a fault develops, the circuit breaker is automatically tripped. Any circuit that has tripped can be reset, to turn the electricity back on. However, there are numerous reasons why the circuit breaker may have tripped that require the services of emergency electricians. These include:

  • A faulty immersion heater
  • A faulty appliance and/or appliance cord
  • An overfilled kettle
  • An overloaded electrical circuit – from too many appliances pulling power from the same circuit
Hiring an Electrician

Any type of electrical repair in the house brings with it serious risks. Fortunately, emergency electricians understand how to handle electricity safely. In fact, the professional can help the homeowner avoid making a serious mistake by repairing electrical problems themselves, which could cost much more in the end.

Electricians that specialize in emergency repair have received proper training and education. They can provide the homeowner a permanent solution and ensure that the job is done according to local building codes.

It is always a wise decision to have contact information of competent electrical contractors on hand in the event that the household or business experiences an electrical problem.

What Does A Commercial Electrician Do?

Electricians specialize in electrical wiring. This could be for buildings, machines, or other types of equipment. They may install new electrical systems or simply perform an electrical repair on old ones. Some specialize in different things like homes, businesses, or even airplanes. Many electrical contractors these days specialize in high-end electronic systems.

What Do Electricians Do?

In the US, there are usually two main types of electricians. These are divided between two distinct specialties.

  • Linemen: These electricians work on high-voltage power lines, and they are mostly employed by utility companies.
  • Wire Men: These technicians work on lower voltage wires that are generally found inside of buildings.

Wire men usually concentrate on one of 5 specialties, though they may also have experience with other types of electrical wiring system. These specialties are residential, light industrial, low-voltage (voice, data, video), and commercial. Of course, there are also plenty of sub-specialties within these main groups. For example, some commercial electricians might specialize in fire alarms or specific controls.

Electricians do get formal classroom training. But they also have to go through a series of levels. These three levels in the US are apprentice, journeyman, and master.

An electrician may have to serve as an apprentice for quite a few years before they move up to journeyman. This could vary between three to six years.

Journeymen have completed their apprenticeship, and they have been found to be competent in the trade by the appropriate licensing board. This means they can work on their own without a supervisor.

A master has to perform the trade very well for several years. This might be seven to ten years. They also have to pass a test so they can demonstrate their mastery of the National Electrical Code (NEC).

What Is Different About Commercial Electricians?

Commercial electricians go through this same process. These skilled tradesmen simply specialize in business systems, though they might be able to work on homes or other systems too. Many of these tradesmen are employed by electrical contractors that work in the commercial trade. Some of them may work on their own as self-employed tradesmen too.

These commercial electrical businesses might focus on the installation of wiring in large commercial projects like office buildings and malls. They probably also repair and improve wiring in these same types of buildings. Some of these businesses might also specialize in different types of electrical systems that are often used by businesses. High speed wiring for the Internet and phone systems might be some examples of these specialties.

What To Do When Your Business Needs An Electrician?

If your business needs the service of a good commercial electrician, it might be a good idea to shop around for the right electrical service company. This way you will be sure that you are hiring a competent and reliable company to handle your wiring needs. This is true if you need your regular wiring worked on, or if you need to find a company to wire complex electrical equipment that your company uses to perform its main business.

Any good company should be bonded, licensed, and insured to work on your type of property and equipment. These credentials protects their customers and their business! You certainly want to be sure that the electrical service can provide licensed and bonded technicians when you invite them into your building property. Proper insurance also protects you against property damage or injuries caused by accidents.

You can usually call these companies to provide free estimates of any work that you might need them to perform. They should also be happy to provide references of past work and proof of their credentials to do your job. If you need an electrician to do a big job, be sure that you do take the time to gather references and quotes. Different companies may have very different approaches to the type of work you need done.

Of course, the cheapest electrical contractors might not always be a bargain! You will also want to be sure that they can get the job done promptly and right the first time! If the electrician takes longer or charges more than their estimate, you will not have saved any money at all.