Hiring a Professional Electrician
Home and office electrical systems usually need repairs or upgrades because they have become unsafe, damaged or unable to meet the higher demands of modern appliances. The question is, do we need to hire a professional electrician? Why can’t we just let a friend or employee, who happens to be a “genius” with these things, do the work?
For one, electricity is dangerous ground. If done incorrectly, potentially fatal accidents could result. Professionals have the right training to make sure the system stays functional and safe.
In fact, electricians should have a state license to be able to work legally, and most electrical work has to be approved and inspected by local authorities to make sure it satisfied code requirements. A good electrician can effectively spot problems, design new installations, propose appropriate upgrades or expansion, and project requirements in the future. Aside from these, the professional may recommend choosing more efficient appliances that can decrease your energy consumption and bills.
How to Choose an Electrician
The first things you should look for before hiring an electrician are a license any state, county or municipality permits required, and insurance. Don’t just take their word for it if they say they have all these. Ask for proof!
Another important part of vetting electricians is asking for references of previous clients. If they give you some, do call these people. You want to know how professional the electrician was, the quality of their work, and whether or not they met deadlines and stuck to cost estimates. All these, of course, are indicators of the tradesman’s ability and experience.
On top of that, you’d like to find an electrician who knows about and can apply the latest innovations in his trade. Electrical technology has taken leaps in terms of energy efficiency, and your electrician must be able to discuss new alternatives that can improve the safety and performance of your system, and lower your costs.
Red Flags to Keep in Mind
You have to remember not just the signs of a good electrician, but also the red flags of a bad one. For instance, be careful with those who say it’s not important to get modification permits, those who cannot offer a warranty, and those who keep making excuses for not showing proof of their license or insurance. Also avoid those who don’t even check your system’s current load before adding devices to them. As you may know, this can cause fire.
Cost of Hiring a Qualified Electrician
So how much might you pay to hire a qualified electrician? As these pros offer an entire range of services, pricing will significantly depend on the scope and scale of the project. For new installations, the usual range is from $150 to $250, depending on the number of outlets or devices to be installed. The cost of a panel replacement, whether billed as a package or per circuit, will range from $800 to $3,000. Finally, rates may vary according to location, going from $50 to $100 per hour for licensed electricians.