When home electrical repairs get more complicated than changing a fuse, deciding what electrician to hire for your job can be difficult. A quick Google search in your area probably turns up dozens of options to choose from. But how do you know which is the right one for the job?
Before you hire an electrician, consider these ten key factors. You might even want to use them as interview questions.
- Level of Experience
How complicated is your job? Is it one that an inexperienced electrician could easily handle, or does it require a more seasoned veteran?
Expect to pay an experienced electrician more than one who’s new to the industry. But if the job is complex, it’ll be worth the extra investment.
- Are They Licensed and Insured?
Accidents can happen on any job site. If your electrician isn’t licensed and insured, those accident costs could end up coming out of your pocketbook.
- Can They Provide References?
Any electrician worth their salt will have a list of references from satisfied customers. Ask for at least three, then contact those references to find out all the details about how the job went.
- What is the Scope of Your Project?
Do you expect that your job should only take a few hours or less than a day? Or is it a more involved project that could stretch on for weeks?
Depending on your individual needs, choose the best electrician who can fulfill the job within the expected timeframe.
- How Busy is Their Schedule?
If you need work done immediately, you don’t want to be told over the phone that they can “be there sometime next week.” If that’s the answer, it’s best to move on to the next option.
- How Responsive Are They?
When you call for the first time, does your call go straight to voicemail? Did it take several days to get a callback? This probably isn’t the electrician you want to work with.
- Does the Electrician Stick to Deadlines?
Before hiring an electrician, ask them about their track record for sticking to the deadlines they set. This is also a great question to ask their references.
- How Much Do They Charge?
You don’t want to overpay the electrician you hire. Find out upfront what their exact rates will be for the job. Also, find out if they charge by the job or by the hour.
Electrical problems are scary because they not only damage your electrical appliances but also pose a risk to property and life. Hiring a professional electrician is essential because doing it yourself can bring more damage. The key reason behind this is that you lack experience in this field and you don’t have the required tools to fix these problems. Below are 5 common electrical problems and tips on how to fix them.
1. Back-stabbed Wires/Outlets
Back-stabbed wires can be termed wires with holes and cuts on them. Exposed live wires are dangerous to your life because they can cause electrocution when you come into contact with the exposed area.
To fix this problem in the right way, you have to turn off your power supply. Then, tightly tape the exposed area of the wire. The tape will only provide a temporary solution because after a short duration the tape might peel off making it more hazardous.
2. Frequent Bulb Burnouts
Many homeowners are tired of changing their bulbs now and then. Most of them blame the quality of the bulb forgetting that this might be a result of an electrical problem. There are several reasons why you’re experiencing frequent bulb burnouts. Some of these reasons include a tightly fixed bulb, high voltage, and improper aeration.
A homeowner should consider identifying if the holder is loose or depleted. If the holder is correctly fixed, it’s the high time you hire a professional electrician to find out what might be the main cause. This will save your house from frequent bulb burnouts.
3. Aluminum Wiring
Recently, many homeowners prefer copper wiring rather than aluminum wiring because they’re prone to house fires. The main reason behind this is that aluminum wire has a high oxidation level when conducting electricity. This is the reason why it causes electrical fire when it comes into contact with combustible materials such as plastic and wood.
Consider using copper wire because it doesn’t have the same oxidation properties that aluminum has. In addition, copper wire is cheaper as compared to aluminum. Copper wire minimizes the risk of electrical fires at a higher rate compared to aluminum.
Surges can also be referred to as transients. Surges are the lighting-fast striking of light. They are commonly caused by a high-voltage interruption in the flow of electric current. Transients normally occur in a split of a second. This is the main reason why they cause damage to any electric appliances connected at the moment.
Carefully check if there might be a problem with your wires. If the transients persist, consider consulting the right electrician.
5. No RCD or RCCB
RCD stands for the residual current device while RCCB stands for residual current circuit breaker. This device detects and prevents low voltage circuits in case there’s a current leak. If there’s an abnormal flow of current in your home, this device will automatically respond by switching off the main switch. Having an RCD device is essential because it will prevent the risk of electric shock.
Hire an electrician to correctly install the RCCB device to prevent electrocution that might happen due to electric leakage.