If you’re searching for an electrician who can troubleshoot some issues with your electrical system, you need to be informed so as to make a smart choice. Hiring the wrong guys won’t only be more expensive (because you’ll need to hire and pay the right ones to redo the job); it can also put your premises at risk of fire.
What Makes a Good Electrician?
First, an electrician should be state-licensed to handle electrical projects, and adequate insurance for liability and workers’ compensation. Aside from these, there are a few other designations that can help you check whether an electrician is qualified for the job you need him to do.
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A master electrician is someone who, after passing a standardized test, has worked in the trade in their state for a minimum period of two years. This pro is also an expert in the National Electrical Code and how compliant his state is to the same. He can design, install and maintain electrical projects for both business and residential clients.
A journeyman electrician is one who already has a state license, but has yet to pass the standardized test to be a master electrician. Journeyman electricians may be allowed to take on work only under the tutelage of a master electrician, depending on the state. This electrician may install wiring and equipment, but he may not design electrical systems.
Before doing electrical work, local electricians must get a permit from the local building department. After the job is done, they need to have it reviewed by an inspector.
Electricians, like most other tradesmen and professionals, also have fields of specialty. For example, some are more experienced with new construction installations than repair of existing systems. You have to find someone who has worked on many project before that are similar to what you want them to work on now.
Getting Personal Referrals
Finding a good electrician can sometimes be a matter of asking people you know for referrals – maybe your friends and relatives, neighbors, people at work, etc. This means your job of researching the electrician’s background will be a lot easier, since someone you personally know and trust has actually recommended them to you.
If you can’t get any prospects from people you know, or you just want to look for more prospects, do it online. Take a look at client reviews, but first make sure you’re reading from an independent and reputable consumer website instead of some marketing websites created to build or damage the reputation of certain electricians.
Calling Client References
Lastly, ask your prospects for some client references, and do call these folks. If they refuse or even hesitate, you know they’re hiding something, so get them off your list.