Four Things to Look for in a Residential Electrician


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Are you looking for an experienced electrician? You rely on electricity for every aspect of your home, from heating and air conditioning (fun fact: your HVAC system is your biggest residential electrical user), lights, WiFi, food refrigeration, all of the necessities. On top of that, your electricity can be extremely dangerous if it is not installed properly. Like life-threateningly dangerous.

This is why you should only entrust your electrical repairs in the hands of an experienced electrician. But how do you find an experienced electrician you can trust? We’re glad you asked. We put together a simple list of what to look for.

Four Things to Look for in a Residential Electrician

  1. Licensing

    Help us help you. Never hire an electrician who doesn’t have all their paperwork in order. And please — oh please — do not hire an electrician who moonlights as an electrical guy on the side. The government-mandated licensing requirements are in place to protect you. It means they are properly trained to safely handle the massive amount of electrical current that runs through your walls, and know how to make the repairs or changes you need in a manner that will continue to be safe after they’re gone. When you use an experienced electrician who has followed all of the proper channels, you know they answer to someone. You know they’re going to do the work right, because they’re accountable for the work they do. If you hire an electrician-on-the-side guy, you have no way to ensure that they won’t leave your home in such a hazardous condition that it could burn down at any moment, and you also will have no recourse if that happened.

  2. Insurance

    Being properly insured is also important for your own safety. Sometimes mistakes and injuries occur in the course of work as an electrician. If the electrician you use hasn’t gone through the process of being properly insured, any injuries that befall them will cost you big dollars, and leave you vulnerable to lawsuits.

    We’ll throw this in for free: Getting insured isn’t cheap or easy, so the unsavory or electricians might say they are, but not actually have the coverage they claim. Before you hire an electrician, make sure to contact their insurance provider and verify that they have adequate coverage.

  3. Experience

    Every electrical job is as unique as a snowflake. There are a few unchanging laws for electricity that your electrician learns in their training, but much of their know-how comes through experience on the job. The longer an electrician has been doing what they do, the more likely that they will have seen your electrical situation a time or two, and know the best method to fix it up.

    Hiring an experience electrician is also a good idea because it tells you that they can be trusted. Any new electrician can get licensed and insured if they have enough time and money, but the only way they can stay in business for years and years with happy customers in their wake is if they’re doing something right.
  4. Reputation

    And that brings us to the most important quality of a great electrician: reputation. They say that word of mouth is the best form of advertisement, and there’s a reason for it. Sure, any ol’ electrician can put an ad on the radio that sounds catchy. They can buy a billboard with their smiling face. They can even show their best face if you contact them directly. But the only way an electrician can have a great reputation is if they’ve actually done good work for other customers to earn it.

    So how do you find an electrician with a great reputation? Start by asking your friends and family for referrals, if you know anyone who has had an awesome experience with a local electrician. If that fails you, you can always turn to business referrals on the interwebs. Keep in mind that some people are impossible to please. You might find one or two poor reviews about an otherwise awesome electrician. But if you see a consistent theme of negative reviews, you should beware.

Do you have any other questions or comments about finding an electrician? Please share in the comment section below!

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