A busted electrical outlet and flickering lights on my porch -- I never really cared about these issues until a friend visited my place and told me that I might have a serious electrical problem.
Well, of course, I first thought that that was just an exaggeration, and it never occurred to me to call a local electrician to have it checked. But because of my friend’s warnings, I searched on the internet for a list of electricians near me and scheduled one for a visit.
Long story short, I was glad that my friend was insistent on his warnings because the electrician found out that *surprise, surprise* I had big problems with my wiring. The good thing is that the electrician was able to troubleshoot the issue before it grew into a bigger problem.
I thought of writing this blog because I’m sure many homeowners brush aside calling an electrician for help. Worst, some might solve the problem with a DIY approach, which is dangerous!
OK so for the three things homeowners need to know when hiring an electrician...
1. How much does it cost to hire an electrician?
In the U.S., an electrician will charge anywhere between $50 to $100 for an hourly rate. Including the additional costs, such as trip fees, replacement parts, etc., electrical repairs will average from $161 to $520.
You can check out this table below for an idea of how much you’ll spend on each electrical work.
*Note that these are just estimates and the rates will still vary based on several factors
For a complete home inspection, an electrician would charge starting $200 to $500. While for emergency visits, electricians would usually charge double their hourly rate plus a trip charge. (This is why it’s important that you schedule a visit from an electrician as soon as you spot an electric issue because an emergency repair will cost you more $$$)
2. When should you call an electrician?
Naturally, when you’re noticing an issue with your electrical system, the first thing that would come to mind is to contact an electrician. But, this is not the only occurrence that calls for a visit from an electrician; schedule a visit from a pro if…
- Your wiring is over 20 years old - your wiring might be out-of-date and would need an upgrade
- You’re remodelling a room - particularly when there are outlets or fixtures that need to be installed
- Your lights are flickering - this might be a symptom of a huge wiring issue
- You notice corrosion near the breaker box - there could be moisture build-up near your electrical panel, which is a potential hazard
- Your electrical bill suddenly increases - faulty wiring might be the cause of an unusually high electric bill
3. What should you look for when hiring an electrician?
Hiring an electrician is serious business. Of course, you want someone who is knowledgeable about the work you want to get done. Some of the things that you need to look for in an electrician are:
- License and insurance
- It’s essential that the electrician you’re hiring is licensed. This guarantees you that they have the training to do the electrical work safely and correctly. The electrician should also have the proper insurances to cover you from any liabilities should an accident happen on the job.
- Experience and qualifications
- If you’re looking for an electrician for complex work, it’s recommended that your hire a Master Electrician so that you’re assured that they have the experience for the job.
*Note that there are three stages of electrician licensing, which are: apprentice, journeyman and master.
- Check the contractor’s website or listings on the internet and look out for reviews. You can also ask someone you trust to recommend an electrician with who they have a positive experience.
I hope these tips will help you make a more informed decision the next time you’re hiring an electrician.