If you are looking for professional electricians or even electrical contractors, it is always important to do your research and ask the right questions. To help you find only the best electrical service in town, Junk Mail has created a list of 10 questions you should ask your electrician before hiring him or her.
So what do you need to know and find out about your electrician to see if they fit the job’s requirements? Well, these 10 questions will help you choose an electrician and ensure they have the right experience, certifications and are the right fit for the job.
Questions to ask your Electrician
1. Do you have a licence?
The first question to every, and any, electrician should be regarding their licence. It is a requirement by law for each to have qualified and all professionals should have these on hand.
Master and installation electricians may have wire licenses and other certifications for a host of jobs and variety. The more qualified the electrician, the better the quality of their work.
2. How long have you been working for and do you have a range of references?
As with any job, both experience and references are key to gaining insight into the person and the services they offer. In this case, it is a hugely important question to answer as their record of work, and references from over the years showcase their quality of work, reputation and their overall skills.
3. Do you have work insurance?
Having work insurance is important as an electrician and finding out if they do have it and what it covers is something you should find out. Work insurance will tie in with warranties and guarantees in place but also covers any accidents or accidental damage to property. Hiring electrical contractors with insurance means peace of mind on any project.
4. Do you specialise in any area or do you have any specific training?
Finding out about specialised skills or training is key for two reasons, the first is if the job is one that requires a certain specialised skillset and the other to gain insight into what experience the electrician has and what they can offer you and the project.
5. What are your rates and what is your fee structure?
Most electricians charge by the hour, although some do by project, and they work at their own pace, depending on their skillset. It is important to get an idea of their rates, fee structures and estimation of how much time they think the project requires.
This is important as it ties in with budgeting. Electrical contractors and professionals working within this field will charge according to their experience and service level.
6. Who will perform the work?
Knowing who will perform the work is another vitally important question you need to ask. Many professionals might hire out to subcontractors, so if you are looking to work directly with the electrician you are engaging with, it is an important distinction to make.
Even if subcontractors aren’t involved, you’ll want to be sure that those working on the job are qualified, and if there are any apprentices around, any work they would do is under supervision.
7. Do you use subcontractors and if so, what are their details?
An electrician or contractor might also make use of subcontractors in busy periods or if they have other projects at the same time. Understanding the role subcontractors play, your legal standing and rights, as well as insurance and liability are important factors.
8. What does the cost estimate involve?
Understanding the cost estimate and what it covers are vital to the project and the overall budgeting for it. This could include a range of items, and services you may not be aware of, and it is vital to get a thorough cost estimate as possible, to avoid any surprises in the end. Most professionals delivering electrical services will be happy to draw up an estimate and go through the various factors with you.
9. Electrical Certificate and policy on warranties and guarantees
All qualified and professional electricians will have a guarantee policy on their work and warranties in place if anything should happen. It is important to establish this before the work goes ahead, so you know exactly what will, and what won’t be covered, in the event of anything amiss happening on the project. Most electrical parts will be covered and most professionals have a warranty period for their services.
Also keep in mind that an electrical certificate or an electrical compliance certificate is also important. In South Africa it is compulsory for homeowners to have an electrical certificate that verifies that the electrical installations and work done on a property meet the regulations set out by South African National Standards .
10. Do you have a collection of work that can be viewed?
Seeing the type of work that can be done, can help both assure and inspire you that the electrician you are hiring has done, and has a track record of good quality work, having a website or online portfolio is an easy way to view and see previous work, and what you can expect, from the overall process. An online presence, and references and reviews, also help you get an understanding of what others think.
Want to know more about understanding electrician’s certifications in South Africa and how to be sure that the electrician you are looking to hire is qualified? Then read on to see more.
Electrical Certifications and Licenses in South Africa
So how can you check if an electrician is qualified and licenced? You’ll find all qualified electricians in the SAQA National Learner Data Base, and you can check for their qualifications online, following up after the initial appointment.
As for finding out about other licences, such as a wireman’s license, only qualified professionals in the field are allowed to obtain these and while you won’t be able to find them online, they will have the wireman’s license certification, which they should have on hand.
Unlike other trades an electrician and electrical contractors do not receive cards stating their qualifications but instead have a trade certificate, which they can produce.
If they have a wireman’s license or relevant qualification, they will have an identity book or card issued to them, by the Department of Labour showing their specified certifications, this includes the installation electrician, single phase tester or master installation electrician certification, with a unique license number to each one.
When making use or electrical services, keep in mind that the electrician’s qualification can be checked online, all of the certifications can be checked for their authenticity by the Department of Labour. So if you find yourself in any way unsure, after asking these questions, be sure to check in and see if all is in order.
Tips for Electrical Safety
Now that you know all there is to ask and to look for when hiring an electrician, these handy simple electrical safety tips around the home, will be sure to come in handy before you have any major jobs done or to regularly check to ensure the safety of your house.
These include repairing and replacing loose electrical cords, keeping your extension cords in sight, always using a qualified electrician on all jobs to ensure a high quality and standard of work.
When it comes to electrical safety, you should also keep an eye on fuses that blow or trip on occasion and have those seen to as soon as possible and make sure that you have a range of arc-fault circuit interrupters all over your home to ensure that all electrical outlets and switches are protected.
Other tips include always following the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to plugs, voltage level and use, as well as not overloading switches and outlets.
Looking for professional electrical services in your area? Browse through the electricians on Junk Mail to find the right person for the job. Do you offer services? Why not place your FREE AD online and get busy!