Everything you need to know about finding an electrician
For all electrical work in your home, beyond changing a lightbulb, it is vital that you consult a licensed electrician. For the safety of homeowners all states and territories require all electrical work to be carried out by a licensed contractor. Unlicensed electrical work is illegal and may also be unsafe.
No matter what electrical job you need doing around the home, an electrician will be able to help you.
Read on for more information about electricians.
What an Electrician Does
Electricians work with all of the electrical components of the house. Electrical services they provide include but by no means are limited to:
Electrical rewiring: Your home may need to be rewired, either partially or fully, if electrical cicruits or power points need to be replaced. This is more common in old buildings and properties which were poorly wired during consutrction. Due to limited access, brick buildings tend to be costlier to rewire.
Electrical repairs: From time to time, the electrical outlets in your home will need to be repaired. a licensed electrician can assist with all electrical repairs including replacing power points and repairing wiring.
Safety switches: These protect you and your family from power surges, faulty appliances and damaged wiring (see electrical safety switches). The safety switch works by monitoring the flow of electricity through a circuit and trip when the electrical current escapes from the system.
Lighting: If you need lights installed or repaired in your home or commercial premises, a licensed electrician can help. Whether you have LED, track, fluorescene, neon, halogen or flood lights or would prefer downlights or garden lights, an electrician can help with installation and repair. See electrical lighting and electrical security lighting for more information about lighting options for your home.
Wiring a new home: If you are building a new home, you will need a construction electrician for wiring and installing all the electrical elements and outlets (see new home electricians and new electrical installations). Proper planning and consultation will ensure you have an electrical system that suits the layout and design of your new home.
Power points: Due to legislation, only electiricans can undertake power point repairs and replacement. They will be able to consult on the amount of power points you need and their placement in the home (see electrical power points)
Switchboards: These route electricity around a building and are designed to protect you from electrocution. Switchboards can also help to isolate faulty wiring and appliances. For more information see electrical switchboards.
Test and tag: This involves testing and labelling electrical equipment so that the electrician can identify and repair faulty items. Electrical test and tag equipment can also detect insulation deficiencies and earth leakages.
Renovations: If you are renovating your home or commercial premises, an electrician will need to be consulted to install or remove power points, sockets and lighting (see renovation electricians). They can also assist with routing new wiring and installing switchboards in the newly renovated rooms and additions.
Solar Power: Installing a solar power system can help improve the energy efficiency of your home and reduce your energy costs. Electricians who specialise in installing solar power units can advise on the most suitable option for your home (see electricians - solar power).
Back Up Generators: It can be a good idea to install a back up generator to provide a back-up source of electricity in your home. You should buy a back up generator depending on how often you will need it. Your electrician will be able to advise on a suitable generator to suit your needs. For more information see electricians - back up generators.
Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS): A UPS is a back-up system used to protect electrical equipment from surges and power failures. The system provides backup power to equipment such as modems, fax machines and computers. See electricians - Uninterruptable Power Supply for more information.
Installing electrical equipment e.g. water heaters and air conditioners
Selecting an Electrician
It is essential that your chosen electrical contractor is fully licensed. Ask to see the license and make sure that it is valid. By law, all electrical work must be done by a licensed professional and having a valid license means that you will be protected legally if there are any problems with the work carried out. The professional must also have the correct insurances such as Worker’s Compensation insurance and General Liability Insurance. Ask to see certificates of insurance.
Will the professional provide a certificate of electrical safety or a similar certificate? This states that the work that has been performed has been done by a licensed professional, has been tested and is safe. It acts as a guarantee to you.
Also, ask for several quotes before selecting a professional and remember that the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best. It is more important that you are comfortable with the person or company that is performing the work. Finally, ask if they provide a emergency electrician service should something go wrong unexpectedly.
How Much Does an Electrician Cost?
Hourly rates for electricians can range anywhere from $40 to $100 per hour depending on location and experience. Also expect to be charged a call out fee which can range from $30 to $100. Some electricians will also have a flat rate for defined tasks such as installing a power point or light fitting. Expect to pay more for an emergency 24/7 electrician who is able to provide a service outside of normal trading hours.
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