What to Know About: Electrical Work

YP Editors

What is the cost of hiring an electrician?

It can cost from $40-$100 an hour depending on the job. This does not include additional costs for parts or trip fees. Make sure to ask in advance what they charge for or if they will provide a free quote.

Should I be worried about comparatively low price estimates from an electrician?

Watch out for contractors that greatly underbid other electricians. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, always remember to get the estimate in writing before settling on a company.

What kind of training does an electrician need?

In order to become a full-fledged professional, a person must undergo an apprenticeship with master and journeyman electricians. An apprentice needs 8,000 hours of practical work before graduating to the journeyman level. If an apprentice reaches journeyman status, he or she can complete most electrical work, but cannot design it until completing more testing along with 2,000 more on-the-job hours.

How can I use electricity safely at home?

Keep the following tips in mind:
  • Do not operate any electrical equipment while sitting or standing in water.
  • Don't overload extension cords or surge protectors.
  • Put caps on your electrical outlets if you have small children.
  • Call an electrician if you notice your sockets or switches are warm to the touch, discolored or if they make noise.
  • Keep electrical cords away from stoves, ovens and other sources of heat.
  • Do not use an appliance that has a frayed cord.
  • Do not staple extension cords into place or cover them with carpets or furniture.
  • When using extension cords, make sure to unwrap them before plugging them in.
  • Don't overuse extension cords. Have an electrician install extra outlets if you need a power source closer to you.
  • Only use light bulbs with the correct wattage for your lamps and light fixtures.
  • Contact a licensed electrician if you frequently blow fuses, since this can be a sign of an electrical wiring problem.
  • Have an electrician look at your fuse box to ensure you have the right size fuses and circuit breakers. The wrong size fuse or breaker can be a fire hazard.
  • If you have fault circuit interrupters installed in your electrical panel, make sure you test them at least once a month by turning them on and off.
What are the best ways to find an electrician?
  • Get referrals
  • Look online
  • Ask for a quote
  • Ask them about their experience
  • Be wary of suspiciously low estimates
Does an electrician need to be insured?

Many states require contractors to carry some form of insurance along with their license. Insist that whomever you hire has the proper amount of insurance for the work you need done and call the insurer to check the policy. See that whom you hire for the job has liability and workers' compensation insurance so you don't pay for injuries or accidents caused by the company's work.

For more information about what to do after a major disaster damages your home and property, see the following articles:

What to Know About: General Contractors

What to Know About: Water Damage

What to Know About: Insurance

What to Know About: Tree Cutting and Removal

What to Know About: Roofing

What to Know About: Auto Damage