What to Know About: Electrical Work »
From frayed wires to down powerlines, what can an electrician do to help your home get back on track.
From frayed wires to down powerlines, what can an electrician do to help your home get back on track.
Power outages are unpredictable, so planning ahead is key to staying safe. This checklist helps you prepare with the right supplies and information.
Understand the different types of electrical outlets, as well as the maintenance they require, in order to keep your home or offic…
Great job by both Zach and Hunter Professional, courteous told me what they were going to do, diagnosed the problem and resolved. They were on time and put their shoe covers on when they came in the house. Thank you both
Jeremy is the one to call for electric service in the Columbia, SC area! He is flexible with one's schedule and can work his customer's into any schedule. I have worked with him for 4+ years and have never had an issue with him or his work. His rates are more than fair, he is one of integrity who values his work and comes back to fix any issues that may arise! I have worked with many electricians because of my line of work and Jeremy is one I look forward to working with.
I was a member of their maintenance club for many years and felt very good about the service until now. My unit was serviced about two weeks ago and told it needed freon (R22) so two pounds was added at $132 per pound! The next weekend, when trying to use the system for the first time since the servicing, it would not cool. I paid $69 for a service call to inform me that the compressor was the problem. I called my home warranty and another company came to confirm the compressor problem. Since the system was almost 12 years old, I decided to replace it by a highly recommended local contractor. When discharging the system, the compressor came on. I asked if overcharging the compressor could be the cause of the compressor not working and was told it was a possibility. I proceeded with the system replacement anyway and told they would charge $60 per pound (installed) for R22. I discontinued the Kaminer maintenance plan and question what other costs are inflated for their products.
Jonathon Did very well with asking the questions and concerns that I had. I would refer again to come.
Kaminer Heating and Cooling technician, Johanthan was great, very informative. I have a better understanding and feel more confident about my system after his visit. Charlie W
Wonderful Company! Has always been my go to people for electrical issues, price is always right, workers are always courteous.
My air conditioner stopped working on a 90 degree day when my 2 year old was battling a sinus infection and my husband was at work. The first thing I thought of was “call my daddy” from that precious little girl in the Kaminer commercials. I called and was told that if I signed up for the maintenance plan , that they would be able to come to my house within a few hours. If I didn’t sign up, it would probably be the next day before they could come out. As a desperate mama, I quickly agreed to the plan. I was also told that because I signed up, my service call would be discounted by and all labor would be discounted. That was the beginning of the deception. When Jonathan came to look into the issue, he came down from the attic and said, “It’s bad, it’s really bad. You will be better off buying a new unit and the maintenance plan won’t be applicable to you because you don’t have a working system.” So, because I have no experience with HVAC, I trusted what he said and scheduled a time for someone to come out and give us a quote on a new unit. The next day, Mrs. Kaminer came over and I used my lunch break to get the quote. After an hour had passed, she hadn’t even gotten to the pricing due to the sales pitch she had with a notebook full of pictures of employees, their background checks, their insurance coverage…ect. I appreciate that. I appreciate a legitimate business, but an hour? When she got to the reason she was there, another hour and a half later, we had a quote for $6,800. We were told that we had R-22 (the old kind of) freon, which was a lie… its R-410 (there’s a big sticker on the machine) – that we had a 10 seer unit, which was a lie... it’s a 13 seer – that our system was out of warrantee, which was a lie… we have two more months, that the return was too small, which was a lie…I could continue but I think you see the picture. I am a nurse. I live by integrity in my profession. It is a crying shame that people are out to lie, cheat, and steal. I’m pretty sure they would appreciate me having values if I were to ever need to take care of one of their loved ones. Kaminer seems to say “we’ve been around since 1950something” everywhere you turn… too bad people have been misled this long!
We upgraded the lighting in our kitchen/breakfast area. Their advise was excellent, their estimate was accurate, their work was of high quality, and they followed up to make certain we were pleased. I wish that all of my experiences with plumbers, painters, electricians, etc. were half as professional and pleasant!
Everything went on-plan, on-schedule, on-budget.They are my new contractors for all electrical needs.
Great company. They do great service, and then call you later to follow up!
There are different kinds of electricians. Some mostly work with contractors to install and map out electrical circuits inside homes and commercial buildings while others lay wire for large projects such as telephone lines and traffic lights. Keep this in mind when narrowing your search for a professional. If you need a tradesperson to work on your home or building, contact an inside or house wire expert. These professionals specialize in designing and putting new electrical systems in place for houses and commercial buildings.
When you contact an electrical contractor, describe the job that needs completing. Maybe you have a large project, like a remodeling plan that requires new wiring, or a small one, such as replacing a light switch or socket. Let the electrician know. Not every person you call will have the training and know-how to do more complex work.
To further hone your search, make sure you ask electricians the following questions before hiring:
1. Are You Licensed?
Trades such as HVAC, plumbing and electrical work require contractors to carefully install complicated systems that could be hazardous if they're installed incorrectly. Therefore, most states require electricians to receive training and obtain a license before working. An electrician that's licensed is one that's competent and knowledgeable enough of his or her trade to install and maintain electrical systems.
Electricians must complete thousands of hours of training in order to get a license to practice their trade, so make sure not only the company you choose but the employees doing the work show you their license. When you view the license, ensure that it's up to date and that it's issued by your state.
2. Are You Bonded?
There's potentially a lot that can go wrong if a tradesperson like an electrician installs wiring the wrong way. To spare you and your home or office from subpar work, make sure the electrician is bonded. Being bonded means the professional has an intermediary that can pay for any damage caused to a property or foot the bill if the contractor fails to finish the job.
3. Are You Insured?
Besides a bond, you also need an electrician that's 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 who you hire for the job has liability and workers' compensation insurance so you don't end up paying for injuries or accidents caused by the company's work. Workers' compensation insurance means the business can provide for any of its employees if they're hurt on the job.
4. Is Your Business Licensed?
Not only should you check that the electrician is licensed by your state, you should also ask if his or her company has the certification to operate in your area. Both the electrician as well as the business he or she works for need licenses either issued by the state or local municipality.
5. Who Will Do the Work?
Ensure the person who actually comes out to complete the work is licensed, bonded and insured. You need to know not just the company that's doing the work but the person they're sending out to your home or building. Make sure the employee doing the job isn't an unsupervised apprentice. If it happens that the business uses a subcontractor, check with both the company and the tradesperson that the same kind of bond and insurance applies for that subcontractor as it would for an employee.
6. How Much Do You Charge by the Hour?
If you have a small and simple job that needs completing, such as a new light switch, then ask the electrician how much they charge for it before hiring him or her. When it comes to larger, more intensive and time-consuming work, you'll want to inquire about the contractor's hourly rate. Many tradespeople will offer to come out to your home or building, examine it and give you an estimate as well as tell you how much they charge per hour. It's best to get this in writing before proceeding.
While you're at it, call several electricians to come out to your home to give you an estimate on the work. This way you can get an idea of what the average price of the job will be.
7. Do You Offer a Warranty?
Many reputable tradespeople provide warranties for their work. Inquire if both the labor and parts the electrician uses are under warranty and how long the work is guaranteed for.
8. Do You Have or Need a Permit?
Depending on what kind of repairs or installation you need, your city could require a permit for the electrical work. Ask your electrician if the job calls for one and have him or her put the permit under his or her name. Ensuring the tradesperson obtains a permit will safeguard you from any blame if the labor turns out to be subpar.
Finding a trustworthy electrician isn't hard, but you must do your due diligence. Make sure whomever you hire is licensed, bonded and insured, and that the professional can show you proof of all three as well as get the necessary permit for the job. Besides these important factors, you can take further steps to guarantee you obtain a reputable tradesperson.
1. Get Referrals
Ask your family, friends or neighbors if they can recommend a professional to you and inquire if they're pleased with the work. Better yet, ask them if they can show you the project the electrician completed and ask them how long it took the worker to complete it.
2. Look Online
It can't hurt to also check electricians out online. Look for reviews, ratings and, most importantly, see if they have any complaints on file with your municipality or with your local business bureaus. If former customers filed grievances against them, you may want to steer clear.
3. Ask for a Quote
Reputable electricians will give you a quote for small work over the phone if you ask and will travel to your home to quote you a price for larger jobs. Be wary of one that declines to give you an estimate or insists that he or she charge you for coming out to your house.
4. Ask Them About Their Experience
Being bonded, licensed and insured is all well and good, but you also need an experienced professional to do the work. With that said, interview electricians about past projects they completed and how many years they've been in business or how much training they have.
5. Be Wary of Suspiciously Low Estimates
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.
While all electricians need a license, not all of them do the same types of jobs. They are usually split up into three groups: outside, inside and residential.
Outside: These types of electricians work outdoors on electrical lines that connect to power plants.
Inside: Inside experts typically focus on commercial and industrial buildings that require a lot of power.
Residential: If you're a homeowner, you'll most likely need to hire an electrician that specializes in residential wiring. Residential electricians work with low-voltage systems and wiring to install fuse boxes and light fixtures.
Like many trade groups, electricians learn their craft by going to vocational schools and shadowing professionals on the job. 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.
Many do-it-yourself enthusiasts might be inclined to fix electrical problems around their home, but they risk shock and bodily injury. It's always best to call a licensed electrician, even if you have something as small as an improperly working wall outlet.
Keep the following safety tips in mind: