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.
Serving the Pittsburgh Area
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We had a circuit breaker fail. It caused problems with the wiring. Jon at CW Electrical Services came out, and we were given an estimate for the replacement of our breaker box and repairing the damage in the wiring. Jon returned and did an excellent job repairing the wiring and replacing the breaker box. This is a great company which I would recommend to anyone. Chuck Z. Pittsburgh, PA
worked for this company only to be fired over jealous people meaning other employees who are lazy and like to take breaks all day, was terminated without any explanation other than I heard some things from other employees, that was thair reason for firing me and they refused to explain why. I never missed work was running multiple jobs at one time, working 12 to 16 hr days, and all my jobs passed electrical inspection, and all my projects completed on time, don't get your hopes up if you decide to work for this company.
Recently I just had a electrician referred by Thumbtack in the Pittsburgh area. His name is Glen Beu from GPB Electrical Services. I must say that I made a excellent decision in contacting him and hiring Glen to do the job. I did call a few other electricians for a quote thru email,plus also had a on site quote. The others were a lot higher, plus they were trying to convince me that they needed to do additional work on my house before they could do the work I wanted done.Glen came up completed the work without trying to convince me that I needed additional work before he could start the work that I wanted done. My opinion of Glen he is very professional, courteous ,thorough and honest. He cleaned up after the job was finished and appreciated that we were pleased with his work. If all the contacts from Thumbtack are like Glen Beu I will use Glen and Thumbtack all the time. Again, if you are looking for a great electrician . Contact Glen Beu for your electrical work.Thanks,Bruce P
His prices were right. He is very knowledgeable. I would recommend him to anyone needing an electrician.
I cannot rave enough about how pleased I am with the prompt response and quality of service. The technician was very professional and knowledgable. I highly recommend and will be giving them a call the next time I need any electrical work done.
He may be inexpensive on his service calls but as a past employee I've been trying to get paid from work I performed since December of 2015. I've had to report him to Department of Labor and Industry. Also a Co-Worker finally received his money after a month.
He updated my old breaker box to a new 150 amp electrical service , I now feel safe . I would use Simon again .
I was impressed with Brian's speedy response time when I was having electrical issues. On one occasion, he came out to my place in less than 24 hours after we spoke, and the other time, he was at my door within one hour of my phone call to him. I'm pleased with Brian's work and will use Omega the next time I need an electrician.
After reading a less positive review on this site (AFTER making an appointment, of course...) I was wary- however I was pleased with the service, and quality of work we received. He gave us options, was willing to work with us, and the work ended up costing less than the initial quote. I found Brian to be a pleasant person, as well as a great electrician, he worked neatly- left no mess, and solved our problems for a fair rate. He'll be our regular go to guy for electric work. Highly recommend.
Didn't pick these guys - my home warranty company American Home Shield did. AHS has a history of sending very poor contractors and this was no exception. These guys were rude and unprofessional (they couldn't even close the door behind them and my cat almost got out several times). I submitted a ticket with three items. They claimed that all they had was one (but managed to check and see the 2nd issue wasn't covered???). They were very obviously looking to do as little work as possible. They were attempting to fix a light which was part of a ceiling fan assembly - in the process of fixing it, they discovered it had a feature that allowed it to operate with a remote control. They refused to fix it so that I could order a remote to operate it. As a new home owner who didn't get a remote when I moved in, how was I supposed to know it was remote control??? They demanded that I produce the remote control if I wanted that portion fixed, and without it they chose to bypass the capability and rip out the remote receiver. They told me if I wanted it fixed I would have to place another service call through the warranty company and pay another $60 deductible. Nice to know this trip cost me $60 and lost functionality of my light/fan.Perhaps they were only operating under the guidelines that AHS sets - AHS is a horrible company to begin with (I'll save that story for another review)- but these guys were very unprofessional and rude in the way they dealt with the entire visit . As a home owner, I wouldn't dream of having them back when the choice is up to me. They also don't accept credit cards, with the repair man pointing out that they are too risky and insinuated that by expecting his company to take my credit card, I was somehow trying to rip him off.
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: