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Electricians – What Their Work Includes

April 19th, 2017

Electricians do a variety of work in the home and in commercial premises to ensure the electrical installation operates efficiently and to the correct building regulations. Electricians also operate to the right British Standards.

Testing & Certification

Electricians must make sure that electrical installations are safe in the home or commercial premises. Electrical testing should be completed by a qualified electrician at specified periods and is dependent on the type of property being tested. Electricians will check for any deterioration and also on any new work, which is required to bring the installation up to current standards.

Electricians should test and certify electrical work in accordance with the British Standard BS7671. As with any British Standard BS7671:2001 is being always updated to ensure the electrical safety of your property. Electricians will also inform you of any other British Standards which are applicable to your electrical installation. Work carried out by electricians should only be done in accordance with the appropriate regulations.

Electricians are continually trained on the latest regulations which impact on both domestic and commercial properties. Various training centres are available throughout the UK to support electricians with new regulations for testing and certification and other electrical requirements. Certificates provided by the electricians will be from one of the awarding bodies such as the NICEIC, ECA, Elecsa, Napit or Select depending on the electricians choice.

Rewires & Wiring

Many home owners take electricity for granted. With older properties the wiring may need to be replaced by a competent electrician. It is easy to forget over time the cabling in a property becomes outdated and for safety reasons will need to be replaced. So electricians do rewiring predominantly for safety reasons because old wiring can cause fires and electrical shocks. Here are some reasons why you may need a rewire:

  • You currently have switches in the bathroom
  • There are sockets on the skirting
  • Green residue is found on the wiring
  • Wiring is covered in cotton
  • Rubber cables are black
  • The sockets are the round pin variety

Electricians offer lots of support with rewiring to ensure that you get the right solution. Electricians provide domestic electrical reports to show you the current state of the electrics in your property. This will show you any potential electrical problems. Electricians recommend that this check is performed at least every 10 years.

Fuesbox / Fuseboard Upgrades

Electricians should also offer fuseboard upgrades to further enhance the safety of your electrics. New fuseboards offer different electrical safety devises including RCD’s, MCB’s and RCBO’s. As part of an upgrade to wiring new properties new fuseboards are often offered to enhance the safety of your property. In addition to these services electricians also do the wiring to new build properties, extensions, & conservatories. Any electrical work electricians perform in these areas will be tested and certified by qualified electricians. Again this certification will uphold the requirements of the British Safety Standard BS7671:2001.

Lighting Installations

Lights should be installed by an electrician in most circumstances in the home and also in commercial properties. No only can people enhance the surroundings and interior of their property with carefully designed interior lighting, but electricians can also advise on how to save energy and money with the right energy saving fittings. Lighting is great for security also and electricians will offer solutions for security lighting. Many people also want to have lighting which improves the outdoor appearance of their property. Garden or any other outdoor lighting can be installed by electricians.

Electricians will use their extensive experience in domestic lighting to provide a solution that is right for your home. Electricians will plan the lighting installation with you and complete any installation and testing required.

Security System Installations

Home and commercial security systems can be designed by electricians to suit the requirement of the property. The specification can vary greatly in costs and also the complexity of the installation. Experienced and qualified electricians can provide a solution that will fit with your requirements and personal needs.

Even the most basic of intruder alarms can assist your security, however more expensive intruder alarm systems installed by electricians will offer more opportunities. You can have fully monitored alarm systems, which offer an even greater deterrent to burglars. Monitored alarms have the ability to contact the Police, when a break-in has occurred and also offer fire safety options in some circumstances.

Electricians also install door entry systems, much like the ones you see in hotels and student accommodation. These systems can also have audio and/ or audio plus CCTV additions if required. Electricians will design a system to fit with your domestic or commercial premises and can be integrated with alarm systems. Electricians also combine these solutions with outdoor lighting to offer greater security.

Electrician Shopping – 6 Steps to Choosing the Right Electrician

April 11th, 2017

When you’re looking for an electrician, look for someone with whom you can form a long-term relationship. It’s going to save you a lot of time and money if you can find someone whom you trust to get the job right the first time and give you the right price.

Step 1) Find Recommended Companies

You can get recommendations for electricians from friends and neighbors. You can also search on-line for electrician Los Angeles or electrician Burbank, and so on. If you add the word reviews to your search, you can look through company reviews.

Another approach is to search websites that feature reviews. Reviews appear on many websites including Google Places, Yelp.com, AngiesList.com, and CitySearch.com. AngiesList.com is an excellent source of recommendations for contractors but requires a small annual membership fee. On AngiesList, you can see how customers rated their contractors, including electricians, and details of how their jobs went.

When looking at customer reviews, take a look at the big picture. Is there one bad review among the many good ones? Is it just a grumpy customer? Is there a company reply that clears things up or says that it has corrected its employee?

Once you have three or so recommended electricians, take a look at their websites.

Step 2) Check the Electrical Company Website

· Is it presentable and well-maintained?

· Easy to find what you’re looking for?

· Friendly, helpful, and not cluttered with hard-sell advertising?

· How many good testimonials?

If the website checks out, it’s time to interview the electrician.

Step 3) Interview

When you talk with the electrician, pay attention to how comfortable you are, including your trust level. I’ve listed questions that you can ask. If you’ve already gotten glowing recommendations or it’s a small repair job like fixing a broken light switch, you probably wouldn’t want to ask them all. But if you aren’t talking with a recommended electrician and you’re planning a remodel, ask away.

· Experience with your type of work

· Years in business. Most companies which have stayed in business a long time have managed to keep their customers satisfied. They’ve also gathered a lot of useful experience and competence.

· Contractor’s License Number

· Liability Insurance and Workers Comp Insurance. It’s desirable that the company carry at least $1 million in liability insurance to protect your home should their work create property damage. Workers Comp provides for medical care for the electricians should they be injured on your job. Again, this protects you from liability.

· Guarantees. Some companies offer a lifetime guarantee on their work. This wouldn’t generally include the electrical parts that they install – that’s covered by the manufacturer’s guarantee. However, the electrician should give you at least a several-year guarantee on labor. A guarantee up to the life of your home is best.

· Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Ask for the exact company name that you should look and in which city. Sometimes, the BBB will use a slightly different name, possibly the formal legal name of the company.

· Pricing

· Website address if you don’t already have it

· Names and contact info for five clients

Take notes on all this, particularly the License Number. If you decide to go ahead, you may wish to check some of what the electrician has said. If you decide not to go ahead, no need to proceed any further with this electrician. But save the notes so that you can remind yourself later of which companies you’ve already ruled out.

Step 4) Look and Listen

While you’re gathering this information, listen to what is said but also pay attention to how the electrician acts and makes you feel. If you meet with the electrician, keep your eyes open, too.

· Do you like the electrician?

· Do you feel comfortable and not under pressure?

· Does the electrician inspire your trust?

· Do the electrician and company employees seem to know what they’re doing?

· Do they seem to operate legally and behave ethically? Are they acting the way that you would want them to act towards you?

· Do they return phone calls promptly?

· Are they timely when meeting you for appointments?

· Do they listen to your questions and concerns and answer them in a way that is forthcoming and that you can understand?

· Does the electrician dress neatly and have a vehicle and tools that look well-maintained?

Electricians who are bidding jobs are on their best behavior. If you already notice that an electrician treats you or others in ways that concern you, better to find another with whom you feel more comfortable.

Step 5) Check It Out

· If you haven’t already, check customer reviews. The first section of this article gives details.

· Enter the Contractor’s License Number into the Contractor’s License Board website for your state. See if there are any “black marks.”

· Check the company’s rating at the Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org/. Ratings run from A+ to F based on customer complaints made to the Bureau. As a note, an “A” reflects the same level of customer satisfaction as an “A+.” The “A+” is earned by an “A” contractor becoming a paying member of the Better Business Bureau, which supports the Bureau in its work.

Step 6) Call References

Don’t hesitate to call references. Customers are usually happy to give a good recommendation to help a deserving electrical contractor. You can return the favor later should a homeowner call you. Ask:

· How did your job go?

· Was your job done right the first time?

· If a return visit was needed, was the electrician easy to work with and prompt?

· Was company pricing competitive?

· Was the electrician within budget and schedule?

· Would you be happy to continue to use this electrical company?

Speak with at least three references. Listen carefully for enthusiasm or lack of enthusiasm about the electrician. Clients, past or present, may not feel comfortable saying anything negative. If they express little enthusiasm or say something negative, take this into consideration when making your decision.

A Final Tip: Don’t Automatically Choose the Low Bid

A bid may be too low. How can that be? An electrician may intentionally omit items that the job requires, only to come back later saying that additional work needs to be done. On the other hand, some electricians may unintentionally bid low through inexperience. Either way, the electrician may ask for more money to finish the job or may leave you with an incomplete project.

Price is important, but judge the entire picture an electrician is showing you — character, expertise, the ease of working with him or her, and overall value. A large part of an electrician’s value is that he/she gets the job done right and safely without taking too much of your time and inconveniencing you. A very competent electrician can save you money by suggesting more efficient ways to do a job or to save on electricity. When you enjoy a good relationship with your electrician, it can save you both time and money.