There are certainly important questions to ask An electrician before hiring to make our home safer and save money at the same time. An electrician is very knowledgeable about all electrical items and wiring in your home.
When you have an electrician over to work on a job in your home, remember to ask a few questions while he is there about the electricity in your home and how it works. He may be able to give you some tips and pointers about your electricity and home to save you money and make your home a safer place for you and your family to live.
Some Common Electrical fault at Home
Sparks when you plug in an appliance or device to a socket outlet.
An outlet that sparks every once in a while usually doesn’t cause an immediate call to an electrician. If you see sparks every time you use that outlet, however, have an electrician take a look as soon as possible.
Here’s what could be happening
- The outlet could be sparking because of a short circuit. Over time, the heat from short circuits can deteriorate the insulation around a wire, exposing the bare metal. This is a serious fire hazard.
- The outlet could be old. If your house is relatively old and hasn’t been updated or remodeled, the outlets (and the wires attached to them) could have loosened over the years. Loose wires can spark as electricity runs through them.
- It could be totally normal! Electricity is a powerful force, and the sparks you see when you plug in a device may simply be a few electrons getting ahead of themselves. An electrician will know for sure.
Lamps and light fittings getting really hot when they’re in use.
Every lamp and light fixture has a maximum wattage rating. This is determined by the size (or gauge) of the wire used in the fixture. The larger the gauge of the wire (but the smaller the gauge number), the more electrical current the wire can carry.
Light bulbs, in turn, demand electricity based on their wattage. A 75-watt light bulb, for instance, requires more electricity than a 60-watt light bulb. If you use a 75-watt bulb in a light fixture with a 60-watt rating, the bulb will demand more electricity than the fixture’s wiring is designed to produce. This electrical overload produces a tremendous amount of heat, which can cause a fire.
An electrician will be able to inspect the wiring and the fixtures to determine the extent of the damage and make recommendations for how to prevent a fire.
Electrical Plugs falling out of the socket outlets
While you might write this issue off as a minor annoyance, it’s actually a far more serious problem. When you plug in and unplug appliances or devices frequently from the same outlets as most of us do, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, the connections that hold the plug in place wear down. This is normal, but it must be fixed promptly. Loose connections in an outlet can cause sparks and electrical arcs, both of which are fire hazards.
The circuit breaker trips off when using appliances
This problem is a clue that the circuits in your house were not correctly designed. Household appliances, especially kitchen appliances, laundry machines, and vacuums, require a lot of power. In fact, refrigerators, ranges, and electric clothes dryers need so much power that they must have their own circuits (and breakers).
If your kitchen circuit breaker trips often, there’s a high possibility that either your range or your refrigerator is sharing a circuit with too many other appliances. An experienced electrician needs to take a look.
Storms: Electric bulb flicker or Power goes off
Losing power during a storm isn’t necessarily unusual, especially if you don’t have buried utilities. Flickering lights during a storm, however, can indicate that something is amiss with the power lines where they connect to your house.
If this connection isn’t secure, the electrical current from the power lines could arc and cause a fire. The voltage entering your house is dangerously high, so don’t try to investigate this problem on your own only a licensed, professional electrician should take a look.
Important Questions To Ask An Electrician before Hiring
Do You Have a License?
This is one of the critical questions that need to be asked. In most states/municipalities, an electrician must have the proper license before doing any actual electrical work. There are two different levels of licensing that an electrician can have. A journeyman electrician is only allowed to install/maintain electrical systems.
Master electricians have two years of experience at a minimum and are licensed to install, maintain, and design electrical systems. Another equally important thing that all electricians need to have is insurance. Electrical work comes with high liability, so all parties need appropriate protection.
What Is Your Work Specialty?
Electricians are like other contractors in that they generally have specialty areas they work in. For example, one electrician may primarily focus on residential homes. Others may primarily do commercial work, and others may service multi-family buildings like apartment complexes. While there may be some overlap here and there, for the most part, customers should get someone with experience in the type of project that they need. Most electricians will specify what type of work in their marketing, but you should ask as well.
Customers should also ask as a follow-up is the type of training and experience they have for this variety of work. This should be a key question if there is specific expertise that you need to execute. Good examples of this are solar installations, home automation, or voice/data cables. Ideally, you want a contractor with specific experience for these jobs that may not be as common
May I see a work in progress?
Depending on the nature of your project, it might be helpful to visit an electrician’s current job, for a behind-the-scenes look at his work. In general, you’re looking for evidence of orderly, methodical installation:
- Neat cable runs near the service panel (breaker box)
- clear labeling of circuit breakers
- regular anchoring of cables
- switch boxes that sit squarely and finish flush to the drywall surface, etc.
Do you have a fixed rate?
An estimate is a crucial piece of information when hiring an electrician, but even better is an electrician that offers a variety of cost options. Most electricians will agree that paying by the hour is a good way to get value for money on small jobs, while a fixed rate provides peace of mind that you won’t blow the budget on a big job.
How safe the electrical wiring is in your home?
One question you should ask your electrician is how safe the electrical wiring is in your home. And is there anything that you can do to improve the electrical safety in your home? The electrical wiring in your home is very important in making your home a safe place to live. The electrician will let you know if he is concerned about anything and what you should do to fix the problem.
How do I Lower your electric bill for your home?
One thing that people don’t often think to ask an electrician is whether there is anything you can do to help lower your electric bill for your home. This is a simple question to ask and your electrician may know of ways to save you hundreds of dollars during the year on your electric bill. So it is a good question for your electrician to answer.
Is your home safe from an earthquake, hurricane, and other natural disasters?
Your electrician may know of ways to help save energy all around your home. Another question to ask your electrician is whether they think your home is safe from an earthquake, hurricane, and other natural disasters. Disaster-proof homes are quite popular these days and especially in areas that get hit the worst with bad weather.
Electricians may be able to help you find resources that can make your home a lot safer from natural disasters.
Receptacles and outlets in your home and if they should be replaced?
Another question you may want to ask an electrician is about your receptacles and outlets in your home and if they should be replaced. A lot of older homes may have old wiring and need all the outlets and receptacles replaced. The light fixtures may also need updating.
Running one appliance at a time is better than running two appliances at a time?
You can ask your electrician about other ways to save money around your home. Running one appliance at a time is better than running two appliances at a time. This is a way that will help lower your electric bill each month.
The electrician may tell you to unplug and turn off items that you are not using. This is also a good way to cut back on your electricity.
What is your warranty or service guarantee?
Most electrical contractors guarantee their labor and honor manufacturer warranties on fixtures or devices you purchase from them for the job they perform in your home. This information should be available in writing, so you can reference it in the future if necessary.
Will there be any disruption in my electrical service?
For most electrical work to be done safely, the power needs to be turned off to either the entire house or to the room where the work is being done. Ask your electrician what your job requires so that you can prepare accordingly.
Is this a long-term fix for my problem?
In some cases, especially if the wiring or main electrical panel in your house is older, the only way to truly fix an electrical problem involves extensive rewiring. If you’re not prepared for that type of work and there aren’t any immediate safety concerns, your electrician will likely be able to design a less invasive (but temporary) fix.
Don’t let the long-term solution fall from your list of priorities, however. New wiring or a higher-amp electrical panel might not be as fun and exciting as a kitchen or bathroom renovation, but they’re always an excellent investment in your home (and your safety).
What Guarantees Do You Offer?
Ideally, everything will work well after the job is done and you are satisfied. However, if not, you want to see what policies there are in warranties and guarantees. This showcases how much the electrician is willing to stand behind the quality of their work.
Do you have insurance?
An insured electrician is a safe electrician. If an accident occurs during any installation, repair, or renovation project, the electrical contractor is responsible for any monetary benefits to the person who gets hurt on your job.
Not only do insured electricians protect workers’ rights, but they also protect you as the consumer. If accidents to materials happen or thefts occur, a professional electrician with builders risk insurance will have no problem replacing stolen or damaged goods without any expense to you.
There are many ideas for your home that an electrician may be able to help you with. So remember to ask them if you have the opportunity to. Information is usually free if they are working at your home.
There are very good electricians available everywhere to do quality electrical work in your home. And help you out by telling you to think about your home that no one else can but a qualified electrician.