Where Do You Need Electricians?
Maintaining and repairing your home is a major part of life for homeowners, and when electrical problems arise you have to proceed with extreme caution. Even if you are able to safely complete minor electrical repairs on your own it is much safer to use a licensed electrician who can ensure there are no lingering hazards that could cause future fires or outages in your home.
There is no question that hiring a certified electrician is the best choice for any type of electrical work and it is their job to stay trained and keep your homes electricity within local safety codes.
Know the Local Laws: The laws change from one area to the next, one reason for this is because a particular area may have had a spate of common or similar problems in that past that now need to be regulated. There are usually distinctions made between what you as the homeowner may be allowed to do and what a licensed electrician can do. These jobs could vary in their level of difficulty; appliance installation is one thing, hanging a chandelier is another, and rewiring your entire kitchen may have different restrictions on who is permitted to do the job.
Know the Local Codes: Local electrical codes will vary based on external factors such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, the local water table, and the type of building materials. If your electrician lacks over two years of experience in your area then these local code issues could come back and cost you more down the road.
Depending on the scope and the nature of the job you require the cost of an electrician can vary widely. For example, simple jobs around the house like replacing a wall panel can cost anywhere from $1,200 - $2,000, or rewiring an entire house could easily set you back between $8,000 - $15,000 and much more depending on the size and age of your home.
The price of a job will depend greatly on what you need to have done as well as the type of guarantees they offer. Electricians also take into consideration the urgency of the job and how fast you need it done. The average cost of electrical services nationwide is around $400 with a minimum cost hovering around $100 and a maximum cost of around $800.
Still, those figures may not accurately reflect your needs. Most electricians charge by the hour so you'll have to factor in the speed of the worker into the costs as well. Hourly wages can also vary from one location to the next and the level of skill and experience of the electrician you hire, with a low average cost for a Master Electrician at around $40/hour and a high at about $100. A licensed journeyman average pay is around $22 - 24/hour and an apprentice electrician making around $10 - 19/ hour. The type of electrician you hire mostly impacts this price difference.
Electricity can be one of the most dangerous things you can deal with; it can kill instantly or cause major damage to your property. There are however some very simple precautions that everyone can take to avoid catastrophe. The main hazards when working with or near electricity are:
Of course, because most of us are not experts in handling electricity we may not be aware that we need to call in help until it's too late. Here are a few things that can tell you if your home electrical system is in good working order.
How old is your wiring? Old wiring is a major cause of electrical fires in a home. Have your wiring, cables, switches, sockets, and other related accessories checked on a regular basis. Any of the following are signs that you need to update your wiring and make some additional changes:
Other signs that you may have a problem: Burning smells, sounds of buzzing or crackling in the walls, fuses blowing frequently, or circuit breakers tripping. Warning - always call an electrician at the first sign of a problem.
Always watch out for the little things that you contribute to electrical hazards in your home:
While most electrical projects are best left in the hands of trained electricians there are a few basic lessons that every homeowner should understand. The fundamentals of how your electrical system works and what is safe to do and what is not are a must in every household so you can identify when it is necessary to contact a professional.
Electrical Service Panels: The metal box that is mounted somewhere on the wall (often in the garage on along the side of the house) contains either circuit breakers or fuses that control all the electrical wiring in your home. It should also include a main breaker or fuse that will cut off all the power controlled by that panel. Its purpose is so that you can limit the amount of electricity that flows through the house in the event of electrical shock or fire. When you want to cut the power to a certain area, simply flip the labeled breaker switch and the power is cut.
The National Electrical Code: Any electrical work whether it be wiring, repairs, replacement of parts, etc. must comply with the National Electrical Code, which is intended to ensure that the electrical wiring is not only functional but safe. If you have an electrical problem that you think you can fix yourself, it would be wise to find out if you can comply with this code. Anything short of their listed requirements would be considered illegal and a hazard which could affect your homeowner's insurance and property values as well.
No matter how well and attentive you are about your home's electrical needs, there will inevitably come a time when you'll need some type of electrical work done. If you are knowledgeable enough and the job is within your realm of expertise, you should have no problems making the repairs yourself, however, there are some common mistakes that many homeowners often make that could cause major problems later on if they're not careful. Correcting them will ensure you have a safer home and peace of mind.
Even though there may be some severe restrictions for a homeowner to do DIY electrical work in their house there are precautions that can be taken to increase safety in the home:
When you set out to have an electrician work on your home it is critical to answer a few questions:
The Inspection: The electrician should inspect your electric meter for defects, the wires for fraying or damage, the main panel box for insufficient clearance, oxidation or corrosion, overheated components and the presence of moisture, and wall switches for reversed polarity and ungrounded circuits.