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Don’t cut corners on electrical service. Hire a qualified electrician familiar with the sort of work you need done.

Defective wiring is a fire waiting to happen. That’s enough reason to get an experienced electrician, but not the only one. Even though wiring may seem like a easy proposition, either the light goes on or it doesn’t, it’s really a big interdependent network.

Circuits that are usually safe but badly designed can damage electronic gear and appliance motors when they give the wrong amperage. Lights on even partially overloaded circuits can flicker when an appliance is in use, or the fuse might blow, or the breaker could trip, shutting down the circuit all together. Using a knowledgeable electrician can aid you in avoiding these issues.

Qualifications

Getting a qualified electrician is simpler than finding the right plumber or carpenter. You can assume a certain level of proficiency when an electrician shows you his state license, but there are two levels of electricians.

Master Electrician: Has excelled a standardized test and has at least two years of experience. He/She knows the National Electrical Code and any changes that your state has made to it. He/She is qualified to design, install, maintain, and plan an electrical system for your job.

Journeyman Electrician: Hasn’t met the requirements for a master’s license but is licensed by the state. By law, he/she can’t design systems but can install equipment and wiring.

There’s another part of the safety net. Most electrical work necessitates a permit issued by your local building department. Before the building inspector can sign off on the work, the inspector has to inspect to see if it’s up to code.

Picking the Right Electrician

Electricians usually specialize. Some focus on new construction, some just in commercial properties and some go only on service calls to repair faulty fixtures or non-working outlets.

When interviewing an electrician, request to see a copy of his state license and proof of insurance. They both should be current. An electrician working on a residential renovation project must have a minimum of $500,000 in workers’ compensation and liability insurance coverage for himself and his crew. If everything seems on the up and up, look at a previous project and check references.

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