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When Do I Need an Electrician?

When to call an electrician isn’t always clear. Sure, it’s obvious when there are serious electrical issues, but what if you need a dimmer switch installed? What if you’re tackling a kitchen renovation? In cases like these, it might be tempting to DIY, but the truth is, you need an electrician.

Not sure if you need an electrician?

Electrical work is dangerous and is best left to licensed professionals. If you try to do it yourself, you could end up causing damage to your home or, worse, injuring yourself or other household members. If you’re not sure who to call for electrical problems, keep reading to find out how to hire an electrician.

Your first step should be to check out this infographic to determine if your job needs an electrician (downloadable here!). If it seems like you do, then read on! Everything you need to know to hire the right electrician is coming up.

Your next step is to search for electrical contractors near you. Price may be a factor in your decision, but there are other things to consider:

  • Will the electrician coordinate and communicate well with you?
  • Do they have good customer service?
  • Do they arrive on time and work efficiently?
  • Do they answer any questions you might have?
  • Do they do the job right the first time?

Looking at online reviews is an easy way to get a good idea of how a company operates. If there are many negative reviews, looking elsewhere is a good idea.

A flow chart that distrigushes when you need an electrician

Once you’ve found a contractor you'd like to call, here are some questions to ask to secure your decision.

Are you a licensed electrical contractor?

Only a licensed electrical contractor (LEC) can legally do electrical work in your home. The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) regulates and promotes electrical safety in Ontario. A LEC has an ESA number, which they must make publicly visible by law. It should be on their vehicles, business cards, invoices, etc.

For a job, a LEC will pull the required permits and do the work right so it passes an electrical inspection with the ESA. Hiring a LEC is your best protection from unlicensed electrical work's serious risks, costs, and damages.

Kraun vehicle with ESA number

Who will be performing the actual work?
The person you speak to initially may not be the same person who performs the job. It’s important to ensure that the person completing the work has the skills and qualifications to complete it.

What permits are needed for this job?
Permits to complete new electrical work are distributed through the ESA. If the contractor asks you to take out the permit, this is a red flag. A licensed electrical contractor will always pull the required permits.

Do you have a warranty or service guarantee?
A quality licensed electrical contractor will back up their services because they believe in their work. At Kraun, we offer a one-year warranty on both material and installation.

Does your company have insurance?
Asking the electrician if they are fully insured is important because it protects both parties in the instances of property damage or bodily harm that might occur during a job. Without insurance, you could be liable for damages if an incident occurs.

Lastly, what is the cost?
Now that you have answers to the previous questions, it’s time to discuss the price. Most LECs offer free, no-obligation quotes for upgrades or renovations. If you need an electrical repair or have an electrical emergency, you’ll need a diagnostic call. These are typically problem-solving appointments where the electrician spends their time determining what exactly has gone wrong.

At Kraun, we offer free, no-obligation quotes for project-type jobs (renos and upgrades). For fix-type jobs (something is broken), there are two types of diagnostic visits.

  • Basic Diagnostic (the electrician can diagnose the problem within one hour) - $179 plus HST
  • Advanced Diagnostic (the electrician can diagnose the problem within two hours) - $259 plus HST.

Once the problem has been diagnosed, the electrician will provide a quote for the repair cost.

This is everything you need to know about hiring the correct electrical professional for your job. If you need an electrician, contact us! We’d be happy to answer all these questions and more. We can’t wait to get started.

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