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Everything You Need To Know About Finding An Electrician

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For the safety of homeowners and to prevent electrical accidents, all states and territories require electrical work to be carried out by a licensed contractor . Unlicensed electrical work is illegal and may also be unsafe. The only exceptions to this rule are simple tasks such as changing a lightbulb or plugging an appliance into an existing outlet. If electrical wiring is involved in any way, the job must be done by a licensed electrician. For more information about the licensing of electricians in your state or territory, visit .

What an Electrician Does

A licensed electrician is qualified to carry out any type of electrical work in the home, from installing a light switch to wiring an entire home. Some of the specific jobs electricians often carry out include (click links for further information):

Electrical rewiring : The wiring in older homes eventually wears out or is unable to handle the load of modern appliances. Rewiring can be partial or complete, depending on the age of your home and the condition of the wiring. At the same time, the electrician may need to replace your electrical switchboard and install new light switches and power points. Electrical repairs : Minor electrical repairs can include replacing outlets or light switches and repairs to wiring. Safety switches : These protect you and your family from power surges, faulty appliances and damaged wiring. The safety switch works by monitoring the flow of electricity through a circuit. The safety switch will "trip"(shut off the power) when the electrical current escapes from the system. Lighting : If you need lights installed or repaired in your home or commercial premises, a licensed electrician can help. Whether you have LED, track, fluorescence, neon, halogen or flood lights or would prefer downlights or garden lights, an electrician can help with installation and repair. An electrical security lighting electrician can help you with your indoor and outdoor security lighting system. Wiring a new home : If you are building a new home, you will need a construction electrician for wiring and installing all the electrical elements and outlets. Proper planning and consultation will ensure you have an electrical system that suits the layout and design of your new home. Power points : Legally, only electricians can replace or repair electrical power points. They can also give you valuable advice about the number of power points you need and their placement in the home. Switchboards : These route electricity around a building and are designed to protect you from electrocution. Electrical switchboards can also help to isolate faulty wiring and appliances. Test and tag : This involves testing and labeling electrical equipment so that the electrician can identify and repair faulty items. Test and tag equipment can also detect insulation deficiencies and earth leakages. Renovations : If you are renovating your home or commercial premises, an electrician will need to be consulted to install or remove power points, sockets and lighting. They can also assist with routing new wiring and installing or updating switchboards for the renovation. Solar Power : Installing a solar power system can help improve the energy efficiency of your home and reduce your energy costs. Solar power electricians are specialists and some licensed electricians may not be qualified to carry out a full solar installation. Back Up Generators : It can be a good idea to install a back up generator to provide a back-up source of electricity in your home. You should buy a back up generator depending on how often you will need it. Your electrician will be able to advise on a suitable generator to suit your needs. Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) : A UPS is a back-up system used to protect electrical equipment from surges and power failures. The system provides backup power to equipment such as modems, fax machines and computers.

Licensed electricians are up-to-date with the latest technology and can also install:

Data cabling Fibre optic cabling Home automation systems Home entertainment systems Alarm systems Air conditioning

These electricians may be specialists. Click the appropriate link above to find a specialist electrician in your area.

Choosing an Electrician

By law, all electrical work must be done by a licensed professional. Their current, valid licence also gives you legal protection, so check their licence before you hire an electrician. They must also carry Worker?s Compensation insurance and General Liability Insurance. Ask to see certificates of insurance.

At the end of the job, the electrician should provide a certificate of electrical safety or similar certificate. This states that the work that has been performed by a licensed professional, has been tested and is safe. The certificate is required by law and protects you in case something goes wrong.

Finally, ask if they provide a emergency electrician service should something go wrong unexpectedly.

How Much Does an Electrician Cost?

For smaller jobs, electricians often charge by the hour. Their rates start at about $50 an hour but can be as high as $100 or more, depending on the services they provide and the area you live in. Some electricians charge set rates for routine jobs such as installing a power point. Most electricians charge a call-out rate that can be as high as their hourly rate or even higher. For this reason, if you have several small jobs that need doing (such as installing power points), you can probably save money by having them all done at once. Also arrange for the electrician to come during normal working hours whenever possible, to avoid paying extra for an emergency call outside of normal working hours.

For larger jobs and special installations (such as a home automation system), electricians may quote for the entire job, including materials. When comparing quotes from electricians, read the quotes carefully to be sure they all include the same level of service. Remember that the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best. It is more important that you are comfortable with the person or company that is performing the work.

Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces. This article was updated 28 July 2015 to reflect current market pricing.

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