Most Common Mistakes People Make When They Encounter Electrical Issues

CFI ELECTRIC LTD. | Apr 02, 2018

When working with electricity, safety is paramount! Most people acknowledge this and choose to work with an electrician while carrying out electrical repairs. However, while getting their electrical work completed, people often commit avoidable errors, as they may have been unaware of a few bits of information.

With over three decades of carrying out electrical work, CFI Electric Ltd. has faced a wide variety of challenging situations that could have been dodged, had the client been aware of a few details. To help avoid these kinds of situations and help homeowners get the best electrical services in the quickest possible time, we have compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid when dealing with electrical work.

1. Not researching the problem before contacting an electrician. The most common mistake is contacting an electrical contractor without doing any research into your electrical needs. If it’s an issue about lights flickering, or power outlets not working, it would be a good idea to take a look online on your phone or computer to see why. Having a general idea of what went wrong will help you explain the problem to an electrician when you decide to call them. In addition, as the electrician has a better idea of what could be the cause of the problem, they will give you a quote or estimate for how much it will cost you to fix it, and how long it may take.

2. Not taking advantage of free estimates. Often, customers, don’t take advantage of free estimates to get more information about their electrical problem. You don’t need to get a college trades diploma in electrical work to know what’s wrong, but it will usually cost you next to nothing to get a free estimate. Calling a licensed electrical contractor to explain what they think is wrong with your electrical system is a great way to educate yourself on the problem and also discern between contractors that might mislead you into believing you have more problems than you really do. By using free estimates, you get the opinions and prices of many contractors, and their information will help you decide who to hire. Always hire a fully licensed electrical contractor who is bonded (insured) for the electrical work. You can always ask them for their licenses upfront, and if they refuse to show them for any reason, we recommend you DO NOT hire them for electrical work for your own safety.

3. Hiring a handyman or unlicensed electrician. Hiring a handyman and unlicensed electrician to perform cheap electrical work isn’t a great idea. Sure, paying less for the same fix is an attractive option, but in this line of work, we have discovered many alarming electrical set-ups that are prone to creating an electrical fire hazard or fail to function as intended in a relatively short period. In the long run, we had found that when customers hired a licensed electrician for an electrical problem, they paid less on the whole, rather than customers that had the problem fixed cheaply and were then fired to hire a licensed electrician for the same problem. We suggest that you make use of a free estimate if the electrical contractors advertise it, this way you will learn more about the problem you are experiencing and more about the average pricing for the work to be completed.

4. Not having a definite plan. One common issue we face while carrying out any work is a lack of decision making among couples. Having someone who can make the final decision is important because bouncing the contractor back and forth between you and your significant other will be time-consuming for both you and the contractor. It’s always a good idea to discuss the situation with your partner before contacting the electrical contractor so that you can ask about all the electrical problems you may have at the beginning. Contractors can offer you a decent price when you decide to get all your work done at once or under one contract as opposed to getting the same work done in installments which could cost more.

Getting work done in installments is advisable for customers who are doing home improvement projects, which require multiple contractors working at a location to get the work done in a specific order. In this scenario, the customer can usually make a deal with the contractors for all of the work to be done following a set, agreed upon schedule.

5. Being confused about who should pay the bill. Sometimes a customer doesn’t know who has to pay the electrical contractor for electrical work. This applies to tenants of apartment buildings or houses or people renting out office space(s)/warehouses or industrial units and condominium owners/tenants. Officially, as per tenant-owner contracts, OWNERS are responsible for paying for electrical work with regards to their respective properties. It’s also the OWNER’S responsibility to find and hire an electrical contractor to get the work done in accordance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Sometimes, there can be an agreement made between the tenant and owner such that the tenant pays for the electrical work but will be reimbursed in the form of rent deduction. In simple terms, the owner pays back the tenant by reducing the rent until the balance of the electrical work for which the tenant paid is achieved.

A note for condominium owners, maintenance fees DO NOT COVER electrical problems within your condo unit. Therefore, the owner of the condo unit is responsible to pay for any and all electrical work WITHIN the unit. Maintenance fees cover ANY and ALL electrical work OUTSIDE of what constitutes your condominium unit. For instance, if a breaker malfunctions and needs to be replaced, the owner of the condo unit must find and hire a licensed and bonded (insured) electrician to fix/replace that breaker.

6. Not arranging for parking for the contractors. While this isn’t necessarily a mistake, a problem that affects contractors, in general, is parking availability. In order to get the desired work done on time in an orderly fashion, we advise that you provide parking for contractors. For building tenants and condominium tenants/owners please note, some contractors use tall vans or trucks to carry their materials and equipment around the city, and so they might not fit within the clearance of your garage. Arranging for parking solutions ahead of time will solve one of the simplest yet persistent problems in urbanized areas, and your contractor will thank you for it.

To avoid these and other mistakes made while getting electrical work done, reach out to the experts at CFI Electric Ltd. We’re a member of ECRA/ESA and a fully licensed and insured electrician company in Ontario with over thirty-five years of experience. We specialize in quality electrician services for home (residential), commercial and industrial projects, and all our jobs are completely guaranteed! For a complete list of services we provide, please click here. If you have any questions about CFI Electric Ltd., we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here .