Working with electricity poses a significant risk, which is why an electrical contractor must endure years of on the job training and classroom education before proceeding through to gradual licensing examinations. While one may consider electrical contracting a matter of merely feeding wires and fastening appropriate connections, such operations are the mere basics of installation. An electrician must make consistent calculations, follow specific codified safety protocol, and utilize scientific formulae all in a single days work. Due to such extensive preparation for the field, electricians are cognizant of potential safety risks that the homeowner may not be aware of, such as:
-Improperly grounded safety devices
-Live redundant wires and circuits
-and Fire Hazards
For the new homeowner;
Buying a new home, particularly an older unit, presents the buyer with the potential for investing into a property of which the electrical system may be out of date, or altered in some way. Often, homeowners will install additional outlets and lighting in newly renovated basements without understanding basic load calculations, thus overtaxing a circuit.
Any preventative methods for potential homeowners?
Before purchasing a new home, it is recommended that the Electrical Safety Authority—which can determine if any existing work orders or defects have been filed against the home—perform a search of records. If the home is older, the ESA recommends that a Certificate of Inspection be requested from the previous owner if any renovations or alterations have occurred on the property.
I have owned my home for several years, but would like to make some renovations. Do I still need a professional electrician?
Though you may feel you know your home like a close friend, there may be potential issues lurking behind closed walls and spaces which you have never had access to before. In terms of renovations, installation must conform to specific circuit load requirements which may be difficult to determine according to the layout of the home. An electrical contractor will provide a proper layout for your new electrical system which will ensure proper circuit distribution, thereby reducing the potential for overloading and tripped breakers.
What should I look for when choosing a contractor?
First, it is imperative to ensure that the electrical company holds an ECRA Electrical Contractor License, proving that they are licensed within Ontario. Here at Higgins Electrical Contracting, we hold such licensure: #7007802
Further, make sure that the contractor is fully insured, will supply permits for the work, and will provide estimates for the job to be completed.