If you’ve got a flickering light switch, a faulty outlet, or just no power at all, an experienced electrician could solve your problems in a jiffy. But can they always be relied on to tell you the straight-up facts? Probably not, but then who can blame them? When money’s involved, how many of us can say we’re always 100% honest? So, what do you need to know that they’re not telling you? Find out with these ‘10 Things Your Electrician Will Never Tell You’.
1. You don’t need them
Electricity can be dangerous, even lethal. But that doesn’t mean you need an electrician to do every little thing for you. Sure, they’ll be happy enough to come around and fix a faulty bulb if it means they’ll get a paycheck out of the deal, but is it really necessary? No. As homeify recommends, next time you find yourself in pitch darkness, try changing the bulb. Nine times out of ten, that’s all that’s needed. If that fails to do the job, check the circuit breakers and the reset switches on GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets – and no, you don’t need a certificate or 10 years training to do this is. If that still fails to resolve the problem, look outside – if all your neighbors are sat in darkness as well, the chances are there’s a much bigger problem than what’s happening in your home.
2. You’ve left it too late
There’s something to be said for trying to fix a problem yourself. There’s also something to be said for asking for help before a problem snowballs. If you’ve changed a bulb but the lights continuing to flicker, or if you’re having to reset a circuit breaker each and every day, the problem’s clearly gone beyond what you can reasonably be expected to manage on your own. Call an electrician now, before that small problem escalates into something altogether more serious – and expensive.
3. You can save money by booking a morning call
When you’re considering how much a visit from an electrician is going to cost you, there’s a lot more to it than just the costs of labor and parts. Most professionals will also charge you for the time and mileage costs of getting to your home, a crafty little fee that can soon add up. But there’s a way to beat the system. Most electricians take their work van home with them – if you manage to get your service call booked in for first thing in the morning, and presuming you’ve had the good sense to book a local electrician, you should make some nice little savings.
4. Cutting corners could kill you
Most people like to save money where they can, and most of us are more than capable of taking on some minor work around the house. But if you’re the kind of person who likes to take as many short cuts as possible if it means getting the job done quicker, don’t even think about trying any amateur electrical work at home. Cutting corners when those corners involve electricity is a fool’s errand – just don’t do it.
5. You can’t trust the colors
Even for those of us who’ve never seen the inside of a power outlet in our lives, there’ a few things we know for fact. Like, it has three wires, and the colors designate the status – black for hot, white for neutral, and copper for ground. Except, as it turns out, everything we thought we knew is wrong. That hot wire could be white. It might be copper. It could even be red, or, indeed, any other color it cares to be. As brayelectricalservices.com advises, stay safe and always use a voltage tester to make sure you’re not working with a live wire.
6. They can’t help you with your Smart device
If you’re turning your house into a Smart home, don’t expect your electrician to be able to connect the electrical fixtures to your Smart device. They aren’t computer programmers and the fact that they know about electricity doesn’t mean they know about technology. Sure, they might offer to give you a hand, but does that mean they know what they’re doing any more than you? No.
7. The reason they’re cheap is because they’re not qualified
Electricians aren’t unskilled labor. It took long, extensive training for them to get to where they are, hence the reason they can justify charging you quite so much as they do. Unless they haven’t gone through that training, of course. If an electrician quotes you at half the going rate, take it as a red flag. Always ask to see their license before you hire them. If they can’t produce the goods, find someone who can.
8. They live and die by word of mouth
You’re not always going to find an electrician that lives up to their promise. But if you do, tell people about it. Electricians live on word of mouth. If you’re happy, tell your friends, your family, your workmates, and anyone else in need of some good professional assistance. Not only will you be doing a ‘good thing’, it might even help you get a discount in the future.
9. You can pick your own parts
An electrician will do the work for you, but don’t expect them to pick all the parts at the same time. If you’re installing light fixtures or ceiling fans, don’t expect them to know what your tastes are… or find a fixture that matches. As Reader’s Digest recommends, take the time to visit the hardware store and pick your own parts – although be sure to check in with them first in case you’ve any concerns about how well your choice will fit.
If you’re having an electrical problem that requires outside help, think carefully about any changes you’ve made recently that could have caused the problem. Have you changed a light switch? Moved an outlet? Installed a ceiling fan? List all the problems you’ve noticed, along with any changes you’ve made, and present it to your electrician before they start. It’ll help them identify the cause of the issue that much faster- and the quicker they finish, the less you pay.