It’s well known that poor or outdated electrical work — in residential or commercial buildings — can lead to fires, cause your homeowners’ insurance to be cancelled, and accrue a lot of extra money in repairs for what was thought to be a simple renovation project. What isn’t as well known is how to spot a good, licensed electrician from an unlicensed electrician.
The importance of spotting the difference cannot be overstated.
Why is an Electrician’s License Important?
Similar to the other trades, electrical work requires years of training & study. This includes five years of education, 10,000 hours of on-the-job training, and in Waterloo Region, passing certain tests to verify their knowledge & skill. In fact, electrical training is one of the longer trades requiring apprenticeship.
It isn’t just the electrician’s skill & knowledge that matters, it’s also the local laws and codes the electrician must know inside and out. Building codes vary by Region & province, which is why it’s even more important to make sure the electrician you hire is aware of local laws and bylaws. The tips below will help you determine if the person you’re hiring has done their due diligence to be fully certified in Waterloo Region.
Questions To Ask
Who will be doing the work? Is it the person providing the quote? The owner? One of their employees? A Subcontractor? If it is an employee, make sure you also ask how many years of experience they have. If it is a subcontractor, ask for their contact info to speak with them directly, and ask them to provide the proper licensing. If they can’t, find a new contractor. If they are lax or seem to avoid the topic instead of producing right away, find a new contractor.
Tips for verifying a license
There are three main types of information that you can use to verify a license. You can use the number that appears on the license. You can get the information using the electrician’s full name and then logging onto The Ontario College of Trades Website (We reference this in an earlier post about plumbers). Verification of the electrician’s license can also be provided by the company they work for.
If you call us at CJ Brubacher Ltd., we could tell you we have a Master Electrician, verified by the Region of Waterloo.
An additional step you can take is to ask for proof of liability insurance. The insurance company can verify the license.
If the company is not willing to stand behind their employee, you might want to question the legitimacy of that organization. Additionally, if the person scheduled to do your electrical work is an independent contractor, feel free to ask them for their license.
If you are left in doubt about an electrician’s skills or license validity, we recommend skipping them by and finding an organization that you feel you can trust.
If you are curious what some typical skills that an licensed electrical worker might have, we’ve got you covered:
Electrical Systems & Controls
Installations & Maintenance
Generators & Transformers
Switches & Circuit Breakers
Electrical Code, Safety & QA
Blueprints & Schematics
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about electrical work, plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, please contact us at:
CJ Brubacher Ltd.
19 First St E