When considering new construction or a remodeling project, one of the most important aspects is the electrical portion of the work. While many homeowners do some of the electrical work themselves, it is wise to enlist the services of a licensed electrical contractor. Electrical wiring, circuit boxes, and fixtures can represent a severe hazard, resulting in fire or injury if not properly assembled and installed.
Most local building authorities require that even residential electrical wiring meet local code specifications. An inspection must be performed upon completion of work before drywall is installed, and a certificate of inspection provided by the inspector or licensed electrician.
Finding the Right Contractor
When hiring an electrical contractor, make sure they meet these guidelines:
Provide a written quote for the price of the work they will be doing.
Provide references of completed projects, and proof of current liability insurance.
Are licensed for work in your locality
They will obtain the necessary permits and application for inspection
They will provide the signed certificate of inspection upon completion
After selecting a contractor, and when drawing up the contract, be sure to include detailed information on project specifics. Include such things as start and finish dates, specifications of fixtures and materials, and a detailed payment plan. It is normal for the contractor to ask for 10 to 33% of the project cost in advance.
The Inspection Process
Because wiring, circuit boxes, and fixtures must meet electrical code and be inspected before other aspects of the project can be completed, it is important to meet with all other contractors when planning and scheduling work, to insure the project progresses smoothly.
In addition to the mentioned inspections, if there will be any buried cable involved, that will also need to be inspected before trenching is backfilled. Wiring to the meter, the main disconnect, and grounding must also be inspected.
Portable electric generators provide a good source of power, but if improperly installed or operated, can become deadly.
To keep families safe, The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offer a helpful new video and recommend taking the following precautions:
- Contact a licensed electrician to install your generator to make sure it meets local codes. Do not connect generators directly to household wiring without an appropriate transfer switch installed.
Power from generators connected directly to household wiring can backfeed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including lineworkers making repairs. Other tips include:
- Make sure your generator is properly grounded.
- Keep the generator dry.
- Make sure extension cords used with generators are rated for the load, and are free of cuts and worn insulation and have three-pronged plugs.
- Do not overload the generator. A portable generator should be used only when necessary and only to power essential equipment or appliances.
- Never operate the generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Use carbon monoxide detectors in nearby enclosed spaces to monitor levels. Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, which can be deadly.
- Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries.
- Make sure fuel for the generator is stored safely, away from living areas, in properly labeled containers and away from fuel-burning appliances. Before re-fueling, always turn the generator off and let it cool down.
- Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator.
- Keep children away from portable generators at all times.
Electricity is a powerful tool. It can also be a lethal hazard. Better safety standards have reduced electrical hazards that cause deaths, injuries and property damage. But good safety habits are still the best prevention against electrical hazards.
JERMAR Electric Service, Inc.
Certified Electrical Contractor
Residential & Commercial – Licensed & Insured
Call (239) 772-3598 today – We offer FREE Estimates!
We accept most major credit cards!