Use these points when choosing an electrical contractor.
At some point, all of us (unless you’re an electrician) are going to need some electrical work done either at your home or at your office.
Like most things modern, you are able to do a reasonable amount of research before making a final choice, plus with the consumer protection act behind you, you are now able to request a lot more formal documentation from potential contractors than ever before.
When choosing an electrical contractor, check for the following :
Reputation : Look for an established business with more than 5 years experience. The easiest way to find this out is to go to their website – if they don’t have a website, this should start ringing bells. However, not every electrical contractor that doesn’t have a website should be disqualified.
Call the number for the office and see who answers, then ask them to send you their details especially their ECA and ECB numbers.
Every electrical contractor must be registered with the Electrical Contractor’s Association and the Electrical Contracting Board.
These are the bodies that govern all electrical contractors in South Africa.
Can the Electrical Contractor issue a Certificate of Compliance?
One of the most important duties of a qualified electrical contractor is the issuance of a COC – or Certificate of Compliance.
This document verifies that the electrical work and installations that have been completed on a property are up to the regulations required by the South African National Standards and are safe.
This can only be issued by certified electricians and any electrical contractor that cannot do so, should be kept at arm’s length.
Another check point is whether their staff and personnel are qualified or not? All very well having the owner of the business as a qualified electrical contractor, but if the staff he sends to work on your property are not- that could be a problem.
Lastly, check if they are using SABS approved materials..this ensures that any plugs, switches, breakers, wiring or other electrical components are safe for use in that application. Poor quality materials can lead to overheating, burn outs and risk of fire.
Call out fees and quotes for Electrical Contractors – what’s kosher?
Do not be fooled by “no call out” charge.
It costs the electrical contractor to get to you, time is money so inevitably the “call out” is added to the installation and materials cost which is often for more than the initial call out.
Shopping around will give you an idea of the type of rates and call out’s that businesses charge…take your time and don’t be rushed or pushed into accepting a quote if you are not absolutely comfortable with it.
Check online and with Hello Peter and even better, ask your friends if they know someone they would recommend.
Do not accept a quote over the phone or online it is impossible to assess the problem without seeing or testing first.
Watch out for:
- Unbranded “personal” vehicles.
- No landline number
- No website or email
- “Cash only” requests
- Do not pay upfront
Most importantly, trust your gut! If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t and no electrical problem is worth this kind of risk.
Rather spend some more time and find a proper electrical contractor to help you or contact us at Art Electrical and we will gladly assist.