Selecting a qualified electrical contractor for your home or business can be challenging, especially when you don’t know what to look out for. Here are 5 things to look for when choosing an electrician.
Are they registered?
In South Africa, there are bodies that govern electricians. It is imperative to confirm that your electrician of choice is registered with the Department of Labour. Being registered enables the electrician to issue you with a COC (Certificate of Compliance) – which is one of the most important duties of a qualified electrical contractor. A COC 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 electrician that cannot do so, should not be used. It is important to note that it is not sufficient for only the owner of the electrical business to be registered but all the electricians they employ as well.
Word of mouth has always been a popular way to evaluate a service provider, but now with the widespread availability and use of the internet, testimonials and reviews for the companies we use are always at our fingertips. Take a look at the electrician’s website, Facebook Page and Hello Peter Reviews for references from previous clients. If you’re working with someone specific to your area, try asking on your local Facebook or WhatsApp group if anyone has used this electrician and to provide you with a reference.
SABS approved materials
With the influx of electrical goods being imported from around the world for a fraction of the selling price in South Africa, many electricians save costs by using products that aren’t SABS approved. The SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) provides standards and conformity assessment services, ensuring all products have met industry standards and safety checks. Almost 4000 fires are caused each year due to electrical faults and the problem extends to safety devices such as circuit breakers and earth-leakage units. We encourage you to choose an electrician that only buys products from trusted brands, these products should have the manufacturers name, mark or origin, related voltage, related wattage, frequency etc. When in doubt, contact SAFEhouse for assistance.
Guarantees and Warranties
Guarantees and warranties are a sign of quality workmanship and genuine customer service. Good electricians offer warranties on their work so you are covered if something goes wrong after the electrical work is completed. Many leading electricians also offer satisfaction guarantees to ensure that you get the result you want and the work is corrected if you’re not satisfied .
Nothing scares homeowners more than the fear of excess charges, added costs and drawn out time frames when using any service contractor. Like many other home and building services, electricians may often charge a call out fee – a normal practice widely accepted in the industry. Although the call out fee may be expensive, electricians usually absorb this if you choose to utilize their services. Once the electrician has provided you with a detailed quote of the work needed, it is advised to get 2 other estimates from other electricians before making your decision.
Finding the right electrician can be tough when there are so many options to choose from, but prioritising quality, safety, efficiency and service can help you choose the right electrical contractor for your home. As always, we remind you that meters should be installed by a technically competent person according to codes. Citiq Prepaid registered meters must be installed after or “down-stream” of a Council meter (either prepaid or monthly account) and must be protected by overload and earth leakage.