Hiring an electrician should be simple. An electrician is an electrician, right? Google, find the closest electrical contractor and call them. Right?

Not really. You’ll need to carefully consider who to call, and what to ask them when you do.
The first consideration is what you need the electrician for.

What electrician or electrical contractor, do you need?

  • Do you need an electrician for the installation of an electrical system or component?
  • Is it for inspection of an existing electrical installation or system?
  • Is it for electrical system maintenance?
  • For the upgrade of electrical systems?
  • Do you need an emergency electrical repair?

Ask your Electrician the following 8 Questions

Taking the above into consideration, prepare a list of questions, to ensure you get the right electrician for the job. Consider what the cost could be if you don’t prepare questions or opt only for the lowest quote. If asking these questions feels awkward at any point, fall back on “it’s for my insurance”. This is never a lie.

  1. What are your qualifications?
  2. Are you a certified electrician? Is your certification up to date?
  3. Is your business registered, and do you belong to the SA Electrical Contractor’s Association? (ECASA)
    (The above credentials should be displayed on a formal quotation. If you get a quote without them, you really need to ask, ‘why not?’)
  4. What electrical work do you (or your company) specialise in?
  5. What experience do you have with this kind of electrical work or system? (Don’t be afraid to ask for specifics!)
  6. Can you supply me with an Electrical Compliance Certificate?
  7. Do you have personal liability insurance?
  8. Who is going to do the actual work? Will you be on site to supervise if it will be your employees, and do you have workman’s compensation insurance in case of an accident?

A good electrical contractor knows you should ask these questions. Most of the answers you need should be pre-prepared and supplied along with the contract, but if they are not – ask away. Better to be safe than sorry.