As a home owner, it can be easy to let some of the regular maintenance slip every now and then. One thing you should ALWAYS keep up with is your electrical system! Electricity is at the heart of modern civilization so if it goes out you will find yourself surrounded with candles, heating food over fire like some sort of Neanderthal. Also, a faulty electrical system can lead to disastrous fires. So it’s always a good idea to have an electrician, such as The Shock Doctors, on your side. We sat down with Lara Grundt from The Shock Doctors in Ontario, to learn more about your electrical panel and how to find a great electrician!
First things first, your home’s whole electrical system should be inspected annually. “Your electrical panel is the heart of your home,” Lara says, “Just like the heart in your body, we rely on it, the circuits, and wires to carry electricity and keep everything functioning properly.” Just like an annual check-up can catch health problems ahead of time, an annual inspection can catch electrical problems before they are serious. If you have an older home, it becomes even more imperative you have your home inspected. Lara warns, “The older your home, the higher the probability that wiring has been added after it was originally wired. Many times, it has not been done safely or professionally.” At The Shock Doctors they have a 12-point Electrical Inspection so you can have a clear picture of your electrical system. This service takes about two hours and will include a sit down with your electrician so he can explain the findings.
Lara’s tips to find a great electrician:
1) A License – You should always ask if your electrician has a license to perform electrical work. “If you are not sure if your electrician is licensed, you can check on the Electrical Safety Authority website,” Lara says. At The Shock Doctors, all of their electricians completed their apprenticeship with them, and have stayed on as fully fledged electricians!
2) Insurance – Ask if they have insurance, and to see the current insurance policy. “If your electrician cannot provide a current insurance policy to show you,” Lara says, “You are accepting a huge risk if an incident happens on your property.” For example, The Shock Doctors has $5 million in insurance to take the risk away from their customers.
3) References – “An electrician with nothing to hide will be happy to provide you with a list of references,” Lara explains. Also, you should be able to find them online
4) Experience – Typically, the longer a company has been in business, the more experience they have. The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is a great website to search businesses to find licenses, if they are in good standing, and how long they have had it.
5) Warranties – Ask to see if they offer a warranty on their electrical work. For example, The Shock Doctors guarantees electrical panels for life, provides a 3-year parts and labour warranties on all their installations, and maintenance plans for generators.
6) Permits – You should be informed ahead of time if a permit is necessary. In Ontario, almost all electrical work will require a permit. “The Electrical Safety Authority lists all electrical work on their website and if a permit is required,” Lara says.
7) Fixed Rate – There’s nothing worse than hidden fees! You should ask about fixed rates before hiring an electrician. At The Shock Doctors, once the electrician is able to evaluate the problem, the price they quote is the price you pay!
“You know you have a great electrical contractor when all 7 items are clearly explained in the initial contact with that contractor, without you having to ask.”
The Shock Doctors have been serving the Ontario area for over 35 years. They stay up to date with all regulations, are insured, all their electricians are certified, and are available 24/7. If they say they will be there, they will be! They guarantee their appointments within a two hour window, and will call a half hour before they arrive. They aim to to be as transparent and comprehensive as they can be. Once your problem has been diagnosed, they will give you a firm price. At the end of a job, that’s the price you will pay, no hidden fees! Their electricians will explain the problem to you, so you know exactly what they are doing and why. They offer a unique membership program, which includes specials and promotions, and an annual inspection. They have been recongnized for their excellence by Three Best Rated®, and have been named one of the three best electricians in Barrie and Orillia, Ontario. When The Shock Doctors arrive, your home electrical problems are diagnosed, treated, and cured – guaranteed!
• A breaker or fuse repeatedly trips
• Parts of your home are experiencing a brownout (intermittent brightening and dimming of the lighting)
• Your electrical panel is making a buzzing sound, is warm to the touch, or smells like burned plastic (CALL ELECTRICIAN ASAP!!)
• Someone gets a shock from an appliance, switch, or receptacle
• Power is interrupted to a circuit (multiple receptacles or switches)
• Power is interrupted to a single receptacle (kitchen, workshop, pumps)
• A switch does not appear to control any electrical device, or controls a device improperly
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call your electrician to discuss the next steps you need to take.
Written by Eileen Shone, Three Best Rated®