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Question DetailsAsked on 5/4/2013

how do i choose a good electrician; other than they have to be fully licensed and insured!??

Just bought an older home that has only one electrical outlet in many of the rooms. I need more installed. What do I look for in what they have to do in the installation process? The breaker box and wiring is new throughout the house.

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4 Answers


Finding one of the best electricians is easy, just read the real reviews ,from real homeowners, just like you.

You'll sense a big difference from many of the fake review found on the internet.

The investment in joining the list is small,for the trouble it can save a homeowner from.


Answered 7 years ago by BayAreaAC


See Angie's List response.

Choose a contractor with good word-of-mouth recommendations and who has been in business in the area UNDER SAME OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT for many years, that is generally your safest bet. Ask your friends and neighbors who they have used, and if they were happy with them.

One consideration - If the breaker box and wiring is new, then why did they not also install the current standard number of outlets while they were running the new wire ? If they did not put one outlet on every wall, it leads me to wonder how much is really new, or if they left some old service in. It is possible you will find out that your existing service (outside main breake, junction box, and breaker panel) does not have the electrical capacity for more outlets. The panel is rated for a certain load (regardless of whether it has spare breaker slots) and cannot legally be wired for more than that load. The load is determined by the number and amperage of connected circuits and the number of wired lights and outlets - if you add outlets on a circuit it increases the rated load on that circuit, even though many of those outlets will not be used at the same time.

Your electrician should consider this and advise you of the ENTIRE picture before you look at adding outlets and possibly end up with a house that will fail an inspection when you try to sell it. Also, consider this - to add outlets means cutting into the existing "new" wiring, and running new wiring because of that - you cannot cut into the existing wire with a new box without pulling new wire because the "cut in" takes about 6-24 inches of wire at each box, which was not there in the wall in the first place. So, unless you access from the attic or from an unfinished (or drop-ceiling) basement with individual loops up or down to the outlets, then back to the attic or basement to run to the next box with new circuits, to run entirely wire for the new boxes will mean a number of spots of interior wall finish repair where the electrician has to break into the wall to pull the wires.

One alternative, though it might detract from resale value, is running surface conduit (also known as Surface Mounting Raceway or Electrical Molding - read up onthis on Wikipedia) from existing outlets to a few new outlets where you most need them. I am talking architectural conduit, not plain galvanized conduit tubing - the kind used in commercial buildings for exactly this kind of additions and interior remodels. Obviously, this works only if the existing circuits have the capacity to carry additional outlets.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


From the Angie's List Guide to Electricians:

Ask about education: A reputable company will require staff to attend monthly training courses and be up-to-date on the National Electrical Code, which is amended every three years.

Inquire about costs: Highly rated electricians on Angie's List tell us that replacing just the panel can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000. Rewiring a whole house can run from $8,000 to $15,000 for a 1,500- to 3,000-square-foot home.

Don't forget permits: A permit is usually required in most counties and from the power company any time you're replacing a home's main electrical equipment or doing a significant amount of rewiring. The cost of the permit is often included in your electrician's bill, but be sure to ask. With the permit comes an inspection to ensure the work meets code.

Always check licensing: If your state requires electricians to be licensed, check that the license is current. Poor wire connections, overloaded circuits, improper grounding and broken safety elements on an electrical panel are just a few of the problems that can arise from bad workmanship.To check the licensing for an electrician, refer to the Angie’s List License Check tool.

Have one handy: Most homeowners call electricians in an emergency or if they're building or remodeling, so it's important to research a contractor and find a skilled electrician before you need one.


Answered 7 years ago by JP


There are several degrees of electrician. I'm not sure of all of them but at least, at the top, "master electrician" and under that maybe "journeyman electrician." I'm not sure. I'm not trying to answer the question, only to say that I'm running into the same issue.

From what I am seeing, a master electrician (1) costs more (surprise, LOL!), and (2) might be the head electrician in a firm who sends out his work force sometimes. That's something to check into. The journeyman level might also be well qualified.

I did see a third term used today, "technician." I'd want to ask on a case-by-case basis how much training that entailed. I don't know that is a term supplied by an owner nfor staff he personally trained or if it involves training that is more formal.

A lot depends on the level of complexity of the task you are hiring them for, of course, and whether they are serving as the main worker or just as an assistant.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_988593721

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