We all have at least one handy friend we can call whenever a situation arises. When you need an oil change, you might call your buddy who is great with cars. When you need your house painted, you call your friend with a tall ladder and a great sense of balance. When you need your wiring fixed, you might feel tempted to call your friend who claims to know his way around a fuse box. The last idea is far from the best one – it might even prove to be lethal.
Here’s Why It’s Dangerous to Let a Buddy Wire Your Home
JCP Electric received a call from a woman who outsourced some wiring work to a friend of her significant other. This friend was not a licensed electrician. After he replaced their wiring, their breakers kept tripping randomly. As a last resort, they called us. We’re glad they did.
Their “buddy” who claimed to know about electrical work had rewired their home with speaker wire, a low grade wire designed to hold about 12 volts. Most homes in Arizona are supposed to be wired for 120 volts, leaving the couple’s home dangerously underequipped. If they hadn’t called us on time, the probably is high that they would have experienced an electrical fire that could have burned down their home and harmed their family.
Their story is not at all uncommon, We get calls to fix dangerous and improper work all the time. Rather than taking the risk and spending the money twice, it’s far safer and more budget conscious to call a professional in the first place.
What Licensed Contractors Have to Know in Arizona
The state of Arizona won’t take chances licensing someone with subpar experience or qualifications. In order to receive an electrical contractor license, potential contractors must meet a certain set of criteria before they’re even allowed to take a test. Everyone who applies for a license is required to have a minimum of four years of experience within the last ten years without incident. Contractors must take a written exam and furnish or participate in a bond.
There are four different types of contractor licenses for electricians. Each requires a test involving general knowledge, service feeders and branch circuits, conductors and cables, raceways and boxes, grounding and bonding, devices, motors, special occupancies and equipment, lighting, illuminated signs, low voltage electrical, fire detectors and alarms, overcurrent protection, photovoltaics, and safety. These licenses need to be renewed every two years.
If you ask your “buddy” about any of these things and he doesn’t know what you’re talking about, chances are slim to none that he’s a licensed contractor.
Why You Should Hire a Licensed Contractor
A licensed contractor is required to be familiar with every single aspect of electrical work – even sets of circumstances that nearly never occur. This person will be able to recognize and prevent dangerous fire hazards and maintain the safety of your home. Even if a mistake is made, you’re protected. Since licensed contractors are required to be bonded, you’ll have a sense of recourse and a formal way to report a set of circumstances you’re unhappy with. If your buddy Bobby accidentally burns your house down, you’re more or less completely out of luck.
Even if that buddy manages to perform the job to an extent efficient enough that you don’t encounter any immediate problems as a result of his work, you could be in for trouble later on. If you want to sell or rent your property, an inspector will be able to spot electrical work that wasn’t performed up to code. Providing that, you’ll be forced to deal with the aftermath and pay a pro to redo the work your buddy did.
How Quality Work is Guaranteed
Most licensed electrical contracting companies offer a warranty on their work – including JCP Electric. Legitimate contractors carry insurance and are required to be bonded in the event that a negatively impacted homeowner has a dispute of any kind.
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors maintains a list of currently licensed contractors, as well as a list of the most wanted unlicensed individuals claiming to be contractors. Use these tools to look up any potential contractor before you agree to let that person into your home.
If you have any complaints regarding licensed contractor, the Registrar of Contractors will allow you to file a complaint. The complaint will be investigated, and if it is found that the contractor did not meet the minimum standards, you can begin the process of recovering funds.
Call JCP Electric
JCP Electric only employs licensed electricians, providing them with state of the art equipment. Our team will never leave you in the weeds like the couple with a house full of speaker wire. We understand the importance of committing to safe, quality work that is precisely up to code. Don’t take a gamble with your safety in hopes of saving a few bucks – you’ll wind up paying a lot more later on.