Hiring an electrician near Greenville isn’t like hiring a landscaper or a handyman. If you have electrical problems, you have a potentially dangerous situation in which a fire could break out at any time. The electrical system in your home or business is intensely complex, with one element — say, an overloaded circuit — affecting everything else.

Because of the potential danger and complexity, you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to hiring an electrician. There’s a reason electricians have to be trained and licensed. Hiring an experienced Greenville electrician can help keep your home humming along safely and smoothly. Take a look at 5 tips to help you make a smart choice when you hire an electrician.

1. Check the Reviews

Thanks to the internet, you have access to recent references for any electrician in your neighborhood. Take a look at reviews on Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau to make sure the electrician you’re considering is courteous and reliable, and that they do their work safely and thoroughly. Online reviewers won’t hold back if work wasn’t done to their satisfaction.

2. Make Sure They’re Licensed

Legally, your Greenville, SC electrician must be licensed. You can confirm that the electrician you’re considering is licensed by checking with your state licensing board. If a handyman claims to be licensed but you can’t verify that, go to someone else.

That electrician’s license means your electrician has passed some very difficult tests regarding building codes and electrical codes. Licensed electricians also know when permits are required, and they can take care of the paperwork for you.

3. Ask a Few Key Questions

Some electricians are experts that rewire entire homes and handling the electrical work needed for remodeling. They have the experience needed to answer your questions about whether you need a second electrical panel to handle the increased power demands of your new home office. Service electricians focus on repair work, fixing ungrounded receptacles or outlets that stopped working properly.

In addition, some electricians specialize in commercial work rather than residential work, and vice versa. As you read reviews and ask questions of your potential electrician, make sure they have lots of experience in the specific issues you’re facing so you can match the right professional electrician to your unique needs.

4. Get a Written Contract

For any work more substantial than changing light bulbs, you should ask for a written contract from your electrician. This contract should cover what work is being done and what rates you can expect to pay. It also should specify who’s buying any fixtures or other equipment needed (typically the electrician does so). If your electrical job is large, the contract should also specify the estimated completion date. 

In addition, the electrician should present proof of insurance. And you should ask for a guarantee for all work done, with the contract specifying what the electrician will do to fix any problems that recur after the work is completed.

5. Avoid Hiring General Handymen

If you hire a handyman to take care of your electrical work instead of an electrician, you’re running some risks. Most handymen haven’t had the training needed to perform reliable electrical installation and repair. If they make mistakes, the results can be dangerous. In addition, a licensed electrician bears the responsibility for their work — that’s why they’re licensed and insured. If you hire a handyman instead, all that responsibility falls on your shoulders.

When instead you hire a licensed electrician in Greenville, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the person working on your electrical system knows what they’re doing and can provide the service you need reliably and safely.