When looking for electrical renovation, installation, or restoration in Toronto and Mississauga, you need to find a licensed and certified electrician. Unfortunately, there are plenty of unscrupulous individuals who attempt to pass themselves off as legitimate contractors, only to leave behind customers with unnecessarily costly and potentially dangerous wiring jobs. Here are some tips for spotting these fakes.
A license from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is not some rubber-stamped piece of paper; ?it is a certificate that forms the legal basis of defining the electrical profession and holds the bearer to specific standards of competence and responsibility. Someone who operates without an ESA license has either never been officially tested, or worse, they have failed the test or had an existing license revoked for incompetent, immoral, or illegal activity. Fortunately, verifying a licensed electrician is easy. Being a certified electrician is a point of pride, thus they will have their ESA license number posted on their work vehicle, as the ESA mandates that a licensed electrician post their license number on all vehicles and all printed materials. Furthermore, any licensed electrician should be able to produce their ESA license upon request. Furthermore, the ESA’s web site has a “Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor Near You” tool that can be used to determine if the person you’re speaking to is legitimate. In the same vein, if a general contractor assures you that they have a licensed electrician on-hand to do your work, they should be able to produce the appropriate permits and licenses.
An additional way to tell whether you are dealing with a licensed or unlicensed electrician is how they approach the matter of permits. Any significant electrical work done on a home requires that a permit be acquired from the ESA. This is a simple, straightforward process that involves a filing fee. Normally, a licensed electrician will file for the permit themselves and include the ESA filing fee (and their ESA number) on your estimate. If either of these is missing, if the permit has another electrician’s name on it or if they ask you to take out a permit yourself, this is a red flag. Often, this action suggests they are unlicensed and are trying to avoid the scrutiny that filing for their own permit could cause.
The inability to produce an ESA license and strange behavior regarding permits are the two main warning signs that suggest you are dealing with an unlicensed electrician. There are a few other indicators as well that should be kept in mind when searching for a certified electrician:
Cash: If the electrician only accepts cash payments, or offers a discount for paying in cash, look elsewhere. It benefits no properly certified electrician to encourage payment in an under-the-table manner, especially since such payments are harder to verify.
No Guarantee: A licensed electrician is proud of their certification and work, and should offer a measure of guarantee in case of additional developments.
All-in-One: If a single person is offering electrical work alongside services such as drywall, plumbing, or other handyman and maintenance tasks, they may be uncertified or could provide shoddy workmanship.
Unconventional Hours: If the electrician only works weekends or evenings, consider that a warning sign. It suggests that this is not their primary form of work and it’s unlikely they are properly licensed.
Certified, Licensed, Trusted
Toronto Electrical Experts’ certified electricians have extensive experience in providing ESA-licensed services in Toronto, Mississauga, and beyond. Contact us to learn more about how we can fulfill your home or business electrical needs in a safe, reasonable, and certified manner.