Penna Electric Answers 6 Most Important Questions for an Electrician

September 2, 2020 | Cristina Dinulescu

questions for electricians

Electrical work is not really something you want to DIY. It can oftentimes lead to injury or even fires, which is why you should always leave it to the hands of the best professionals. But how do you find the best electrician?  Who can you trust? Penna Electric lays out the most important questions to ask an electrician.

While there’s not a lot you can do in terms of the actual work, you can do plenty when it comes to hiring the right electrician. Do your due diligence and research top electrical services in your area, but also ask them the right questions before hiring them.

Todd Penna, Owner and CEO of Penna Electric, an electrical contractor serving the Los Angeles area, Manhattan Beach and South Bay, answers the 6 most important questions that anyone should ask their electrician.

1. Are you licensed, bonded and insured?

One of the most important things you need to know about your electrician is if they’re licensed and if the license is current and valid. This shows they have been through the necessary education, which is usually about a minimum of 4,000 hours of training. 

You can actually verify a license if you want to be extra thorough by using the number that appears on the license. You can also verify it by using the electrician’s full name or the company’s name. Each state has different requirements, but your local licensing department or your state’s Department of Labor should be able to provide you with the info. In California, you can use the Contractors State License Board.

It’s also a good idea to ask if they’re bonded and insured, and you can even ask for proof of liability insurance. 

Penna Electric Answer: 

We are licensed, bonded and insured. We have been licensed as B – General Building Contractor and C10 – Electrical since 2007, and have a Contractor’s Bond with American Contractors Indemnity Company. 

2. What kind of work do you do most & what special training/experience do you have for it?

Electricians, as the vast majority of contractors as well, do tend to specialize in a certain area. Some can specialize in remodels, while others in new construction. If your particular project calls for specific expertise, then make sure you ask this question, so you can get specialized service. 

It’s always helpful and better to have an electrician with experience working with the types of systems and protocols that you need, or handling the same type of projects as yours. 

Penna Electric Answer: 

We mostly do panel upgrades, rewiring and car charging stations. I first became certified with the state as a journeyman electrician then took my electrical contractors test to become an electrical contractor.  Later, I took my class B contractors test to become a licensed contractor. I have more than 20 years experience in the electrical industry.

3. Who’s performing the work?

In many instances, the owner of the electrical company will be the face you’ll see and the person you’ll interact with most before the actual work begins. They are usually the ones who come for the initial inspection, who assess the complexity of the project and deliver an estimate. Then, the actual work is carried out by employees or subcontractors.

While this is pretty common, you do want to make sure that whoever is carrying out the actual work is a journeyman electrician, and not an apprentice in training or anything like that. If there are subcontractors involved, then you need to understand whether or not they’re covered by the contractor’s insurance. 

Penna Electric Answer: 

We do not use subcontractors for any of the work. I have an experienced journeyman electrician perform the work.

4. Do you offer a warranty?

This will help you understand whether the pro stands behind their electrical work, but also see if any parts, not just the labor, are under warranty. In some cases, although this is in no way a form of warranty, you might actually be able to visit an electrician’s current job site and get a behind-the-scenes look at their work. You will be able to see how methodical and orderly they work.

Penna Electric Answer: 

A 1-year warranty is required by the state. We offer a one year warranty on workmanship, but some manufacturers have longer extended warranties for parts.

5. What does your estimate include? Do you guarantee a price in writing?

It’s good to know beforehand what to expect in terms of expenses. The pricing structure should be very clear, and you should get it in writing. Additionally, be sure to discuss different scenarios, as many times things surface after the work has begun and require incidentals. 

Penna Electric Answer: 

Our estimates include all the work to be performed and all the materials provided. All pricing is guaranteed in writing. However, if additional work is required, that will be extra, but we discuss the plan and the new associated costs as soon as the issues are revealed.

6. Does the job require a permit & who will obtain it?

Permits are important safeguards for homeowners, as they ensure that the electrical work is checked by a city inspector. The standard procedure is that the general contractor pulls the permits, however in some cases the electrical company can do so as well.

There’s also the case of small jobs that don’t actually require a permit, and this is a question that your electrician should be able to answer for you. This is usually done during the initial inspection. 

Penna Electric Answer: 

I can obtain the permit if needed, but in some cases the homeowners themselves obtain it or the general contractor will provide it. This depends if there is further remodeling or contractor work being carried. 

A Simple Electrical Upgrade Can Upgrade Your Quality of Life

The right electrical upgrade can dramatically improve the value and appearance of any home or business. You’ll be amazed at what a difference the right electrical upgrade can make for your home or business. Make sure that when you select an electrical company to do the enhancement of your home and you have decided to take your enhancement to the level where you require an electrical upgrade that the technician at the company has a good working knowledge and the experience to properly guide you in this area.

When you decide to upgrade, our well-trained and certified electricians have all the experience and training needed to complete your electrical panel upgrade project from start to finish, with a minimum of fuss or disturbance. Please contact us right away at 310-800-2401

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