Lamp repair is a simple but delicate task with potential serious implications if attempted by an untrained person. Each year, home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires, more than 1,400 injuries, nearly 500 deaths, and $1.3 billion in property damage. Considering these hazards, it is a smart choice to leave your lamp repairs to certified professionals nearby that can guarantee the lasting restoration of the lamp whether you are rewiring, rebuilding, or replacing parts. Before hiring anyone claiming to be a lamp repair technician near you, ensure you get satisfactory answers to the following questions:
Are You A Licensed Lamp Repairer?
Lamps and lighting are not complex electrical systems, hence your repairer will only need a journeyman electrician or limited electrician or specialty electrical license. States like Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Idaho issue journeyman licenses while states like Arizona, Washington, and Florida grant specialty electrical licenses. Tennessee and North Carolina are examples of states offering a limited electrician license. In states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York where there are no state-wide licensing for electricians, municipalities determine licensing requirements for electricians.
License is a guarantee that a technician near is competent to complete the repairs. Hence, it is recommended that you contact your state licensing board or consumer protection agency to determine the required license for lamp repairers in your locality. Ensure to verify the status of your contractorâ€™s license by contacting the licensing authority.
Are You A Bonded and Insured Lamp Repairer?
Annually, electrical accidents account for an average of 150 work-related fatalities and 2,000 occupational injuries among private contractors. Such a trend informed the concern to hire an insured lamp repairer as a safeguard against financial liabilities for paying medical bills of injured workers. Basically, any professional lamp repair contractor near you should hold liability insurance and a workers compensation insurance policy for electrical businesses with employees. The liability insurance provides cover for your property against damage caused by the electrician during the work. Therefore, do not expose your property and household to irrecoverable damage by overlooking a lack of liability insurance.
A workers compensation insurance, on the other hand, provides financial cover for a worker who sustains a work-related injury while on your job. This type of insurance covers the cost of medical care and pays the worker a portion of income lost due to the injury. It is improbable that you will face a Personal Injury lawsuit if your electricians sustain a physical injury while on your property, provided they have a valid workers compensation insurance policy.
Also, ensure your lamp repairer carries a surety bond-this saves you from further expenses should your electrician fail to complete satisfactorily.In such case, the bonding company bears the cost to complete your lamp appropriately.
What Kind of Lamp Repair Work Are You Specialized In?
Lamps are not all the same, they come in different designs and with different electrical circuits. These designs include antique table and floor lamps, ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, electrified oil lamps, floor lamps, table lamps, lampshades, and wall fixtures. Hence, it is important to determine that your repairer is conversant with the type of lamp you intend to repair. Show your damaged lamp to the lamp repairers and discuss their experience working with similar lamps. If you have a reason to doubt their competence during the discussion, consult the next lamp electrician.
Who Will Do The Work?
If your lamp repairer is very busy, your work may be outsourced to a subcontractor to ensure you are timely served. In such situations, where a third-party or a colleague is called in to handle your work ensure they are licensed for the job and are covered by relevant insurance and bond. Do not take the word of your contractor for it, request to see the relevant paperwork for any electrician working on your project.
Do You Offer A Warranty?
Electrical repair work can be expensive, and you can not afford to spend a fortune without getting value for your money. What happens if a fault recurs in a lamp supposedly fixed a few days or weeks before? What if an expensive new bulb you replaced stops working?
The possibility of defective repair service or product necessitates that you only subscribe to warranty-bearing items or services. Generally, a warranty, whether service-based or product-based, aims to assure customers of the quality of such an item or service. Within the period covered by the warranty, service providers and manufacturers will usually provide a replacement or repeat repair service should such product or service be found to be defective.
Ask your electricians if they will be offering a warranty for their service and for how long. Regardless of who will be purchasing the lamp components that need replacement, ensure that these components carry a valid warranty.
More importantly, try to understand the terms of the warranty contract, such as the transferability of ownership, warranty scope, product installation, use, and maintenance instructions.
Will You Provide References?
References are an indication of a history of quality services. An electrician with a good track record of service will have no challenge providing you with references to past projects. References sometimes are more relevant than ordinary proof of certification. While the latter is evidence that an electrician has indeed undergone training and education, the former is solid proof that the knowledge has been put to productive use over time.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises asking for at least three references before settling for who to hire. References are an excellent way to assess the level of expertise of a prospective electrician, and it also provides insights into how well they comply with safety standards. You can also get an overall service review from clients near you they have serviced in the past.
On your own, you can seek out reviews of their services on the internet on platforms such as Yelp, Google Business Reviews, and Better Business Bureau. These platforms provide impartial service reviews for professionals. A professional page or company website is also an excellent source of an electricianâ€™s expertise, work history, and client feedback.
Do You Have A Business License?
A business license serves to prove that your electricianâ€™s business is recognized and authorized by state or local agencies to offer paid services. To avoid imposter scams - which notoriously ranks topmost among money frauds in the United States - asking for a business certificate is necessary, especially when the project at hand involves a substantial amount of money.
Any electrician near you with a valid business license will have completed full business registration, obtained necessary professional licensure, fulfilled tax requirements, and all other documentation necessary to secure commercial licensure. You can contact your stateâ€™s Office of Secretary of State to verify licensed businesses in the state.
What Are Common Lamp Repair Problems?
It is not uncommon to find faults in your lamp after a recently completed repair work. It is, however, important to immediately reach out to an electrician near you once you notice any of the following in your lamps and other lighting appliances:
- Smokes: Smokes are typically an indication of danger. Once you notice that your lamp is getting smoky, call your electrician without delay, as that is a sign that something is wrong with your lamp's wiring system. A smoking lamp may eventually lead to a fire incident if not attended to and must not be left unfixed.
- Burning and melting smell: Sometimes, the trouble signs are nasal. If you perceive a burning or melting smell emanating from your bedside lamp or any other lifting appliance, cut its supply and electricity and call your electrician. A melting component may damage other components if not stemmed.
- Sparks: Sparks are pointers to wiring problems and should never be taken lightly. An erroneous wire connection can cause light or heavy sparks, depending on the amount of electric power your lamp uses. Sparks can lead to a fire outbreak. According to the BLS, fire and explosion incidents were responsible for 99 fatal injuries in 2019. You should not attempt to fix a spark problem yourself. Instead, disconnect such a lamp from the power source and call an electrician to get it fixed.
- Bulb Flickering: Loose wire connections and bad lamp holders are common causes for bulb flicker, except your bulb was intentionally designed to flicker. You should instantly turn off the switch to save the bulb from electric damage and prevent further lamp damage. You may remove the bulb from the lamp for basic lamps and call a qualified electrician for a quick fix.
- Switch malfunction: Your electrician may have unknowingly fixed your lamp switch incorrectly. If your controller does not power on your lamp or it works in reverse control, you should call for a refix. Leaving a wrongly fixed switch unrepaired can cause unnecessary stress for members of the household and can compromise their safety in certain instances.
How Much Does Lamp Repair Cost?
The cost of fixing a faulty lamp majorly depends on the extent of the damage. Due to the difference in the standard of living across states, no precise nationwide uniform cost can be given. However, below are some of the industry range for lighting and lamp repair services:
What Are The Factors Affecting The Cost of Lamp Repair?
Apart from service fee differentials across states, some other factors also affect the cost of servicing your lamps and other lighting appliances. They include:
- Type of lamp: More sophisticated, high-grade lamps may require advanced expertise and tools.
- Cost of replacement components: If the problem with your lamp is a result of a faulty electrical component, then the cost of such component will compound your total repair cost.
- The complexity of the fault: Simple faults typically take less time to fix. For complex defects which will usually require more time and effort, your bill is expected to go up. For example, wiring problems are more challenging to fix than simple switch or bulb problems.
What Qualifications Should A Lamp Repairer Have?
Lamp repair work typically does not require as much qualification as some other electrical works, such as complete home wiring and electrical systems designs. As such, a certificate of apprenticeship or technical college certificate is usually sufficient. A high school diploma is generally required to enter either program. Verifiable years of work experience can also be taken as additional work qualifications.
Professional electriciansâ€™ associations such as the Electrical Training Alliance (ETA) and Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) offer education and training programs to electricians. Ensure to verify qualification claims by contacting the issuing organization. The more qualified and experienced your electrician is, the more assured you are of quality and safe service.
Do You Need A Lamp Repairer or A Handyman?
The dangers of hiring any untrained handyman near you to tend to your homeâ€™s lamp and lighting faults far outweigh the benefits. In fact, the only benefit of hiring a handyman is the marginal reduction in the price you will have to pay - in the short run. Eventually, if you have to rectify a poorly done job, you would incur more in total costs than what you would have paid for a qualified electrician.
Handymen have not received supervised training and education. They will expose you, members of your household, and others who use these electric appliances to great danger, some of which may prove fatal. Also, in the event of an accident, which is not uncommon in the electrical works industry where 166 fatal and 1900 non-fatal injuries were recorded in 2019, you will be left without financial cover, and you may be facing punitive actions from regulatory agencies.
Thus to ensure you get the best lamp repair service, keep all lighting appliances users safe, avoid accidents and a damaging lawsuit, it is imperative that you hire only qualified electricians.
What Are Common Post Lamp Repair Expenses?
Lamp repair typically does not require heavy post-work expenses. If the repair service was done in your home and your wall surface was tampered with, you might have to do a light repainting to restore your wallâ€™s initial look and appeal.
You may also decide to retouch the color of an old lamp after it is fixed, which is expected to come pretty cheaply. Also, depending on the repair work scale, you may need to pay for a work inspection after the repair is completed. Make inquiries from your electrician or at the local electricity regulatory authority whether an inspection is necessary.
Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Lamp Repair Expenses?
Not definitely. Whether or not your homeowner insurance will cover your lamp repair expenses will depend on two significant factors:
Suppose the damage to your lamp resulted from fire, vandalism, or any other event covered by your homeowner insurance policy. In that case, the cost of repair will be covered by your policy. However, it must also be that your homeowner policy covers your belongings within the home and not just the structure.
Your homeowner insurance policy will not cover damages that have been done before you took out the policy or appliances that were damaged by events outside its coverage.
Can I Use Digital Payment To Pay My Lamp Repairer?
More and more small businesses in the US today, including contractors near you, are willing to accept digital payments. Ask your lamp repairer and if the technician accepts digital payments, you can pay them using one of their acceptable digital payment options, including bank transfers, credit/debit cards, eWallet, and eCheck. Moreso, the FTC recommends not paying for home improvement works in cash, and digital payments are known to be safe, fast, convenient, cheap, and secure.