Electrical malfunctions are a major source of residential fires in the United States, resulting in serious injuries, loss of life, and up to $1.5 billion in direct property damage every year. Therefore, to avoid life-threatening dangers and property damage, it is vital to have qualified electricians in Detroit fix electrical problems in your home. These top professionals are certified to complete your work safely and according to national and local established standards, including the National Electrical Code and the Detroit Electrical Code. However, before you concluding on hiring any electrical contractor in the city, ask the following questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of Detroit?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared with Other Electricians in the City of Detroit?
- Do You Comply with the City of Detroit Building Code for Electrical Works?
- Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of Detroit Code?
- What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of Detroit?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of Detroit?
Electrical services in Detroit where the electromotive force exceeds 50 volts can only be offered by electricians who have obtained the appropriate license from the city's Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department. Failure to acquire a license before providing such electrical services is punishable by a fine of not more than $500, imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or a combination of fines and imprisonment.
The Detroit Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department issue electrical contractor licenses to interested individuals who have fulfilled certain requirements. These requirements include being at least 20 years of age, completing an application form, and providing a letter of proof from one or more employers attesting to a minimum of 8,000 hours of practical experience over a four-year period. Having satisfied these requirements, eligible individuals can apply to the City of Detroit's Electrical Division at the address below between the hours of 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday:
- City of Detroit Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental DepartmentElectrical Inspection Division
- Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
- 2 Woodward Avenue
- Fourth Floor
- Room 408
- Detroit, MI 48226
Once the application has been reviewed and approved, applicants will be required to sit for a licensing examination, following which successful applicants will be issued the requested license. For more inquiries about the licensing process, interested individuals can contact the Electrical Division at (313) 224-2733. You can also contact this division through the aforementioned phone number to confirm if your intended electrician has been duly licensed.
The actual hourly charge for your electrical work depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the project and the amount of labor necessary. AS such, it is advised that you compare quotations from various electricians near you to have a better understanding of the hourly and overall cost of your intended electrical project.
An electrician in the City of Detroit earns $69,220 annually. Provided below is the annual mean wage of electricians in Detroit and a comparison of these electricians' mean hourly wages with those of electricians in Michigan as well as other major cities in the United States:Detroit Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$33.28Michigan Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$30.16New York City Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$40.48Phoenix Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$23.86Austin Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$25.85Washington D.C. Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$31.72Seattle Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$32.67
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The 2014 Michigan Electrical Code is a set of ordinances, processes, and requirements that govern the installation, maintenance, and repair of the electrical systems across the City of Detroit. These electrical systems include electrical wirings, electrical outlets, fire and sound alarms, circuit breakers, and outdoor lightings. The Code establishes acceptable quality and requirements for electrical materials and equipment used in electrical work. It also specifies a minimum standard for electrical work in the city, with the goal of reducing electrical-related dangers. Failure to comply with the Code's requirements can result in a punishment of not less than $1,000 per day for each day the violation occurs, with a maximum consequence of $5,000 per violation. A second or subsequent violation will result in a fine of not less than $2,000 per day for each day the violation occurs, provided that the cumulative amount for the violation does not exceed $10,000. Therefore, as you engage a licensed electrician, always ensure this electrician is also familiar with the provisions of the Electrical Code so as to avoid Code violations and penalties.
For more inquiries about the 2014 Michigan Electrical Code and its requirements, you can contact Detroit Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department at (313) 224-2733.
According to Article 80.19 of the 2014 Michigan Electrical Code, electrical contractors and homeowners in the City of Detroit are required to obtain an electrical permit before commencing any electrical project. However, certain electrical work are exempt from the permit requirement, and they include;
- Repairs of current-carrying portions of any control device or electrical outlet that are minimal in nature.
- The replacement of electrical wiring with a value of less than $100.00.
- The replacement of bulbs or the connection of portable electrical devices.
Permits are issued by Detroit's Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department (BSEED), and interested applicants can apply for these permits online through the Electronic Licensing and Permitting System (eLAPS) provided by this department. For a better understanding of how to use the Electronic Licensing and Permitting System, you can leverage some of the resources outlined in the BSEED plan review. Interested applicants can also make permit-related inquiries by contacting the Department at (313) 224-2733 or in person at the BSEED office located at the following address:
- Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department (BSEED)
- Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
- 2 Woodward Avenue
- Fourth Floor
- Room 408
- Detroit, MI 48226 Phone: (313) 224-2733
Note that If your electrical work necessitates a permit, you must arrange inspections with the BSEED at various phases of the project once it commences. This is to ensure that your electrical work complies with the city's Electrical Code and all applicable regulations of this code. Inspections can be scheduled online or by contacting the BSEED at (313) 224-2733. Inquiries about the inspection process can also be directed to the BSEED via the aforementioned number.
Electrical services rendered in Detroit include the inspection, installation, replacement, repair, and maintenance of electrical systems across residential, industrial, commercial, special-purpose buildings, outdoor electrical services, and electrical consultations. Due to the wide variety of electrical services available, it is important to check that the electrician you plan to engage is qualified to handle duties relating to your specific electrical project. For example, an electrician that specializes in commercial, special-purpose buildings, and outdoor electrical services may not be the best fit for performing an electrical installation in a residential building. Likewise, master electricians are more experienced and are capable of offering more electrical services than journeyman electricians, and therefore, they typically charge higher prices for their services.
Below are some common electrical services and their estimated costs in Detroit:Electrical for Remodel or Addition$75.63 - $84.14 (per hour)Electrical Fixture Installation$122.89 - $139.91 (fixed fee)Upgrade Electrical Panel or Wiring$1,720.51 - $2,268.80 (fixed fee)Residential Electrical Contractors$61.45 - $74.68 (per hour)Commercial Electrical Contractors$80.36 - $87.91 (per hour)EV Home Charging Station Installation$965.19 - $1,000.64 (fixed fee)
Power outages, exposed live wires, burnt electrical outlets, flickering light bulbs, and electrical sparks are all examples of electrical issues that can lead to discomfort, injury, property damage, and even death if left ignored. At times, these electrical issues may be an indication of a more significant problem. Hence, it is beneficial that you engage only a skilled, experienced, duly licensed electrician, and conversant with the city's Electrical Code to handle any electricity-related problems that you have defects. You can identify electricians in your region by using third-party websites like the Better Business Bureau or Yelp.
However, always contact the City of Detroit's Electrical Division at (313) 224-2733 to confirm that the electrician you are considering maintains a valid license issued by the Detroit Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department. Additionally, before engaging an electrician to handle your electrical emergency, you should make preparations to protect yourself from any additional threats that this issue may bring. For example, if there is an exposed wire, you can close up the area surrounding it to avoid unexpected, and potentially injurious contact with this wire.
The City of Detroit does not require electrical contractors to have general liability insurance. However, given that there were 160 fatal electrical accidents among electrical contractors across the country in 2018, and more than 160 of these injuries in 2019, hiring a duly insured electrician is a wise decision to make. Working with insured electricians protects you from any financial losses that may arise as a consequence of work-related injuries or accidents. You may find out if an electrician has general liability insurance by asking for proof of this insurance coverage and then contacting the appropriate issuing organizations.
It is essential to always perform due diligence on your intended electrician to ensure that this individual is not a fraudster. In 2019, home improvement and construction issues ranked number two on the list of Detroit's top 10 consumer complaints, and the reasons for these complaints were shoddy work and failure to start or complete paid-for jobs. These scammers generally fool their victims by appearing as legitimate contractors, bidding for jobs, and then performing substandard work. Some of them even go so far as to accept payment for work and then fail to show up. The following are some of the most prevalent scam strategies used by these scammers:
- Utilizing fake, suspended, or expired license numbers.
- Putting pressure on you to hire them without allowing you to explore alternative offers or request a signed contract.
- Offering ridiculously cheap bids.
- Requesting full payment before starting the project.
However, you can protect yourself from these scam methods by doing the following:
- Always contact the City of Detroit's Electrical Division at (313) 224-2733 to confirm that the electrician you are considering maintains a valid license.
- Request and compare bids from a variety of electricians. This will assist you in establishing a budget range and identifying when a bid is particularly low.
- Do not pay in full until the electrician has completed the project to your satisfaction. If the electrician demands money in advance, make sure any advance payment is a small percentage of the agreed-upon project amount. In addition, suggest that the electrician specify how the requested upfront payment would be applied to the job.
- Have a contract with the electrician. The electrician's responsibilities, the agreed-upon payment, and any other significant issues should all be included in this contract. Also, be sure you understand all of the provisions of the contract before signing it, especially if it's a customized contract created by the electrician.
- Request references of recent clients from the electrician. This aids in determining the electrician's expertise, professionalism, and level of service. You may also use review websites like Better Business Bureau and Yelp to locate electricians in your area who have received mostly favorable feedback from previous customers.
- Avoid making cash payments. Stick to payment methods like credit cards, money orders, and checks that can be easily monitored and tracked.
- Always document all project paperwork, including written bids, signed contracts, payment receipts, and written correspondence. This can come in useful in the event of any misunderstandings down the road.
Finally, if you happen to get scammed by an electrician, you can initiate a complaint process with Michigan Licensing And Regulatory Affairs(LARA). Also, you can contact BSEED at (313) 224-2733 for assistance with filing this complaint or to make complaint-related inquiries. If the scam involves your home equity or mortgage, you can file a second report with the Detroit Police Department at:
- Detroit Public Safety
- Headquarters 1301
- 3rd Street
- Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 267-4639