How to Hire a Good Electrician in Charlotte
Handling either minor or major electrical faults should be left to trained and experienced electricians. Note, that over 20,000 residential building fires that occurred annually within the country are caused by electrical malfunctions. However, before you settle for any electrician in Charlotte ensure the professional has a firm understanding of the National Electrical Code and the North Carolina Electrical Code, and can answer the following questions satisfactorily:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of Charlotte?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared with Electricians in the City of Charlotte?
- Do You Comply with the City of Charlotte Building Code for Electrical Works?
- Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of Charlotte Code?
- What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of Charlotte?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of Charlotte?
Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician in the City of Charlotte
Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of Charlotte?
Electricians who wish to work and provide services to residents in Charlotte, North Carolina, must first be registered with the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC). The State of North Carolina also requires electricians to register with the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors(NCLBGC) to perform any electrical contracting job worth more than $30,000. The NCBEEC regulates electricians within the city in strict compliance with the NCBEEC Laws and Rules. The NCBEEC issues ten different types of electrical contracting licenses, namely Limited (L) license, Intermediate(I) license, Unlimited(U) license, and seven other license categories. Limited Licensed electricians can only engage in a single contract with a value of not more than $60,000. Intermediate License holders can only perform electrical projects with values not in excess of $150,000. Unlimited licenses allow holders to perform contracting work of any value. The other seven categories licensed by the NCBEEC are broadly called Special Restricted Licenses. The detailed specification of the scope of work that the holders of a Special Restricted License can perform is contained in the Laws and Rules of the NCBEEC.
To be licensed as an electrician in North Carolina, an applicant must:
- Submit a complete application form to the NCBEEC.
- Pay the license fee as stipulated in the NCBEEC rule book.
- Provide a correct name, signature, and social security number on the application for any license to be issued.
- Pass an exam organized by the NCBEEC.
Before an applicant is allowed to write an exam set by the NCBEEC, the applicant must:
- Be at least 18 years old,
- Submit a proper application,
- Submit two reference letters attesting to the excellent character of the applicant,
- Meet other requirements as stipulated by the NCBEEC, some of these additional requirements specified by the NCBEEC include:
- Limited license applicants must have at least two years of experience, with at least one year of primary experience.
- Intermediate license applicants must have at least four years of experience with at least two and a half as primary experience.
- Unlimited license applicants should have at least five years of experience with at least four of the years as primary experience.
- Special restricted license applicants also have other requirements stipulated by the NCBEEC as described in the Laws and Rule of the NCBEEC.
The Board works at its discretion to punish electricians working without a license. Some of the possible punishments that the NCBEEC can administer include suspension from practice for not more than 12 months, a reprimand, revocation of the right to serve, cancellation, and refusal of any certifications. The NCBEEC can also administer a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.
However, the State allows Persons without a license to perform some electrical works. Per the NCBEEC laws and rules electrical contractor licenses are not required for:
- The replacement of lamps and fuses.
- Installation and servicing of cord-connected appliances connected by plug-in devices to a permanently installed junction box.
Upon finding an electrician, you should verify their license using the license verification tool maintained by the NCBEEC. You can reach out to the NCBEEC with questions you might have about licensing of electrical contractors within the State at (919) 733-9042.
How Much Do You Charge Compared with Electricians in the City of Charlotte?
Hiring an electrician in Charlotte often comes with costs that are affected by varying factors. Some of these factors include:
- the type of electrical work to be done,
- the cost of materials to be used,
- and the level of expertise of the electrician.
Before hiring an electrician, it is good to compare costs and get estimates from different electricians close to you. Getting estimates would help you prepare a proper budget and select an electrician that can work within the budget.
An electrician in the City of Charlotte earns $46,350 annually. Provided below is the annual mean wage of electricians in Charlotte and a comparison of these electricians' mean hourly wages with that of electricians in other parts of the State of North Carolina as well as other major cities in the United States:Charlotte Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$22.29North Carolina State Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$22.08Los Angeles Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$37.25Chicago Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$40.50Houston Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$25.57Phoenix Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$23.86Philadelphia Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$36.95
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Do You Comply with the City of Charlotte Building Code for Electrical Works?
The North Carolina Electrical Code is a technical document, and it is essential to hire an electrician who understands its technicalities. The code is designed to serve as the minimum standard for the state's safe and stable use of electricity and electrical systems. The code is designed to ensure that residents of Charlotte are safe while using electricity within Charlotte and the State. The code provides a strict guideline for the erection, construction, enlargement, alterations, repairs, relocation, conversion of all electrical systems and equipment in the State. You can contact the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC) with any queries about the electrical code within the State at (919) 733-9042.
Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of Charlotte Code?
In compliance with the North Carolina Electrical Code, electrical permits are vital before you can commence any electrical project or work in Charlotte. However, according to the Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement Department(CED), electrical permits are unnecessary for projects that cost $15,000 or less provided that the project does not involve any addition, replacement, or change in the design of an electrical system in the City.
To obtain a building or electrical permit, you can use the various permit application portals maintained by the CED. The permit application portals as offered by the CED includes:
- Homeowner Internet Permitting; for homeowners performing building or electrical projects valued at $30,000 or less.
- Trade Internet Permitting; for primary contractors and building or electrical projects that do not require plan reviews.
- Other Permit not Requiring Plan Review; for a commercial building or electrical project that is contractor driven.
- Permits requiring plan review; for building or electrical works involving Residential Plan reviews, Small Commercial Project Plan Reviews, Commercial Plan Reviews, Mega Multi Family Plan Reviews, and Special Projects Plan Reviews.
- Demolition & Move-on/Move-Off Permits; for partial or total demolitions of building or electrical projects.
- Special Event Permits; for special building or electrical projects as specified by the North Carolina Building Code.
- Sign permits for obtaining permits involving signage for building or electrical works.
Before granting building or electrical permits, the CED conducts inspections. The process to apply for an inspection is easy and nearly paperless. You can contact the CED with questions about the permit application or requirements for inspection and the inspection initiation process by email or phone at (980)314-2633. Alternatively, you can visit the CED's with enquires at the office located at:
- Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement
- 2145 Suttle Avenue
- Charlotte, NC 28208
What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?
The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC) licenses electricians across ten different categories, including Limited (L) license, Intermediate(I) license, Unlimited(U) license, and seven Special Restricted License categories. Thus, you must confirm the type of electrical work the electrician you are about to hire can perform. Some license categories are constrained by the value of electrical work they can perform in the State. For example, the Limited license electricians can only perform electrical work valued at $60,000 or less. Intermediate License holders can perform electrical work valued at $150,000 or less, while unlimited license holders can perform work of any financial value. The seven other Special Restricted License holders are not constrained by cost but by function as outlined in the Law and Rules of the NCBEEC. After confirming the electrician's kind of service, you should also take steps to establish how much the service would cost. This is a snapshot of some prices of electrical works within Charlotte:Cost of electrical fixture installation$129 fixed fee for the installation of a 120v outlet.Cost of electrical remodelling$74 - $82 per hourCost of Residential Electrical Contractors per hour$60 - $73Cost of Commercial Electrical Contractors per hour$79 - $86Installation of electrical fixtures$121 - $137Installation of EV Home Charging Station$951 - $986Upgrade of electrical panels and wiring$1,696 - $2,236
Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of Charlotte?
Sometimes situations might arise that require the urgent attention of a professional electrician. The problems can often be dire and must be prevented to forestall an electric-related accident, injury, or fires that can destroy your real estate property. Some of these situations requiring the urgent attention of an electrician include:
- Spoilt extension leads
- Poorly installed house wiring
- Fallen powerlines
- Electrical leakages
- Power outage
- Noisy breaker box
- Electrical shocks
- Electrical Fires.
If you observe any of the above in your vicinity, it is best to engage the services of an emergency electrical professional. You can utilize the National Electrical Contractors Association directory or any third-party service, including Better Business Bureau. It is also good to search for an electrician nearby that would not take too long to get to the emergency site. However, before you finally hire an electrician to tackle the emergency, you should note that you have to verify the electrician's license using the license verification tool maintained by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC).
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of Charlotte?
The North Carolina Industrial Commission(NCIC) mandates businesses with three or more employees to have worker compensation insurance following the Workers' Compensation Act. Hiring an electrician with proper insurance would help you avoid the financial burden that might arise if an injury happens during your electrical work. According to the United States Bureau of Labour and Statistics, there were 186 fatal injuries in North Carolina in 2019. While this number might seem small, you can never tell when such workplace and occupational injuries occur. Thus, it is best to hire an electrician who is insured to execute your electrical project. You can contact the NCIC with questions regarding worker's insurance requirements by email or through the commission's toll-free line (800)688-8349.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Electrician in the City of Charlotte
The North Carolina Attorney General, Josh Stein, stated that out of the 14,462 complaints received by the North Carolina Department of Justice, 1,215 of those complaints were related to home improvement scams. Sometimes electricians can try to take advantage of you to make money fraudulently. Before hiring an electrician, these are some steps you can take to prevent being scammed:
- Conduct brief research into the kind of electrical work you want to do, retrieving price estimates from at least three other electricians.
- Ask for reference letters from the past clients of an electrician.
- Utilize the license verification tool maintained by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC).
- Always remember to document your communication with an electrician leading up to you signing a contract.
- Never sign blank documents or contracts presented to you by an electrician.
- Avoid using loan sharks or facilities recommended by an electrical contractor.
- Enquire about the permits relevant to your project and ensure an application is made before your electrical project commences.
- Ask for proof of an original insurance cover.
- Do not pay for a job until it is completed. Avoid electricians that try to persuade you into paying them up-front.
You can complain about an electrical contractor to the North Carolina Department of Justice by filing an online complaint form in English or Spanish. You can also report contractors acting fraudulently to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police by calling the Non-Emergency Police Service department by phone at 311.
Where you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaints, you can file a small claims case with the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. You can make queries about the steps relevant to filing a small claims case from the Clerk of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse on the phone at (704)686-0400. Remember to consult a lawyer before filing your lawsuit to get legal advice.