Beware, home electrical fires account for almost 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries annually. Hence, it is essential to hire only qualified electricians in Columbus who are well-trained and have a firm understanding of the National Electrical Code and the Ohio Electrical Code. However to ensure you are picking the right electrician for your work, ask the following smart questions:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of Columbus?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared with Electricians in the City of Columbus?
- Do You Comply with the City of Columbus Building Code for Electrical Works?
- Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of Columbus Code?
- What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of Columbus?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of Columbus?
Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of Columbus?
Electricians who want to provide services in Columbus as Electrical contractors must have a license issued by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB). These electricians are also to register with the Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services. Electrical contractors with the appropriate license are knowledgeable of the requirements of fixing and supervising electrical installations within the city regulatory demands. Therefore, you can have confidence in the quality of work when you only hire licensed electrical contractors. Per Section 4114.111 of the Columbus City Code, taking on jobs as an electrical contractor in Columbus City without the required license is illegal. Individuals found guilty of this offense will be handed a fine not exceeding $1000 or imprisonment for no longer than 180 days.
Electrical contractors are required to have an Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) issued license and a registration with the City of Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services before they can legitimately provide their services in Columbus. The requirements to obtain an OCLIB issued electrical contractor license include:
- Applicants are required to be at least 18 years old
- Applicants are required to be legal residents of the United States or citizens of the United States
- Applicants must have worked as an electrical tradesperson for at least five years before applying, or they should have current registration as an electrical engineer in the state with at least three years of experience
- Applicants are required to carry a minimum of $500,000 in contractor liability insurance coverage
- Applicants are required to pass the licensure examination as administered by the OCLIB
- Payment of all applicable fees
To verify the license of your intended electrical contractor in Columbus, you can use the eLicense Ohio Professional Licensure System portal. You can confirm an electrical contractor's registration with the City of Columbus's Department of Building and Zoning Services via phone by calling (614) 645- 7433.
How Much Do You Charge Compared with Electricians in the City of Columbus?
Electricians in Columbus charge for their services depending on the complexity, scale, and type of work the electrician will need to do. To get the best bargain for electrical work in Columbus, comparing estimates from at least three electricians before choosing one for your project is a step in the right direction.
An electrician in the City of Columbus earns $47,690 annually. Provided below is the annual mean wage of electricians in Columbus and a comparison of these electricians' mean hourly wages with those of electricians in Ohio as well as other major cities in the United States:Columbus Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$22.93Ohio Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$26.30New 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 Hourly Mean Wage$32.67
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Ohio Electrical Code provides the guidelines for the requirements, standards and processes regulating Colombia's installation, operating, repair, and maintenance of electrical systems. The Code sets the standards for electrical installation to ensure that electricians use appropriate electrical materials and the correct specifications for all electrical installations in the city to prevent potential electrical hazards. The code also provides fundamental guidelines to prevent electric shock, protection from overcurrent, faulty current, and thermal effects on wires from electric current. Non-compliance with the Ohio Electrical Code in Columbus attracts a fine of not more than $1,000 or a jail term of 180 days, or both. You can contact the City of Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services for information regarding all electrical installations as outlined by the Ohio Electrical Code by phone at (614) 645-7433.
Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of Columbus Code?
The Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbus Section 4113.73 states electrical work is only permitted by desiring parties after acquiring a permit. However, specific electrical works are allowed exemptions from a permit such as:
- Repairing of flush and snap switches and replacing of fuses
- Changing lamp sockets and receptacles, repairing drop cords, and taping bare joints
- Repairing the electrical portions of appliances, installing battery-powered detectors, and or alarm systems for electrical assemblies
- Installation of low-voltage, stand-alone home security or intrusion system that is not part of a fire alarm system
The Columbus Building and Zoning Department is responsible for issuing electrical permits for private and commercial property in Columbus. To apply for an electrical permit, you can download an Electrical Permit Application form and submit it after filling it along with the required plans and designs to:
- Department of Building and Zoning Services
- 111 North Front Street
- Columbus, OH 43215
- Phone: (614) 645-7433
- Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Applying for an electrical permit is also possible online using the Citizen Access Portal after completing the required process of registering for an account. These documents will be reviewed before approval after submitting the permit application and plans. After review and the application for a permit is approved, the work can begin. Note the requirement of electrical inspections through various stages of your project to enforce work according to the electrical code. You are to schedule requests for inspections online through the Citizen Access Portal or via phone by calling (614) 645-8235. All requests for permits made before 4:00 p.m. on a business day can be scheduled for the next business day. All inspection and permit-based inquiries can be made to the Columbus Department of Building Services via phone by calling (614) 645-7433.
What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?
Electricians in Columbus provide services for single-family, two and three family, multifamily residential property, and commercial and mixed-use property. These electricians offer services to repair or maintain already installed systems, put in place new installations, and provide emergency services. Electricians tend to specialize in different areas of electrical services and may practice as installer electricians, residential wiring electricians, and outside linemen electricians, for example. Therefore, finding out the specialization of an electrician before hiring and ensuring they are a good fit can be critical to the success of your project.
Common cost estimates for electrical services provided by electricians in Columbus are listed below:Electrical remodeling or addition per hour$74 -$82Electrical panel installation or wiring for 100 amps$625Electrical panel upgrading or wiring of 100 amps to 150 amps$625Electrical panel upgrading or wiring of 150 amps to 200 amps$1,981Electrical panel upgrading or wiring of 200 amps to 400 amps$675Electrical Vehicle (EV) charging station installation for level 2 charger (240 volts)$ 957Electrical fixture installation (120 volts)$120 - $137Electrical fixture installation (240 volts)$80 - $130Electrical fixture installation for mid-grade light switch$80 - $180Commercial electrical contractor for basic electrical work per hour$79 -$86Residential electrical contractor work with materials and parts$67
Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of Columbus?
Potentially hazardous electrical situations sometimes lead to the need for emergency electrical services from skilled electricians to rectify or prevent further damages to lives, home equipment, and property. Electrical situations that require an emergency response by electricians include:
- Overloaded circuits leading to the tripping of circuit breakers
- Frayed electrical cords of appliances leading to exposure to electrical shocks
- Electrical outlets or switches emitting a burning odor or wires starting a fire
- Local power outage in a residence as a result of a fault in equipment such as the electrical panel
When responding to electrical emergencies, it is essential to note that a suitable electrician might not necessarily be the closest available electrician if they do not possess the requisite qualifications and experience. You should always confirm your potential electrician's licensing status and qualification using the OCILB eLicence portal before hiring them. You can also check third-party websites like the Better Business Bureau, which provides ratings on local electricians' services before hiring one.
Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of Columbus?
Electrical contractors in Columbus are required to have contractor liability coverage of at least $500,000. The Contractor liability coverage provides cover for costs of injuries experienced by parties involved with the work and also for damages to the property. The potential hazards to electricians such as the risk of fatal electrical shock, risk of electrical burns, fire, exposure to toxic chemicals, and extreme temperatures are why it is important to have liability coverage. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that in 2018, there were six fatal work-related injuries in Ohio as a result of direct or indirect exposure to electricity. Consequently, before hiring the services of an electrician, you should request proof that they provide insurance cover, and you should also confirm the authenticity of these policies from the issuing organizations.
How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Electrician in the City of Columbus
Homeowners use substantial sums of money for home improvements projects. As a result, this makes home improvement projects attractive as a means for dishonest contractors to prey on unsuspecting homeowners. For example, a single home improvement scam case involving a contractor scamming four homeowners in Ohio resulted in a court decision for payment of over $63,000.
Some of the tricks used by deceitful electricians to scam unwary homeowners include:
- Completing the work to a substandard quality
- Collecting a substantial upfront payment, starting the job, and absconding with the payment without completing the work
- Receiving payment to start the work and simply not performing the work nor refunding the payment
However, you can prevent being a victim of these scams while in the process of hiring an electrician through the following steps:
- Before hiring an electrician, make sure you confirm if they have been duly licensed
- Avoid making a considerable down payment before the commencement of your project, and be wary of an electrician that asks for one
- Ensure that all agreements as to the work to be done are documented in writing withs timelines for every stage of the work and a proper contract is signed
- Avoid making cash payments as cash do not leave a payment trial which is to your disadvantage if there are issues with your contractor
- Check to see if there are comments on the services of the electrician on the Better Business Bureau website before hiring
- Check the record of the electrician on the Ohio Attorney General's Office Consumer Complaint Search before signing a contract with them
- Avoid accepting unsolicited electrical inspections and advice even when you have an electrical emergency
- Be wary of electrical contractors offering materials or services that are significantly below the average
- Ensure that you always request at least three quotes from different electricians before deciding on one
- Always ask a contractor to provide referrals from previous work they have done
You can report a scam you may have experienced from a contractor to the Consumer Protection Section of the Office of the Ohio Attorney General. Reporting the scam can be online or through a consumer complaint form which you can download, complete, and mail to:
- Consumer Protection Section
- 30East Broad Street
- 14th Floor
- Columbus, Ohio 43215-3400
- Phone: (800) 282-0515
- Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
If you do not receive the desired outcome from your complaint with the Consumer Protection Section, you can opt for legal action against the electrical contractor. To initiate legal action, you can file a civil action suit at the Franklin County Municipal Court. However, it is advisable to get legal advice from an experienced attorney before filing in court. You can find a lawyer using the find a lawyer tool on the Columbus Bar Association website or by calling the Columbus Bar Association lawyer referral service via phone at (614) 221-0754.