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Licensed Electrician in San Antonio, TX

How to Hire a Good Electrician in San Antonio

In 2020, local fire departments across the United States responded to approximately 356,500 home structure fires. These fires accounted for over 2,500 deaths, 11,500 injuries, and $8.4 billion in direct property damage. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment were reported as one of the major causes of these fires. To avoid being a victim of a home electrical fire, it is essential to hire a qualified electrician to attend to any electrical fault or repair in your home. Top electricians in San Antonio comply with the National Electrical Code and the Electrical Code for the City of San Antonio in the execution of their works to ensure the safety of life and property for their clients. However, before you settle for any electrician in the city, ask the following questions to determine the proficiency of the professional:

  • Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of San Antonio?
  • How Much Do You Charge Compared with Other Electricians in the City of San Antonio?
  • Do You Comply with the City of San Antonio Building Code for Electrical Works?
  • Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of San Antonio Code?
  • What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?
  • Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of San Antonio?
  • Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of San Antonio?

Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician in the City of San Antonio

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of San Antonio?

    Anyone who intends to perform any electrical work in the City of San Antonio must hold a license issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). However, some electrical work can be done without a license. For instance, you don't need a license to perform electrical works on buildings set apart for agricultural use or work on elevators, escalators, or related equipment, excluding power sources. Additionally, homeowners can perform electrical work on their dwellings without a license if the electrical work is not specifically regulated by a municipal ordinance. Anyone who performs electrical works without a license where required is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor, which may result in paying a maximum fine of $5,000 per day of the violation.

    The TDLR issues various types of electrician licenses, including apprentice electrician, journeyman electrician, master electrician, and residential appliance installer licenses. Interested persons applying for any of these must satisfy some general or specific licensing requirements. For example, to be eligible for a journeyman electrician license, interested applicants must have had about 8,000 hours of on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a master electrician. On the other hand, Interested persons must have held a journeyman electrician license for at least two years and must have completed 12,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed master electrician to qualify for a master electrician license. However, residential appliance installers and apprentice electricians are not required to have such experiences. Nonetheless, all license applicants must pass a licensing exam.

    Having satisfied these requirements, interested applicants can apply for electrical licenses issued by the Department by submitting a completed application form to the TDLR. In addition, they must submit an Experience Verification Form (PDF) alongside their applications.

    Inquiries regarding licensing can be directed to the TDLR by calling (512) 463-6599. To verify if your electrician is licensed, you can utilize the TDLR License Data Search or contact the TDLR Customer Service at (800) 803-9202.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared with Other Electricians in the City of San Antonio?

    Electricians in San Antonio mostly charge an average hourly rate of $25.37, but this price can vary depending on the job, the materials needed for the job, the job's completion time frame, and the electrician's skill. Hence, consider getting multiple estimates so that you can get an idea of the reasonable cost for your job.

    An electrician in the City of San Antonio earns $52,770 annually. Provided below is the annual mean wage of electricians in San Antonio and a comparison of these electricians' mean hourly wages with those of electricians in Texas as well as other major cities in the United States:

    San Antonio Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $25.37
    Texas Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $24.69
    New York City Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $30.48
    Chicago Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $30.50
    Charlotte Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $22.29
    Phoenix Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $23.86
    Houston Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $25.57

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. Do You Comply with the City of San Antonio Building Code for Electrical Works?

    It is advisable to always go for electricians who are conversant with the 2017 Edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the San Antonio Electrical Code to ensure that the power installations in your home are free of hazards. The provisions of these Codes apply to the installation of electrical systems, including the use, alterations, repairs, and replacement of electrical equipment, appliances, fixtures, and fittings in San Antonio. Failure to comply with the provisions of these Codes attracts severe penalties, including payment of fines. Particularly, the NEC contains fundamental principles of protection for safety against electric shock, thermal effects, overcurrent, fault currents, and overvoltage. Its primary purpose is to improve electrical safety in commercial, residential, and industrial structures.

    Inquiries regarding the Electrical Codes of the City of San Antonio can be directed to the City of San Antonio Development Services Department (DSD) online or at (210) 207-1111.

  4. Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of San Antonio Code?

    Per Section 10-6 of the City Code of San Antonio, any homeowner or electrician who intends to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical system in the city must obtain the required permit. However, permits are not needed for minor repairs or maintenance work performed by a licensed electrical contractor and the installation of wiring and equipment by or for the city to generate, transmit, and deliver service to its customers. Per Section 10-15 of the City Code of San Antonio, anyone who violates this Code is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be required to pay a fine of up to $500.

    The City of San Antonio Development Services Department is in charge of issuing permits to applicants in the city. Homeowners or their hired electricians may apply for electrical permits. To obtain a permit, the applicant must first submit an Electrical Permit Application Form to the Department. The application must be accompanied by submittal documents consisting of engineering calculations and other required data and documents. Every permit issued by the DSD expires if work does not commence within 180 days from the date it was issued or if the work is suspended or abandoned at any time after the work has started. Before issuing a permit, the city's Code Official is required to examine the sites for which an application has been filed. After permits have been issued, the permittee is required to schedule inspections with the Code Official. This is to ensure that the work is done in accordance with the Electrical Code of the City. For example, concealment or rough-in inspections of electrical systems must be made before covering or concealing any fixtures or appliances that have been installed.

    Also, after the electrical work is completed, a final inspection is required. The Code Official, upon notification, will make the requested inspections and can either approve the work or notify the permittee of any Code violation. After the notification of a violation, the permittee is expected to make corrections immediately in compliance with the Electrical Codes applicable in the City.

    Inquiries regarding permitting and inspection can be directed to the City of San Antonio Development Services Department online or at (210) 207-1111.

  5. What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?

    Electricians in San Antonio offer a range of services, including electrical rewiring, repair, troubleshooting, remodeling, and installing electrical and lighting fixtures. The cost of these services also differs depending on the type of electrician you are hiring to do the job and the kind of services you need. For example, a master electrician is licensed to install, maintain, or extend an electrical wiring system and the equipment used in connection with the use of electrical energy in, on, outside any building. Hence, getting a master electrician to work for you might be quite expensive. In contrast, hiring residential appliance installers can be way cheaper since they are only licensed to deliver, install, and connect appliances in homes. Hence, always ensure that any electrician you consider is skilled to perform the job you want. Also, have considerable knowledge of the cost of their services so you can budget appropriately.

    Below are some common electrical services and their estimated costs in San Antonio:

    Electrical fixture installation for 120v outlet
    $121.20 - $138.00
    Electrical panel/wiring upgrade to 200 amps
    $1,696.20 - $2,236.80
    EV home charging station installation for 240 volts level 2 charger
    $951.60 - $986.50
    Residential electrical work
    $60.60 - $73.60 per hour, plus parts and materials
    Commercial electrical work
    $79.20 - $86.70 per hour, plus parts and materials
    Electrical work for home remodeling or addition
    $74.60- $83.00 per hour, plus parts and materials.
  6. Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of San Antonio?

    Electrical problems in the home should be treated as emergencies because they are potential threats to your safety and your properties. Some electrical problems that are common in homes are power outages, burnt or dead outlets, electric shocks, short circuits, and circuit breaker failure. Upon noticing any electrical issue, it is advisable to get a licensed electrician to fix it as soon as possible. You can utilize the Contractor Search portal maintained by the City of San Antonio or check third-party websites like Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Yelp to find electricians near you who can attend to the issues immediately. However, ensure the electrician you pick is duly licensed. To confirm the licensure of your intended electrician, you can check the TDLR License Data Search or contact the TDLR Customer Service at (800) 803-9202.

  7. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of San Antonio?

    Electricians in San Antonio are required to maintain general liability insurance of at least $300,000 for bodily injury and property damage. This is because construction-related accidents are common in Texas leading to severe types of injuries or even death. Also, most electricians work in potentially unsafe environments, such as doing repairs in elevated and unprotected structures and scaffolding and coming in contact with hazardous substances like lead and mercury. For instance, the November 2020 report given by the Texas Department of Insurance's Division of Workers' Compensation indicated that there were 11,300 nonfatal injuries and illnesses reported in the state's construction industry in 2019. Considering this, hiring an insured electrician mostly protects you from being financially liable for work-related injuries, property damage, and other perils in connection with your electrical work.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Electrician in the City of San Antonio

Home improvement scam is one of the most common scams residents of Texas complain about yearly. These scammers use various methods to lure their victims, including collecting huge payments upfront and abandoning the work or doing shoddy work, price gouging, using substandard materials, and upselling. However, below are tips that will help you avoid fraud and scams when it comes to hiring a contractor for home repairs:

  • Always verify your electrician's license.
  • Get written estimates from at least three electricians to help you decide which offers are fair enough.
  • Do not make full payment for your project upfront. Instead, make a partial payment and pay the balance when the job is completed and done to your satisfaction.
  • You can also utilize the Search for Violations page on the TDLR website for any administrative order filed against your intended electrician.
  • Ask your intended electrician for a written contract detailing the necessary information related to your planned project. You may consult an attorney for legal assistance and review of the contract.
  • Do not sign any contract until you have carefully read and understood it.
  • Avoid making payments in cash. Rather, pay with a check or credit card. This helps with keeping records of payments made.

If you feel you're the victim of a scam by an electrician, you can file an online complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Alternatively, you can submit an online complaint with the Texas Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division or obtain a downloadable complaint form in English or Spanish and mail it to:

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Consumer Protection Division
  • P.O. Box 12548
  • Austin, TX 78711-2548

The Consumer Protection Division generally handles complaints by attempting to facilitate settlement between the relevant parties, except in instances of unlawful conduct where the case may be referred to the relevant prosecuting authority. However, this does not insinuate that the Division provides legal representation or offers monetary compensation. Hence, an aggrieved resident can solicit legal advice from a qualified attorney, consider filing a small claims lawsuit at Bexar County Justices of the Peace and request monetary compensation. Aggrieved residents should note that small claims lawsuits are for matters not exceeding $20,000.