Do I need a licensed electrician?

Many home and business owners question themselves as to weather or not they need to hire a licensed electrician. But did you know that in Ontario it is the law to hire only electricians that are licensed electrical contractors?

You may not be aware of a local electrician near you so deciding on who you need to hire for a project or job can be a difficult decision. If you plan is to do the work by yourself or internally by a existing employee you may want to review the following.

Some projects are considered more DIY friendly then others so lets review some job examples of what you may need a electrician for.

Home Renovations

There are many home renovations that you can do by yourself. However there are times when you may need to consider if you have the abilities, knowledge and tools to get it it done safely by yourself.

In most cases a hired handyman may be used for general construction. It is important to note that they can not be used to perform electrical work for others unless its in their own home.

Do I need an electrician to install a light fixture?

With ownership of any building there will come a time where you will need to complete electrical maintenance.

A common task is replacing a non functioning electrical switch, receptacle outlet or a light fixture. For a licensed electrician employed by a LEC this would be a rather mundane task.

However, it is important to realize the danger by not following proper procedures such as turning the power off. Also then verifying the power is off at the circuit with a digital muti-meter. Forgetting to turn the power off or working on a live circuit puts you or your employee at significant risk of electrical shock.

Part of fixing anything electrical is understanding why it failed in the first place. Replacing a device may only fix part of the problem if there is something causing it to fail or stop working. As a DIY’er you may end up having to fix something multiple times before getting to the root cause of a problem.

Signs of electrical problems in home

Perhaps a old electrical device failed for a reason. Do you have the necessary knowledge and experience to recognize a more complicated issue. If not you may get yourself in over your head and require a electrician to sort it out for you.

Although a home owner is allowed to pull a electrical permit for a renovation for their home you may find that once it comes time for inspection that you have defects that will need to be corrected.

A costly mistake could end up requiring additional materials to fix problems and re doing work to meet electrical codes. The reality is that you would be better off hiring a electrician to do the job properly the first time rather than having to pay twice because of a mistake that was made.

Liability and insurance

Another consideration is liability. Will your insurance company cover you for losses should you need to make a claim on work you completed. As a home owner you may not be covered if you failed to obtain all the proper permits leaving you open to cover all the expenses out of pocket.

Avoid a electrical Injury

As a business owner you need to be concerned about the possibilities of injuries to the public. If electrical work was carried out and someone was to get hurt who is liable for the damages?

Types of electrical injuries

There are for main types of electrical injuries, electrocution, electric shocks, burns and falls. Electrical contractors that employ electricians are mandated to carry liability insurance. This protects the public should they receive injury form a electrical installation.

Can you work as a electrician without a license?

No. In Ontario the exception to the rule is if you are a registered electrical apprentice thorough ministry of training college and universities – MTCU. As a electrical apprentice you are not yet licensed but supervised by a licensed electrician. This enables enrollment in college to learn the electrical trade and preform electrical work for others under supervision.

In Ontario, a home owner is only allowed to carry out electrical work in their own home provided they obtained the necessary electrical permit. In other words an individual can not pull out a electrical permit on a house or building that they do not own. The exception is that you are a licensed master electrician with a electrical contractors licence (LEC).