How to Hire the Right Electrical Company near Bethel Alaska
Many of us only think of hiring an electrician in Bethel AK when a light stops working or an additional electrical outlet needs to be installed. But if you have never hired an electrical contractor in the past, just how do you go about finding and hiring one that is both professional and reliable? And with so many to choose from, either in the Yellow Pages or by searching on the internet, how do you properly qualify them so that you pick the best one for the job? Almost all of them advertise that they offer the same services, from installing ceiling fans to replacing electrical panels. But if you just let your “fingers do the walking”, will you end up with a certified electrical pro, or just some handyman that does wiring and other odd jobs on the side? The answer is that to ensure that you hire the right professional for your project you need to do your due diligence and ask the right questions. And to help you do just that, we have put together a list of steps and questions that you should ask the contractors that you will be interviewing. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what electricians do, the services that they offer and why you should hire one.
What do Electricians Do?
Electricians, or electrical contractors as they are also called, perform a wide range of services for both Bethel AK residential and commercial properties. Basically if it has to do with electricity and wiring they can handle it. If there is a problem with an electrical system, they can inspect or troubleshoot it and then repair it as needed. If it’s an electrical device or appliance, they can install it or replace the old one. Below is a more detailed listing of some of the specific services that you can expect from a licensed and certified electrician in your area:
- Ceiling and Attic Fans installation or repair
- Electrical Wiring or Rewiring
- Outlets and Switches installation or replacement
- Troubleshooting and Inspections
- Electrical Panel installation or upgrade
- Interior Lighting installation or replacement
- Electric Generator installation
- Appliance installation or replacement
As we have already mentioned, even if it is not on the list and it has to do with electricity and wiring, an electrician can probably handle it. Often they work with other Bethel AK skilled tradesmen, such as plumbers or HVAC techs when more complex systems are installed, such as during new construction projects. Some may specialize in either residential or commercial projects exclusively, so be sure to inquire before hiring.
Electrician Certifications and Licensing
As we have already covered, Bethel AK electrical workers can perform a wide range of jobs, from inspecting the wiring in homes and buildings to make sure it is up to code to installing electrical systems. Naturally these skills must be learned, and the process usually starts with an apprenticeship program. Upon completion of about 4 or 5 years of training as an apprentice, journeyman electricians are required in most states to become licensed. They are tested on general knowledge and electrical theory as well as their knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). But licensing is only a minimum requirement, and many electricians opt to further distinguish themselves by obtaining one or more certifications. The certifications that are available vary state to state and are available in different specialties, such as for troubleshooting or cable splicing. Some examples of respected certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). Although obtaining a professional certification is not mandatory, it is an optional way for electricians to demonstrate that they are highly skilled and experienced in their area of expertise.
Why Hire a Professional Electrician
When you have an electrical problem in your home or business, it’s usually not the type of job that you want to entrust to a general handyman. If your power is out or you need to have a new circuit panel installed, you want to make sure that you hire a professional that can get the job done properly, and most importantly safely. Following is a list of some of the advantages of hiring a certified and licensed Bethel AK electrical contractor instead of a “Mister Fixit”.
- They can get the job done fast. Many Bethel AK professional electrical contractors offer 24 Hour Emergency Service, so that they can be at your home during off-peak hours or whenever you need the work done. And not only will they get there fast, but they will do the job right the first time and guarantee their work.
- They have the expertise to get to the root of the problem. Sometimes an issue may seem very basic at first glance, but may be more complex in nature and if not fixed immediately could result in more expensive repairs or perhaps even catastrophic loss in the future. Licensed Bethel AK electricians have the expertise and experience to ferret out the root cause of your electrical problem so it is fixed right and completely the first time.
- They have the resources to procure the right parts and accessories. Many professional Bethel AK electricians carry a wide assortment of parts right in their service vehicles. And if they don’t have the exact part they need for your job, they know where to get it fast, often while they are still on your job. If larger items need to be replaced, such as an electrical panel or generator, they often have access to special deals that can save you money over buying retail.
- They keep up to date on the latest supplies, systems and techniques. As a professional, your licensed Bethel AK electrician keeps abreast of the latest developments in his business. Professionals take pride in their work by staying current on the latest trends and developments in their industry.
Hiring a Qualified Electrician
Finding an electrician is just the beginning of your due diligence process to ensure you pick the right professional for the job. There are questions you should ask to make sure that the Bethel AK contractor you hire is both qualified and reputable. We have already discussed certification, which is one way to verify experience and expertise. Following are some additional steps that you should consider taking before committing to hiring an electrical specialist for any major projects. For much smaller jobs, you may be able to skip one or more steps, such as meeting the electrician in your home first.
- Ask family and friends for referrals. Often the best source for finding a good Bethel AK electrical contractor is by asking friends and family if they have used someone that they were happy with. When you receive a referral, ask what type of work the contractor did, if they were completely satisfied with the work, and if the price was fair and in line with other contractors. Another way to obtain referrals that is becoming more popular is to use a service that pre-screens contractors in your area that will provide no obligation quotes for electrical services.
- Verify that the electrician has required licenses and insurance. Be sure to check that the contractor you are considering is in compliance with all local and Alaska licensing requirements and certifications. Also, be sure to ask for certificates of insurance for the contractor’s Worker’s Compensation and Liability Insurance in the event that there is an injury to an employee while working or damage to your Bethel AK property. As a precaution, contact the insurance companies to make sure that the coverages are all current.
- Find out How Long in Business. Many new Bethel AK companies fail within the first few years of business, making it difficult if not impossible for their former customers to receive any warranty work in the future. Also, some less scrupulous companies close down and reopen new businesses periodically when customer complaints mount. That is not to say that all newer companies are not reputable, just try to find out a little bit more about the background of the principals involved when evaluating a new enterprise.
- Check for customer complaints. Do some due diligence by checking with your Alaska Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed against the Bethel AK electrical contractor you are considering. Online local rating services, such as those provided by Google and Yelp, can also give you some insight regarding the reputation of the contractor within your community.
- Ask for references. Talk with 2 or 3 past clients of the contractor to get some feedback on the quality of the work performed. Ask if they were completely satisfied with their experience, and if not, why not. Also, did the final bill come in as quoted, and if not, why not. Finally, ask them if they had a major electrical project in the future, would they likely re-hire the same Bethel AK contractor.
- Meet with the electrician at your home. Before making a final assessment and providing a firm quote for services, the contractor should be willing to inspect your system and perform a diagnostic if necessary. Be wary of any Bethel AK contractor that makes a cursory inspection without asking many questions unless it is for a minor project. Also, for major projects, do not take final bids over the phone unless the contractor has already completed an inspection and follows up in writing.
- Obtain several bids before making your final choice. It is a good idea to get bids from at least 3 Bethel AK contractors before selecting the electrical specialist for the job. Overall cost is important, but be sure to also compare the quality of the components installed or replaced, including warranties. Keep in mind that always going for the cheapest proposal is not necessarily the best value in the long run.
- Get it all in writing. Once you have narrowed down your search to your final selection, ask the Bethel AK electrical contractor to put it all in writing. Things that you want to see in writing are all of the costs and fees, start and completion dates, guarantees and warranties, and payment due dates. Most importantly, be sure that you receive a detailed summary of all work to be completed, and systems to be installed, including brand and model numbers. If permits are required, make sure that they will handle them as well. There should be no surprises or deviations from the written proposal without your approval.
Looking for an Electrician Near Bethel Alaska?
If you live in Bethel AK and are looking for a reliable, qualified electrician, following is some interesting and useful information regarding your hometown.
Bethel (Mamterilleq in Central Alaskan Yup'ik) is the largest community on the Kuskokwim River, located approximately 50 mi (80 km) upriver from where the river flows into Kuskokwim Bay. Bethel is the largest community in western Alaska and in the Unorganized Borough, as well as the 9th largest in the state, with a population of 6,080 as of the 2010 Census. Bethel is home to the lone detention center in southwestern Alaska, the Yukon Kuskokwim Correction Center.
Southwestern Alaska was the traditional place of Yup'ik people and their ancestors for thousands of years. They called their village Mamterillermiut, meaning "Smokehouse People", after their nearby fish smokehouse. It was an Alaska Commercial Company trading post during the late 19th century, and had a population of 41 people in the 1880 U.S. Census.
In 1885, the Moravian Church established a mission in the area under the leadership of Rev. William Weinland and Caroline (born Yost)  and John Henry Kilbuck, Jr., a Lenape, and his wife Edith, a daughter and granddaughter of Moravian missionaries in Kansas. They both learned Yup'ik, which greatly enhanced their effectiveness as missionaries. He made Yup'ik the language of the Moravian Church in the community and region, and helped translate scripture into the people's language. The missionaries moved Bethel from Mamterillermiut to its present location on the west side of the Kuskokwim River. A United States post office was opened in 1905.
Electrical Contracting Bethel Alaska
Finding and hiring the right Bethel AK electrical contractor is not as hard as you thought. Just as long as you ask the right questions and follow the steps we have outlined in this article. You originally came to our website due to an interest in Electrical Contracting. So remember, there is no obligation to receive free estimates from some of the top contractors servicing your area. Qualified electricians are standing by waiting to compete for your business. So what are you waiting for? Find the right professional at the right price now!
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