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What to Look For When Hiring an Electrical Contractor

Gilroy Electrical Contractor

The Top 3 Must-Haves for Your Next Electrical Contractor

Whether you are in need of major electrical repairs in your home or business, or it is time to join the electrification movement through efficient upgrades, it is not always easy to know which electricians are worth contacting. A quick search online for “electricians near me” will reveal countless companies claiming to offer residential electrical services, commercial electricians, and even emergency electricians.


Unfortunately, not all electrical contractors are created equal, and the electrician with the best marketing is not always the right person to hire. At Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric, we know how important it is to choose the right provider for your electrical project. That is why we put together a quick guide on what to look for when choosing an electrical contractor.


Read on to learn how to properly assess your options before making your final decision.


The Top Three Qualities to Look for in an Electrical Contractor

When browsing the internet or asking for recommendations, make sure you are on the lookout for the following qualities:

  1. Fully Licensed and Insured

There is nothing stopping any run-of-the-mill handyman from building a website and calling themselves an electrician. Claiming to be an electrical contractor and actually being one are not the same thing.


In California, there are specific definitions for the different kinds of electricians. The level not only describes the electrical contractor’s training but what kind of work they are licensed to do. Working with the appropriate level of licensure will ensure that your electrical project is completed accurately and safely.


California recognized five levels of electrical licensure:

General Electrician

  • 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience covering at least two electrical fields (I.E., residential, commercial, industrial, etc.)

  • Pass a 270-minute, 100-question exam

  • Can work on nearly every kind of electrical project


Residential Electrician

  • 4,800 hours of on-the-job experience across two electrical fields

  • 210-minute, 80-question exam

  • Can work on most non-commercial projects


Fire/Life/Safety Tech

  • 4,000 hours of on-the-job experience

  • 135-minute, 50-question exam

  • Qualified to work on fire, life, and safety systems


Voice/Data/Video Tech

  • 4,000 hours of on-the-job experience

  • 135-minute, 50-question exam

  • Qualified to work on voice, data, and video system


Non-Residential Lighting Tech

  • 2,000 hours of on-the-job experience

  • 135-minute, 50-question exam

  • Qualified for non-residential lighting


Did you know that there are over 4,000 non-lethal electrical injuries each year, which includes over 400 electrocutions and 200 deaths? An electrician with a license has the appropriate training to avoid unsafe situations. On that same note, an unlicensed and uninsured worker carries no liability if someone or something is damaged on your property, and most homeowner insurance policies do not cover work completed by unlicensed workers.


The team at Watson’s Charging Stations & Electrical are fully licensed and fully insured, and we have experience across the board. Whether you need help replacing an old electrical panel or want to design a solar-powered microgrid with an energy storage system to run your home off the main grid, we are here to help.

  1. Great Reviews and References

Historically, people rely on their friends and family for recommendations on everything from which toothbrush to buy to where to buy a car to which electrical contractor does the best job. The same is true today, but our circle for recommendations has enlarged to include the entire internet.


While there is still value in leaning on your friends and neighbors to recommend an electrician, you do not want to skip looking for that contractor’s reviews online. Customer reviews, testimonials, and references give you a clear insight into an electrical contractor’s commitment to safety, quality, and service.


Of course, a few bad reviews do not necessarily mean a company is not worth your attention. You want to look for trends and consistent reviews to understand better how a company treats its customers and projects.


At Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric, we value customer feedback, and hearing from our customers helps us improve. Not only do we highlight direct quotes from our clients on our website, but we also invite you to read our reviews online.

  1. A Variety of Services

Sometimes, a specialist is helpful, but they may not be able to handle the entirety of your electrical project. Believe it or not, even seemingly simple electrical repairs and installation projects can be full of complex nuances. You want to work with an electrical contractor who can take on every project element with excellent proficiency.


For example, suppose you recently purchased an electric vehicle and want to install an at-home electric vehicle charger in your garage. You call up an electrician specializing only in installing Level 2 home EV chargers. That is what you want, so it sounds like a good match. When the contractor arrives at your home, they see that you do not have a dedicated 240-volt circuit in your garage, but they don’t deal with running new lines.

You do some more looking around and find an electrician who specializes in running 240-volt outlets and hire them to take on this part of the project. Once that is complete, your EV charging station contractor can get to work. When the contractor shows up this time, they recognize that your electrical panel is older and maxed out. It cannot handle a new 240-volt line, but they do not deal with panel upgrades. You must hire a different contractor to replace and upgrade your electrical service.


At the end of the day, you could end up hiring multiple specialists to handle different aspects of the project. It takes much longer and costs much more than you initially expected.


When you work with Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric, you do not have to worry about breaking off different aspects of the job to various specialists. In our hypothetical scenario, we would be able to upgrade your service, add a dedicated line to your garage, and install your EV charger potentially in one trip. From charging stations to microgrids to home automation, and more, we can take on any electrical project that comes our way, saving you the time, money, and hassle involved when working with specialists.


Get Your Free Quote Today

Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric is the premier electrical contractor in the Gilroy, CA, and Santa Clara Valley area. We have a team of fully licensed & insured electricians, excellent online reviews, and a full range of services. Whether you have an installation project at your home, business, or property or just need a quick repair, contact us today for your free consultation. Let us show you why people keep coming back to Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric.