Electrician FAQ

Learn more about the most common electrical questions & answers below…

Octopus wiring is an electrical connection where multiple cables or extension cords are plugged into a single power outlet.

An example of octopus wiring is when you plug multiple extension cords into a wall socket.

Octopus wiring is dangerous because it can result in exceeding the electrical capacity of the power outlet. Or it could lead to wires or plugs overheating and getting burnt when the total current passing through the wires exceeds the indicated power rating – the overheating of wires can start a fire.

In order to ensure safety, you should avoid plugging multiple extension cords, or cables on one wall socket.

Due to the safety concerns involved when dealing with electrical repairs or installations, homeowners usually look for good electricians within their local area for their electrical services.

Here Are Some Ways You Can Find A Good Local Electrician:

1. Ask for recommendations from other local homeowners or neighbors. Perhaps they might be able to point you in the direction of a good electrician they’ve worked with before.

2. Search online for electricians within your local area.

For instance, if you’re in the San Jose, Ca. area, you can check Los Gatos Electricians to quickly find licensed and highly-trained electricians in your area.

We serve San Jose, Ca suburbs including: Campbell, Palo Alto, Fremont, San Mateo, Gilroy, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, and other areas within San Jose, Ca.

Though it’s not required, you can tip an electrician if you’re satisfied with the quality of service delivered.

Because electricians are professionals that are paid by the hour for their services, they don’t expect a tip from you, though it’s appreciated when you leave a tip.

So, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to tip your electrician, especially in cases where you feel like they went over and above what was expected of them for that job.

If you decide to leave a tip, as a rule of thumb, tips starts from a minimum of $20.

You might be charged between $50 – $100 per hour. It’s important to note that this hourly rate is charged for the actual work.

The hourly rate varies based on the electrician’s level of experience. Electricians are classified based on these three levels of experience: Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master.

Hourly rate goes up with each level of experience.

Some other factors that affect the total cost of electrical services apart from hourly rates are:

Complexity of the job: Simple electrical projects require less time to complete while complex jobs take more time, and cost more money.

Cost of materials: This is the cost of materials required to complete your project.

Electrician’s travels: This includes the cost of traveling to your home, and traveling to get supplies. Hiring licensed electricians within your local area can reduce this traveling cost.

In addition, emergency services where an electrician is needed in the night, weekends, or during holidays will incur extra charges.

If you need clarification as regards what’s included in a quote, you can ask your electrician, and they’ll provide clear explanations.

YES! You can negotiate price with an electrician but understand that you’d most likely end up getting just a few bucks off if the electrician budges.

That’s because a good electrician would have taken every necessary cost needed — to deliver quality electrical services — into consideration when sending you a quote to avoid surprises when work commences.

Note: Any drastic price cut could negatively impact the quality of service delivered, which could put your life and property at risk, and make you spend more in the long run.

Understandably, when hiring an electrician, you’d want to be sure that the electrician you’re about to hire can complete your job and deliver quality service.

Here are some tips to help you determine if an electrician is worth hiring:

1. Confirm that they are certified electricians with the necessary credentials and experience to handle your job safely and efficiently.

2. Ask for references and look out for testimonials from past clients to see what others have said about them.

3. Find out whether they have successfully done the type of job you want to hire them to do for previous clients. This should help you ascertain whether they’ll be able to complete your job successfully.

Electricity plays a critical role in our daily lives, but it also poses a risk of fire and safety hazards when electrical faults go undetected and unattended.

Here are some tips to help you spot problems in your building’s electrical system:

1. Burning smell: If you notice a burning smell from your outlets, electric panel, fuse box, and any other electrical appliances, it’s an indication that your electrical appliance or system’s wiring is overheating and melting its insulators.

Immediately unplug the affected appliances, shut off power, and contact an electrician to prevent avoidable fire outbreaks.

2. Electric shock: If you experience electrical shock when touching the metal surface of your appliances or other metal surfaces connected to your electrical system, that might be indicative of bad wiring, or fault in your appliances.

Unplug the affected appliance immediately, and contact an electrician to check it and ascertain the source of the problem.

3. Sparks: If you notice persistent sparks from any of your building’s outlets, unplug all connected appliances immediately.

Note: If left unattended, it could start a fire.

Reach out to an electrician to come inspect and identify the cause of the sparks.

Buzzing noises: Persistent buzzing noise from outlets, switches, and appliances that usually operate silently is also indicative of electrical faults.

Shut down power supply to the affected outlets, or appliances immediately.

Then get an electrician to identify the source of the problem and fix the fault.

Some warning signs of electrical circuit overload includes;

Strange sounds: If you hear your power outlets and switches making unusual crackling, buzzing, or sizzling sounds, it could be the result of an overloaded electrical circuit.

Turn off the power to the affected outlet immediately, and get an electrician.

Burning smell: If you observe that your power outlets or switches are emitting a burning odor, it’s possible your wires are overheating and the insulation material is burning due to electrical circuit overload.

If left unattended, it could start a fire or cause electric shock.

3. Tripping circuit breakers: When your circuit breaker trips repeatedly, and shuts power off, it’s an indication that you might be experiencing electrical circuit overload.

Circuit breakers are safety components within your electrical circuit and they would usually trip and shut off power supply when the circuit is overloaded to prevent overheating, and fire outbreaks.