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Some Electrical Terms to be Familiar with – Electrician’s Vocabulary

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When hiring an electrician, some terms to be familiar with (we will continue to add to this page as more questions come in):

License- a legal right to perform electrical work within a geographical location. The authority in Syracuse granting licenses is the Code Enforcement department. Only a license holder may install electrical work within the City. This information is available to the public.

Certified – Carries no legal weight in the City. The term ‘certified’ is used by many agencies such as employers, the State, the Electrical Unions to describe some level of competency as granted only within that organization (such as certified apprentice or journeyman).

Permit – Permits to perform electric work are granted, where necessary, by the authority having geographical jurisdiction. In the City of Syracuse only a license holder may be issued a Permit. In the surrounding communities and suburbs, sometimes a permit is not issued, nor are you required to be licensed to perform the electrical work. However, an inspection by an electrical inspector agency, approved to inspect in that community, is always required.

Inspection – Electric work other than the simple replacement of light fixtures, receptacles and switches, always requires an inspection, regardless of whether it’s performed in the city, county, state. Check with your local building department on the procedure for obtaining an inspection from an agency approved by them. If no permit fee was collected you can be sure there is a fee for the inspection and usually for a re-inspection, should it not pass.

Electrical Code : The ‘National Electrical Code’ is adopted into law nationally. Any smaller municipality may require more stringent adaptations. The Inspector has the authority to determine whether something complies with the Code, and the approved inspector is also usually called the ‘authority having jurisdiction’ when it comes to electrical installations.

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Electrician

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1) Are you Licensed?

Not all municipalities require a person installing electrical wiring to be licensed..(see the ‘Electrical Terms to be Familiar with‘ post). However, having a valid license is a sign the electrician knows what he is doing, and is absolutely required by law in the City in most instances.  If you are unsure if you need a licensed electrician, call us under no obligation and ask us.   We won’t steer you wrong and will give you the facts.  You may find out you can do it yourself.  Licenses can be verified by calling the City Codes department.

2) Are you Insured ?

Insurance is a good idea for any contractor to have and certainly, electrical work is on that list. If something should go wrong on your job that the electrician is at fault for, you might be financially reimbursed for your loss.  Proof of insurance is maintained on file with the City for license holders.

3) How would you go about estimating my job?

The contractor should be prepared to give you a price for the job, even if that means an hourly rate. At Kelley Electrical Services we will either give you a firm price or an estimate of the time it will take.

4) What experiences do you have with projects similar to mine?

Experience and references are the best indication of future performance.

5) What can you tell me about my project that I may not have considered?

Having an in depth knowledge of the kind of project you are considering shows the competency and experience of the contractor.

Major Restoration in Sedgewick Completed

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Recently a 7,500 square foot mansion in the historic Sedgewick district in Syracuse was completely rewired by Kelley Electrical Services. Built in 1905 as the wedding home of a then prominent Syracuse lawyer, it featured 3 stories, 8 bedrooms, 5 baths, 5 fireplaces, a grand ball room, parlor, dining, 2 kitchens, butlers quarters, a flawlessly executed poured basement, and detached garage. This project was done with the owner and contractor on her schedule. Vast amounts of every wiring method ever invented had to be removed from the basement and elsewhere, then a completely new overhead 200A service and sub-panels were installed. Receptacle outlets were added per new construction code specs in all of the rooms, lighting and switching updated, and a jacuzzi and hot tub installed. The owner and her husband now enjoy the grand splendor of its original beauty ..with the conveniences of modern electric!