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While you can do minor electrical work like changing a socket yourself (if you're a keen DIYer!), the majority of electrical work is illegal to do in the UK unless you have a qualified electrician sign it off. Working with electricity is dangerous, and incorrecty installed electricals can be a huge fire risk, so it's always worth seeking professional advice to make sure you're complying with Building Regulations in your area. (Electrical and Building Regulations differ across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

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  • What do electricians do?

    Electricians maintain, install and repair electrical systems in domestic and commercial properties. They often work alongside plumbers during installations of new electric showers or underground heating.

    Common jobs carried out by electricians include:

    • Fitting electric showers (with a plumber if a new feed is required)
    • Underfloor heating installation
    • New light installation
    • Installing electric appliances such as hobs and extractor hoods
    • Installing additional power sockets and light switches
    • Rewiring
    • Changing consumer units
  • How do you find an electrician you can trust?

    Finding an electricians with the right qualifications for the jobs you need can be a tricky business. Different electricians specialise in different areas, so it’s important to know the details of the work you need doing to ensure you’re approaching the right people with compatible qualifications. Checking that the electrician has a fixed place of work is useful in case you ever need to visit them or contact them in the future – be wary of tradespeople who can’t provide more than a phone number.

    Make sure you obtain multiple quotes before you make a final decision. Not only will this help you gain a better idea of what a fair price is, but you can compare qualifications, experience, and other details like whether they will clean up after themselves, provide parts or charge a flat or hourly rate.

    Before an electrician can join Checkatrade, we personally speak to a number of their previous customers to check that they provide excellent quality service. All of our members are then rated against their reliability and timekeeping, tidiness, courtesy and more by other customers, so you can browse reviews to find the perfect fit.

  • What questions should you ask an electrician?

    Who will be carrying out the work?

    Some electrician companies will have multiple electricians working for them, or will contract work out. Make sure you’re clear on who would be doing the work on your house so you can make sure they have all of the correct qualifications, experience and insurance.

    How much experience do you/they have?

    Electrical work can, in the wrong hands, be dangerous and carry a risk of fire or injury. Make sure the electrician carrying out the work has sufficient experience in similar jobs to the one you need doing. Asking to see examples of similar previous work or if they can provide references can help give you piece of mind.

    Are you registered with any Government Approved schemes?

    The UK Government has schemes available that allow electricians to self-certify their own work. If the electrician isn’t a member of any of these schemes, and the work is more complex than a light fixture change or socket change, or is in a bathroom or kitchen, it will need to be certified by a third-party.

    Can I see some proof of your certification?

    Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of certification. A good electrician will be happy to provide this for you.

    Do you have public liability insurance? If so, how much are you covered for?

    Electrical work carries risk, so make sure they have sufficient public liability so they are covered in the event of an accident. Part P registered electricians are required to have at least £2 million of cover.

    Will you provide certification that work meets British Safety Standards?

    Once completed, electrical work must be signed-off as meeting British Safety Standards. Make sure your electrician is registered to do this, and will provide certification on completion of the job.

  • What qualifications should an electrician have?

    There are a number of ways an electrician can become qualified, so there are a few different qualifications you should look out for. Some electricians will have completed an apprenticeship, which leaves them with an NVQ Level III. Others may hold a City & Guilds or EAL qualification. In England and Wales, electricians must comply with Part P building regulations and be registered with one of the UK’s Government approved schemes; ELECSA, NAPIT or NICEIC. If they aren’t registered with any of these schemes, you will need to have a third-party, who is registered to sign off other people’s work, check and certify the work afterwards.

    You can view a full list of the qualifications and accreditations an electrician has on their Checkatrade profile, along with all their contact details so you can get a quotes as soon as possible.

Need more advice?

The Checkatrade Advice Centre aims to help you with everything from cost guides to how to look after your boiler.
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