To the layman, the job of the licensed electrician seems like medieval wizardry. You tend to check an electrician’s credentials and then trust him to do the job according to the best current standards defined through the local building code. With larger jobs and new construction, you know the work is okay because code inspectors, appraisers, and your private inspector provide redundant checks to make sure no problems exist in the work.
The Importance of Building Codes
Although building codes may seem a nuisance at times, they are in place for a reason. Codes define the bare minimum quality of work which is both safe today and will withstand whatever stress the building goes through in its expected lifetime. Electrical codes are especially important because faulty electric work causes fires which in turn destroy the home and put the entire neighborhood at risk. Faulty electric work which doesn’t actually cause a fire is at best an ongoing nuisance and frustration as you find you don’t have power at the outlets where you expect to access it on a daily basis.
Ongoing Code Work and Maintenance
Codes change over time as engineers determine better ways of using electricity and develop more efficient design plans. In legal terms, Grandfather Clauses assure you don’t have to rewire your house every time the building code is rewritten, but it is advisable to remain abreast of new codes and incorporate them during routine repairs and maintenance. This is when a licensed electrician proves their importance rather than making electrical repairs a do-it-yourself job or hiring a handyman to conduct the repairs.
Knowledge and Experience
The licensed electrician further proves their worth when they use their knowledge and experience to build beyond code requirements as they determine necessary according to the situation, or when they can anticipate upcoming changes to assure a more sound electric practice. A great electrician doesn’t simply know and build to code, but understands what the building code is intended to accomplish and takes the extra steps required for the nuances of each situation in which they work to assure you end up not with an adequate electric system but the best system available according to current technology. What seems to the layman as a fairly simple job often requires the experience of a licensed electrician to address underlying issues you may not be aware of.
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