top of page

Hiring an Electrician: Identify Red Flags vs Good Reputations

Hiring an electrician can be a daunting task, especially if you're not familiar with the electrical industry. A reliable and skilled electrician is crucial for ensuring the safety and efficiency of your electrical systems. This guide will help you understand how to recognize a good reputation, determine what questions to ask an electrical contractor before hiring them, and how to identify common problems and red flags.

Common Problems and Identifying Red Flags

Identifying potential problems and red flags can save you from hiring an unreliable electrician. Here are some common issues and warning signs to watch for:

1. Lack of Proper Licensing and Insurance

  • An electrician who cannot provide proof of licensing and insurance should be avoided. This indicates a lack of professionalism and can put your safety and finances at risk.

2. Not Getting Permits and Inspections

  • This is a frustratingly common practice among even licensed electricians. Permits are an additional expense and inconvenience that contractors and homeowners sometimes choose to avoid. This leaves customers vulnerable to safety hazards and can affect resale of the home.

3. Poor Communication

  • Difficulty in reaching the electrician or delays in responding to inquiries can be a red flag. Effective communication is essential for a successful working relationship.

  • If an electrical office does not answer their phone or return your call within 24 working hours, this is likely the level of difficulty you will experience throughout the duration of your project.

4. No Written Estimate For Medium to Large Sized Projects

  • A reputable electrician will provide a detailed written estimate. If they are unwilling to do so, it may indicate a lack of transparency, dishonesty, or an attempt to hide additional costs.

5. Extremely Low Estimates

  • While it's important to find a good deal, estimates that are significantly lower than others should raise suspicion. This could indicate inexperience, cutting corners, subpar materials, unqualified labor, or the potential for unexpected costs later on.

6. Unprofessional Behavior

  • Rude, disrespectful, or unprofessional behavior is a major red flag. Trust your instincts and avoid electricians who make you feel uncomfortable.

7. Lack of References or Reviews

  • If an electrician cannot provide references or has mostly negative reviews, it's best to look elsewhere. Reliable electricians should have a history and proof of satisfied customers.

8. No Contract/Official Agreement

  • Ensure that all agreements are put in writing, including the scope of work, cost, and timeline. A lack of a contract can lead to misunderstandings and disputes.

9. Overly Complicated Explanations

  • While electrical work can be complex, a good electrician should be able to explain things in a way that you understand. If their explanations are overly complicated or unclear, it may be a sign that they are not confident in their work or are trying to confuse you.

Recognizing a Good Reputation

A good reputation is one of the most important factors to consider when hiring an electrician. Here are some ways to identify a reputable electrician:

1. Check Online Reviews and Ratings

  • Online reviews, especially from Google, can provide valuable insights into an electrician's reputation. Look for electricians with consistently high ratings and positive feedback from clients.

  • Pay attention to the number of reviews. An electrician with many reviews is likely to have more experience and a more established reputation than one with only a few.

2. Ask for Recommendations

  • Personal recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues can be incredibly valuable. People you trust are more likely to give honest feedback about their experiences with a particular electrician.

  • Hardware stores, building supply companies, and the Chamber of Commerce often have lists of reputable electricians they work with regularly.

  • Local Facebook groups aren't entirely reliable due to the nature of social media, but they can provide a starting place to gather tips from community members.

3. Verify Licensing and Insurance

  • A reputable electrician will have the proper licensing and insurance that they are willing to share with customers. Verify that the electrician's license is current and in good standing with the relevant state or local licensing board.

  • Ask for proof of insurance to ensure that you are protected in case of accidents or damage during the job.

Questions to Ask

Asking the right questions can help you determine if an electrician is the right fit for your project. Here are some essential questions to ask:

1. Are You Licensed and Insured?

2. How do you handle permits and inspections?

3. Can You Provide Reviews or References?

4. What is the Estimated Cost?

5. Who Will Be Doing the Work?


Hiring an electrician is a significant decision that can impact the safety and functionality of your home or business. By recognizing a good reputation, asking the right questions, and identifying common problems and red flags, you can make an informed choice and ensure that your electrical project is completed successfully.

Cascade Electric offers top tier service and has a perfect track record of customer service. Whether you're undertaking a small repair or a large-scale commercial project, trust us to bring our expertise and small-town values to every job we undertake.

CALL (509) 656-4211



bottom of page