When hiring a qualified electrical contractor it’s very important that property management get it right.

A building or facility electrical system is a key component of a safe and comfortable living experience for both owners and their tenants.

Don’t go on faith, you need to apply several approach strategies to ensure potential contractors have the required technical skills and bedside manner.

The Risks of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor

Sometimes customers share nighttime horror stories of workmanship, quality and safety concerns, as a result of hiring an unqualified electrician or handyman to fix the problem. Anyone can advertise they’re experienced and skilled in electrical repair, but a thorough background interview and proof of certification is advised.

Listed below are several reasons that selecting an experienced and licensed electrician is a must.

Does your Electrical Vendor have the following critical qualifiers?


  1. Master Electrician
    1. To operate an Electrical Company in BC you must be a certified Master Electrician. This certification is in addition to experience and training to a Red Seal journeyman certification.
    2. A Red Seal certification means you can work as a licensed electrician for a contractor. Red Seal Electricians cannot operate an electrical company or do electrical work for clients. Technical Safety BC and insurance will not cover work performed by an electrician who works independently. Electricians must perform electrical service and maintenance under a Master Electrician supervision and ticket.
    3. To obtain a Red Seal certification you must complete a minimum of 5 year apprenticeship under the supervision of a fully licensed electrician. Furthermore, there are 4, 10 week school terms to complete and pass with a 70% average to become certified.4. Apprenticeship rules require you log 6000 hours under supervision and you must complete three college segments consisting of 2 months prior to writing the final exam.
  2. Liability and Insurance Proof of liability Insurance

    1. Most property insurance for strata, cooperative housing, or commercial complexes require a minimum of 2 million. For example, PTX Electric Ltd maintains a 5M liability insurance policy that protects our customers, their tenants and our staff.

  3. WCB Health and Safety Training
    1. Electricians should be trained and follow a safe work policy. It is important that employers protect both employees and customers. Safe work knowledge protects staff and creates best practice business awareness. Some examples of the type training your electrical vendor will be able to provide are:
      1. Arc Flash
      2. Enclosed space
      3. Hot work
      4. Fall arrest and EWP (elevated work platforms) certificates
      5. WHMIS
    2. Electrical systems in strata, cooperative housing, or commercial complexes and rental properties can be quite complicated. As such, these systems require knowledgeable personnel to troubleshoot and solve electrical issues. Putting the welfare of your commercial or rental property in the hands of inexperienced or unlicensed electricians is playing with fire.
  4. Permitting
    1. One of the warning signs that an electrical company is not certified is they recommend that (no permit is required.) If the company is a legitimate organisation holding a Masters certification they should be aware of what type of work requires a permit. A Master Electrician will know what type of work falls within the non-permitted category as per code and local bylaws.
    2. When obtaining a permit from a municipal Electrical authority there is an inspection fee required for the planned work. Several inspections may be required over the duration of the project in addition to the final sign-off by a hydro representative upon completion.
    3. Electrical permits are pulled under local authority and attached to Business Licence for the district. A quick way to determine if your vendor is authorised to do permitted electrical work in your city or property location, you can call the city and ask if the Electrical Contractors Company has an active Business Licence. If he does not have a business licence with your city they (cannot pull a permit). There is a yearly cost to obtain an Electrical Business Licence for each municipality and some contractors think they can pull the wool over your eyes.
    4. If an unapproved electrician performs work in a city he is not licensed to work, his liability insurance and possibly your liability insurance may be refused if a potential claim arises.

Quality Electrical Workmanship and Warranties

  1. Quality workmanship should be expected, and is considered the norm, but this doesn’t always happen. PTX Electric guarantees quality workmanship and our technicians are trained to perform the work as though they were working in their own home.
  2. Our tagline says it all, (Different by Integrity) and we live by this rule.
  3. We honour our project estimates and all workmanship is backed up by a material and labour warranty.
  4. Be sure that a warranty is incorporated in the contract or discussed before you sign. Not all vendors will heed your call to fix a botched job and some even increase the cost.

Quick Response Times

  1. Do you need 24hour Emergency Service? PTX is a Service and maintenance company focused on saving your bacon when you need us most.
  2. At PTX Electric we pride ourselves at being a #1 choice when it comes to keeping you powered up, lights on.
  3. When comparing companies, response times may vary however if you are a service company, Emergency is an Emergency so find out what they offer and ensure it is adequate for your needs.

Hydro / Partner Relationship

  1. If the power is out that is when we shine brightest. Skilled electricians are on the spot to determine the issue. We don’t second guess or run away, we figure out the problem.
  2. Our solid relationship with most municipalities and BC Hydro improves response time to our calls and they are always there to support us.
  3. Hiring a handyman or unlicensed electrician may appear cheaper in the beginning but Hydro will not support or respond to an unregistered or unlicensed electrical contractor.
  4. That stated there is a significant risk when property managers hire unqualified electricians since the risk of substandard workmanship may result and even cause damage down the road.
  5. The slightest mistakes can lead to faulty wiring which is the leading cause of fires in buildings. Hiring a licensed electrician will reduce risks associated with electrical repair and installation


Comparison Shopping / It pays to do your homework

The challenge for project management companies is to find an electrical company who share similar values and are committed to develop long-term relationships. This avenue of Commitment, Response time, Quality, Reliability and Integrity are key components to success and benefit all parties. PTX Electric Ltd. is confident we provide this offering and stand behind our products, service and warranties.