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5 Tips for Getting Electrical Work Done Right: An Interview with Danny Ehinger of Ehinger Electric

By Danny Ehinger

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I am a general journeyman electrician; trained as a commercial electrician. I have worked on projects ranging from high rise buildings in downtown LA to sports complexes and ballpark lighting to residential multifamily units to installing ceiling fans in homes, and all of these jobs are equally important. At Ehinger Electric I specialize in service and repair. Service and repair is work done to existing structures like maintenance, upgrading or additions. The most important thing I offer is honesty and doing each job the best and safest way I know how.

What are two or three of the most common electrical issues you've seen in Southern California?

In southern California we work on a range of issues for our clients. The most common are device troubleshooting and upgrading, and repair and upgrading. Plugs and switches are called devices and they constitute a large portion of our repair work. We commonly see old outlets and switches that need to be replaced and also many that need to be updated for safety as the code changes. For example many kitchens and bathrooms are required to have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protections but do not have them. When we see this issue on a safety walk through we recommend this upgrade to our clients. Panel repair and replacement is also an issue as many homes reach the 20 to 40 year old mark and the code continues to improve panel safety. At Ehinger Electric we make sure to complete all panel upgrades with the best and latest equipment so the homeowners will not have to worry about their panel for, hopefully, their lifetime.

When is it a good idea for homeowners to consult a licensed electrician?

I recommend contacting an electrician before you need one. Most good companies will offer a safety evaluation of your home and can asses issues before you have an emergency. Home electrical maintenance is rarely thought of but can save homeowners many problems. This will also give homeowners a chance to see how a service call will go when there really is a need. If you are uncomfortable with the first contractor you have out you can use an item from the safety report to try out another. One important thing to find out on the first call is if the company you call normally does service and repair, if they don't you may be wasting both your time and theirs. Electrical contractors that do larger construction projects will be less likely to give your job the proper attention. ​

What qualifications should people look for before hiring an electrician?

Not a relative and not a friend. I jest, but really so many issues and heartache are caused by unprofessional behavior that can arise from these, "Hey, I can do that for you" relationships. If you really want something done, just say no to these offers. Now when you are looking for a good professional here are some guidelines. They must be licensed by the contractors board for the trade you are hiring them to work on. (Trade equals electrical, plumbing, drywall, etc.) In California the license for electrical is C-10, your contractor should have it on him or be able to show you proof. Unless the owner of the license is the one working on your home all employees doing electrical work should have a state certification license on them, just ask to see it. You should also ask to see their proof of insurance. I am never offended when people ask to see my credentials in fact I make it a point to tell my clients about them. ​

How are the service contract and fee typically set up?

On all calls it is my goal to give our clients a complete price before starting any work. I also like to let them know what to expect as the work is completed and if there will be any damage to drywall, etc. Once my clients understand the work and the price we agree and in most cases I do the work the same day.

What important tip about electrical maintenance and safety would you give to Southern California home buyers?

Get involved. Homeowners can do a lot to help keep up their electrical system. Homeowners should become familiar with their panel and circuit breakers. A panel is designed to be safe to a user when all the covers are on so I encourage homeowners to do regular maintenance on their breakers. I show them to turn breakers off and on yearly to be sure they are working. I also show them how to test their AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) breakers and GFCI breakers monthly. Checking GFCI outlets and smoke detectors in another easy way to be involved in your own electrical maintenance. Aside from these simple things having good relationship with your electrical professional so they can help you with the stuff you can't see will keep your home and loved ones safe. ​

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

If you're more comfortable talking go ahead and call me at 805-GET-HELP. If you would rather work things out over email go to my site and schedule and appointment. Either way I look forward to providing you with exceptional service!

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