How do you find the right supplier to install and repair your electric heating? What should you look for? What are some of the red flags? This article will cover all of the questions you might have so you can find a reliable heating electrician.
It’s not easy to find a reliable, cost-effective and knowledgeable supplier to install, service and maintain the electric heating in your properties. You will, no doubt, have plenty of choice in your area. And more and more companies (usually sole traders) pop up regularly.
The wiring behind your walls powering your electric radiators and storage heaters is a complex lifeline for your home. It should only ever be tackled by a registered and fully qualified electrician.
Unless you are fortunate to have already found a trusted supplier, it’s not always easy to find someone you can rely on.
In this article, we’ll show you what to look out for when choosing an electric heating engineer. It will help you find a reliable, cost-effective and professional company that you can rely on to provide a quality service for years to come. There are some red flags to watch out for and some positive signals too.
Why is it so essential to ensure your electrician is experienced and reliable?
No one wants a botch job on the electric equipment in their home, especially their electric heating appliances.
A properly installed and well-maintained electric heating installation or repair can significantly reduce the possibility of accident or injury. It also ensures your electric radiators, storage heaters, and towel rails will perform as efficiently as possible.
Can you get word of mouth recommendations?
The ideal scenario when trying to find a local supplier for your electric heating (and most other services) is for someone you trust to make a recommendation. It’s the most reliable way to find a reputable tradesperson.
Ask friends or family living nearby whether they know a local electrician they can recommend. You can also ask your online community on Facebook. Most towns and cities have online communities (like Facebook Groups) that you can join. People are happy to help pass on the details of businesses they use and trust.
Can you find online reviews?
Most reputable businesses use review sites and social media to allow customers to rate their service (usually out of five stars) and write a short sentence or two describing their experience.
If you can’t see any feedback for the supplier anywhere online, you have reason to be concerned. Look for reviews on their Facebook and Google profiles.
There are dedicated review sites like Referenceline, TrustPilot, Which’s Trusted Trader service, and CheckaTrade to search too. Of course, if you can only see mainly negative reviews online, stay away.
You can also ask a potential supplier to provide a reference, but they really should have references and reviews available online for you to view. And if they refuse or try to avoid the subject, that’s a clear red flag and a sign that you should look elsewhere.
Do they have suitable qualifications and accreditations?
Ensure your potential electrician has the right qualifications for the job. Check that the electrician is registered with a government-approved scheme. These official schemes ensure their members perform work up to a high standard.
Are they a member of a trade body?
Established electrical businesses are typically members of a trade body. A trade body will undergo regular technical assessments on companies to ensure they comply with current regulations. Trade bodies hold their members to a high standard and will often look into complaints about their members.
Scotland’s trade body for the electrical contracting industry is the SELECT trade association. Founded in 1900 as The Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland, SELECT became the first trade association in the world to serve the electrical industry. Member companies account for around 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland.
We have been a member of the SELECT trade association for more than 50 years, taking full advantage of their refresher training courses. View our profile on the SELECT website.
You can search their Find a Contractor database to find a local SELECT Member.
Is their website up-to-date?
Always take a look at the website of the potential supplier. Look out for lack of detail or an outdated website. This probably isn’t a deciding factor in whether or not you choose that supplier. However, established providers will take care of their website and keep it updated regularly to stay relevant and competitive.
Are their prices fair?
Be clear about the work you want to be done and, unless it is minor, always get at least three different quotes for the work you need done to ensure you won’t pay too much.
There are also several labour costs websites you can use to a rough idea of how much the job should cost.
We recommend that you give your electrician a written summary of the work required, which will simplify the quotation process and give you and your electrician a clear record of what has been agreed. You can do this by email or a message on social media.
Our heating design form is a good example of the information you need to give a heating electrician. It includes details about the structure of your property, including the materials used for your walls and floors. It also gives you space for special instructions and questions.
A written summary of work ensures that:
- You can easily compare quotes
- The electrician will know exactly what work is required
- The electrician will be aware of any special instructions in advance
- The electrician will be able to give you options if there is more than one way to complete the work
- You can avoid a dispute as all parties are clear as to what has been ordered
Once you have gathered some quotes, it’s crucial to weigh up the cost, along with several other deciding factors like these:
- They have been recommended by people you know
- If they are a limited company or not
- How long the company has been established
- The size of the company (how many engineers work for them)
- They have a professional-looking van that features their logo and contact details
- Membership of governing bodies, review websites, etc
- They give a guarantee of their work
Avoid selecting a supplier based solely on price. Going with the cheapest option isn’t the best strategy, especially if the supplier is significantly cheaper than others who have quoted for your work. They may be trying to undercut the competition, or they might be desperate for the work and could end up rushing the job to compensate for the low price.
Have they provided a written quote?
It’s essential to get a formal, written quote. This can be in the form of a written quote delivered to you in person or by post or via email (which is most common these days).
A written quote protects you from any unexpected price increases or additional work. The quote should clearly explain what will be done and how much everything costs, including labour, materials and VAT.
You should also request that the quote includes the timings, so you know when work will start and be completed.
Do they have insurance suitable for an electrician?
You should ensure the potential supplier has the correct insurance to perform the work in your home. Look for public liability insurance of at least £2 million. This keeps you protected in the event of a major problem.
Trust your instincts
And finally, if your gut is telling you something is wrong, walk away, and look for someone else.
Looking for an experienced, reliable electric heating company?
We are a family-run business based in Dundee, providing electric heating services to Tayside, Fife, Angus, Perthshire, and surrounding areas since 1964.
Husband and wife team Darren and Gill oversee the operation with our team of highly experienced and qualified electricians. We help customers like you select the right electric heating products and ensure that your installation or maintenance goes smoothly.
Use our enquiry form to tell us what you need. And you can always call our friendly team for advice about any electric heating on 01382 566942 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm).