So who is the best electrician in Swansea? A simple question you would think, but unfortunately, there’s not really a simple answer.
If only there was a league table of local electricians, life might just be a little simpler, but there again, would it really?
If we did have a quick reference guide for the ‘Best Electricians in Swansea’, what would they be rated the ‘Best’ at?... Turning up on time? Being polite? Sticking to the Agreed Price?
When you begin to think it through, there’s a long list of things we want tradespeople to be good at and what’s very important to one person, may well be less important to another.
Which means that the best electrician in Swansea, is going to be the electrician that’s best for you.
There’s no easy way around it, you need to know what you want and then trawl the adverts and websites to find what you’re looking for.
The good news is, I’ve put together some useful pointers that should help you narrow down your search and hopefully arrive at the just the electrician you’re looking for.
1. Put Google Search Results in Context
Type “Electrician Swansea” into google, and it will say “About 990,000 results” but in actuality it will give you around 4 pages of approximately 140 results, which is slightly less daunting. Each of these results can be described as being either…
A sponsored link has the label “Ad” in bold before the listing. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It means, that particular electrician has decided to advertise their business and is willing to pay Google for every time someone clicks on their link.
This is a map that appears with a handful of flags on it, highlighting various electricians in and around Swansea. The map-pins show a random selection of electricians and a “view all” button directly underneath will list all electricians who have registered their business with Google. Whether or not an electrician is 'pinned' on the map, or how far up or down they appear on the list depends on Google's algorithms and is not an indication of how good they are, so it's worth scrolling all the way to the bottom.
There are numerous local directories such as Yell, Thomspons, Local Heroes etc. who will list any electrician who has registered with them. Sometimes these are free listings for the business, other times, the electrician will have paid for their listing, but being on the list is not a recommendation or indication of how good someone is, it just means that they have registered with that list. These are useful links to get contact numbers for local electricians, especially ones that don’t have a website or haven’t registered directly with Google. Some of them even run their own ‘Review’ system where you can read genuine feedback from other customers.
These are links to companies such as ‘Check a Trade’ or ‘Rated People’ etc. who sell ‘sales-leads’ to local tradespeople. The exact setup varies between companies, but generally they make it free for you to submit a description of your required work and then sell your contact details to Local electricians so that they can provide you with a quote. These can be useful platforms for local electricians who are just setting up in business or don’t advertise anywhere else and their ‘customer review’ section can be helpful, but just remember that they only work with electricians who choose to pay to be part of their system and ‘bad reviews’ might not always be displayed.
These are websites of electricians that appear naturally in your search results. How high up the list they are depends on Google’s algorithms, but their position on the list is no indication of how good, established, respected or professional they are. There are some very credible and established electricians in Swansea listed on the very last page, so don’t give up on the first page, it’s well worth looking through all the results.
Unfortunately, quite a number of search results will be for Electrical Wholesalers, Electrical Suppliers or other Electrical Businesses who aren’t electricians, but it’s usually easy to identify these and skip past them.
2. Shortlist the best electricians for you
So after putting your internet search results in context, it’s time to start thinking about who the best electrician in Swansea will be for you. The three main categories of services advertised most frequently by electricians are…
Covering commercial premises that members of the public frequently access… Hotels, Shops, Cinemas, Sports Centres, Caravan Parks etc.
Covering industrial premises that generally use large electrical machinery… factories, warehouses, farms etc.
Covering all premises generally considered to be homes... Houses, flats, apartments etc.
There is inevitably some cross-over and even ambiguity between these categories, for example a large tower block of apartments is ‘Commercial’, although an individual apartment within a tower block would still be ‘Domestic’.
However, we don’t need to get too caught up in that, because all electricians have to qualify to the same standard and the Wiring Regulations BS7671 cover all three categories. So this is not an issue of competence, but rather an issue of specialism. An ‘Industrial’ electrician is perfectly qualified to work on ‘Commercial’ premises and so on. What would be most helpful to you, is to work out what they are best at?
You want an electrician who’s at their best when they’re doing the kind of work you're looking for.
You want them to be fully in their stride; up to speed on the latest developments; resourced with all the right tools & equipment; well-rehearsed in the processes required; familiar with the components and knowledgeable on the kind of circuits they’ll be working on.
You want them to be happy, you want them to feel confident, you want them to be efficient and productive and successful. In short, you want them to be at their best when they’re doing your job. So it makes sense to find someone who spends most of their time doing the kind of work you want done.
On first glance, this might seem like a bit of a problem. Most electricians advertise that they do Industrial, Commercial and Domestic work, but don’t be put off.
It makes sense from an electrician’s point of view to advertise all three categories, after all, they are qualified in all three and they could be selling themselves short if they don’t point that out.
Nonetheless, it shouldn’t take long looking over their website and reading their reviews to get a feel for the kind of work they generally do on a daily basis.
If they don’t have a website, or you just can’t work it out, then don’t feel too embarrassed to ask.
Most people who are passionate about their job are more than happy to talk about it and it’s perfectly fine to ask someone what they’ve mainly been working on over the last 3 to 6 months, or what their last three jobs were.
It’s also perfectly acceptable to ask someone for references from previous customers. You don’t necessarily need to contact those people if you’re not comfortable doing so, but you’ll get an idea of whether they were Commercial, Industrial or Domestic customers just from the contact details.
Also, when someone provides you with references, they will naturally refer you to their happiest customers or the jobs that they feel most proud of, this will also indicate what kind of work they’re most comfortable doing.
Remember that you’re essentially looking to employ someone, and depending on what you need, you could be looking to spend a lot of money, so a little inquisitiveness is more than justified and in most cases, highly recommended.
Of course, there are a few electricians around Swansea who specialise in and advertise just one category of work. If their specialism is what you want, then you can put them straight on your shortlist.
Refining you search results down to only the electricians who are best for you is the most important and probably the most time consuming part, but once you're done there’s just a few more issues to take into consideration.
Qualifications & registrations
Part P scheme
3. Qualifications & registrations
There is no legal requirement in the UK for an electrician to have any particular qualification or be registered with any particular body. The Wiring Regulations state that an electrician must be “Competent”. In other words, so long as they know what they’re doing, then they’re allowed to do it.
Assessing an electrician’s level of competence is probably a little too much for most of us, so the next best thing is see if they are registered.
A registration body will assess an electrician’s competence and relevance of their qualifications. They will also check that an electrician’s business has valid public liability insurance and that their tools and equipment are in good working order.
So there’s some reassurance to be gained from choosing an electrician who is registered.
Unlike gas engineers, who have just one registration body (Gas Safe), electricians can choose to register with one or more bodies, and to confuse matters even more, the list of bodies can change from time to time.
In 2021, the most common Government Approved Registration Bodies for electricians in Swansea are…
If you find an electrician who is registered with a different body, then it’s best to do a little bit more research into whether or not it is a current ‘Government-Approved Registration Body for Electricians’.
4. Part P Scheme
You will have noticed that many electricians will refer to ‘Part P’ on their websites or in adverts, this means that they are part of an approved scheme that ensures compliance with Part P of the Building Regulations in the UK.
The Building Regulations state that your Local Authority must be notified of certain kinds of electrical work undertaken in your home. This is a legal responsibility that lies with you (the home-owner/landlord) and not necessarily with the electrician.
If you choose an electrician who is registered with one of the ‘Government-Approved Bodies’ (listed above), they are likely to be 'Part P Compliant' and should take care of all the necessary paperwork for you, but it's worth confirming this with them.
‘Part P’ regulations only apply to Domestic work. They do not apply to Commercial or Industrial work.
The price given by different electricians for doing apparently the same job, can vary enormously. It’s not unusual for the top price to be 5 or even 10 times higher than the cheapest price.
The reasons for this are numerous and complex and unfortunately, there’s no simple way of comparing them.
However, there are three things that you should be aware of when comparing different prices from different electricians…
Estimate vs Quote
Estimate vs Quote
‘Estimates’ are nothing more than a ‘best guess’. When an electrician provides you with an ‘Estimate’, they are essentially saying… “This is roughly what it might cost”.
Some electricians will be very sincere and attempt to be as accurate as they can with their guess, whilst others may provide the lowest ‘believable’ guess in order to give themselves the best chance of being chosen for the job.
Nonetheless, ‘Estimates’ are always guesses and some people are better at guessing than others.
‘Quotes’ on the other hand, are binding offers (or contracts). They are an ‘undertaking’ to do specific work for an agreed price.
However, it’s worth remembering that a ‘quote’ only commits the electrician to doing the specific work they have listed in the quote.
It’s not unusual for a job to genuinely require additional work that neither you nor the electrician had anticipated, and the larger or more complex the job, the more likely this is to occur.
It’s in everyone’s best interest for a ‘quote’ to be as specific as possible about what it does include.
The way in which somebody goes about doing something (the method) will determine how much work is involved, what materials are required and how long the overall job will take.
There are simple ‘slap-dash’ ways of doing things and there are more diligent ‘top-notch’ ways of doing things.
It’s perfectly possible that both methods could comply with regulations, it’s just that one might look a little unsightly, whilst the other will be more presentable and last longer.
Individual electricians will have they own preferred method of doing the job and this will be reflected in their price.
The quality of materials and components chosen by an electrician will have a massive impact on the overall cost of a job.
Some electricians will favour ‘cheap and cheerful’, whilst others are happy with ‘mid-range’ and some will only ever consider using ‘top quality’.
The cost difference between 'cheap' and 'quality' parts can be very large and if your job requires a lot of parts, this difference will be significant in the overall price.
These three factors (as well as many others) mean that, whilst you’re asking different electricians to price for the same job, you will seldom receive similar prices. It all depends on the electricians preferred method & parts and whether they're guessing or providing a fixed price.
With so many varying factors between different electricians, reviews become increasingly important. Actively go looking for as many reviews as you can find on the electrician(s) you’re considering.
Obviously, reviews are no guarantee and negative reviews are not always published, but genuine reviews are genuine and if other people are happy with the service they've received, that's got to mean something.
The more you can get to know about an electrician before employing one, the more likely it is that you'll employ one that's best for you.
So to summarise, when you’re looking for the ‘Best Electrician in Swansea’, you first need to decide, who’s best for you. Who spends most of their time, doing the kind of work you need done?
Then you need to consider…
Are they qualified & registered?
Are they ‘Part P’ compliant, if your work is on a domestic property?
Is their price an ‘Estimate’ or a ‘Quote’?
Are they going to provide a budget or premium job?
What are their reviews like?
It’s not an easy task to find the best electrician in Swansea, because there are no league tables and whoever is best for you, might not be best for someone else.
Hopefully I’ve given you a starting point, and shone a little light on what can be a confusing area.
My final word of advice is… go with your gut feeling. After considering everything, if you just don’t like the look of someone, don’t use them, and if you do, give them a try.
Good luck. I hope you find the perfect electrician for you and if you're looking for a Domestic electrician in Swansea, have a look at the services I provide at www.fuseboxwales.net