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Hiring An Electrical Contractor

Play it safe
Taking time to hire a reputable electrical contractor can assure that you get quality electrical work for your home or business at a fair price.

Tacoma Power offers the following suggestions when you hire an electrical contractor:

  • Call Tacoma Power's Electrical Inspection Office at (253) 502-8277 to verify what electrical work is required.

  • Hire only a licensed and bonded electrical contractor. Call the State Department of Labor & Industries' toll-free hotline at 1-800-647-0982 or visit their website at to make sure your contractor is properly registered. You can also ask about any complaints that Labor & Industries has received about a particular contractor. Ask friends and neighbors for references. You can also ask your contractor for references from past customers. Tacoma Power cannot recommend contractors.

  • The contractor or owner living in the home must obtain an Electrical Permit. Residential permits cost $80 for homes served by overhead power lines and $160 if the home has underground electrical services. Other permit fees vary.

  • Get at least three bids for electrical work. Most contractors will provide bids at no cost to you; be sure to ask when you call to request a bid. Ask bidders about any costs you don't understand before you sign a contract. You can call electrical supplies to verify costs for meters, wire, circuit breakers and other equipment. If a bid looks "too good to be true," it probably is.

  • Make sure you understand any contract you sign, and never sign any contract that doesn't specify what work will be done, the charges, when work will begin and how long it will take.

  • Ask for provision in the contract so that you make your final payment after Tacoma Power completes its inspection and accepts the work.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Check with your insurance company. It may cover some or all of the repair costs.

  • Repair assistance may be available. Call for eligibility requirements.
    • City of Tacoma residents, (253) 591-5236
    • Pierce County residents, (253) 798-7038
  • If this is a rental property, you may want to talk to the owner about who is financially responsible for the repairs.

  • Some contractors work 24 hours

  • Some of Tacoma Power's forms may be available online