Do we need a licensed electrician for this?

We need a GFCI outlet installed in our crawlspace. It looks like it would be a pretty simple job; there’s already a circuit running through there, so there would be no need to run a new line from the box.

Do we need to find an electrician to do this, or would a handyman with demonstrated electrical experience do? We’re finding that the electricians around here fall into two categories: licensed ones with big shops, big overhead and big prices, and freelance guys who lie about their licensure status (on Craigslist, at least).

Go to the library (or buy) the time life series of books on small home repairs. They have great step-by-step guides for little projects like this. I wouldn’t trust random handymen…

In before the Dr. House of electricity shows up.

For real.

Yeah, I’ve replaced a bunch of outlets and switches, so I probably could do this myself, but I’m not allowed to. :) So we have to hire someone who’s good and not too shady.

Cue wall of text in…

I don’t see any reason not to hire street people for electrical work. I mean, even if something goes wrong, it’s not like it’d cause a problem. I’m sure nobody will disagree with this advice.

At least here in Canada we have to carry our tickets around, the amount of people who actually do however… If it’s the same just ask for proof from the small company/individual before hand.

Though really you could do it yourself as long as you know how to splice (only in a box, seriously no splicing /taping outside of a box) and whether you can add more stuff to that circuit. Also play safe by turning that circuit off before you do anything with it.

Something like this could easily be done by yourself, get a book if you are in doubt.

One the one hand, at the beginning of my foray into home improvement, I did some pretty stupid things with wiring. And I’ve seen some amazing stupid things that other people have done. None of which have caused any houses to burn down. Which leads me to believe that someone who is reasonably intelligent and conscientious can do wiring safely, even if it isn’t perfect or exactly up to code.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to die in a horrible fire because some idiot without a license screwed up my wiring.

Is there a reason that you can’t do it yourself, yet you still have the option of hiring a “profession” without a license? Maybe, as you seem to feel that you could do the work anyway, you could hire one of the cheap guys, then check his work after he leaves?

Wow, it usually doesn’t take this long. Maybe he moved on?

If you have home insurance re-wiring without a licensed professional is probably highly illegal. Other then that if the possibility of burning to death excites you then I don’t see a downside.

How would you know how long it takes? Didn’t you just get here?

See, I told you it would be funny.

Never change Qt3, never change.

Would you get to your 50 posts already? Just go have a conversation with Aaron in EE or something before Alan Au has to add you to the QT3 list of bad ideas.

I don’t think you have a good grasp on how anything works…

First let me say that if you’re trolling I don’t plan on threatening to side suto you and also don’t have a blog from which you can start a personal flamewar.

Second, I will say that the last half of my post was definitely a joke, unless you do something incredibly dumb adding a outlet won’t start an electrical fire.

However, if the OP does have home insurance she should definitely check with them what their rules for electrical work are. From some cursory research it looks like your best bet is to do it yourself if you’re confident you can do it and then get an inspector to come and certify the work you did, just to cover your own ass.

Do you know what is on the existing line/circuit and the load on that circuit?
What are you going to plug into the new GFCI in the crawlspace? Will the added load be less than the rated wire?

Wiring isn’t difficult, but it’d be a shame if someone added a new GFCI circuit and when you plugged whatever you are going to use into that, the breaker tripped because you are over-loaded. Then you get to pay not only for the now-useless outlet, but you get to pay to have another line ran from the box.

Licensed vs freelance is an easy answer for me, because I know enough to figure out if the freelancer is bullshitting me or if they know what they are doing. You’ll have to make that call, but I would definately lean towards freelancer or doing it yourself. (books are cheap and you’d learn something that you can use the rest of your life).