Small electrical jobs and why I love them...

In 2004, I did a weeks work experience with a local electrician in Dorking. It was the first time I had really been "on the tools" and there was one aspect of the work that really stood out for me. The small jobs.

Most electricians dislike doing small jobs for homeowners. Things like putting up a new light fitting, changing a socket or replacing a bathroom fan. The honest reason for this is most electricians want the big rewires or new builds as it means there is guaranteed long term work from a developer or builder with minimal fuss. They do not want to have to deal with lots of bookings, travel and daily interactions with multiple clients.

The bigger jobs can also seem more straight forward, in the sense that there is no need to deal with existing issues or underlying problems. Small electrical jobs take a lot of thinking about possible outcomes or issues that may arise before you even arrive at the job.

For example, today I replaced a LED light for a client in Dorking. Here are just a few outcomes I needed to consider BEFORE I even reached the job.

  • The new light is metal, will there be an earth at the fitting? (It is in a cottage in Westcott so it is very possible there will not be)

  • Will it likely be a plasterboard/ Lathe/ Wooden Ceiling? Do I have the correct fixings? Will they be good enough or do I need to fit a wooden batten?

  • Given the likely age of the property's wiring will it require additional protection from an RCD?

  • Is it on a Dimmer? Has the client considered that not all LEDs and dimmers are compatible?

  • My following appointment is an hour later is there enough time to thoroughly clean up and get rid of the dust sheets? Do I need to get there earlier so as not to be late to my next appointment?

A lot of electricians will pick up doing your small jobs as a stop gap between big projects and then drop you as soon as the "big fish" comes along.

Personally, I love small jobs and not just doing the work. I enjoy the vast number of people I get to meet on a daily basis. Every day I visit brand new clients and existing ones, all of them have their own personality and point of view. The challenge with myself, ensuring that all angles are covered (as detailed above). I especially love working in different locations every day, one day I may be in Dorking, the next in Holmwood or Brockham.

I've been qualified for over 10 years now and spent 5 of those years as the local electrician in Dorking. During that time, I promise, no two days have ever been the same.


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