Texas homeowners should make sure hired contractors are properly licensed
AUSTIN, Texas - As Central Texas heads into pool and lake season, there are some steps homeowners can take to ensure safety.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation recommends periodic inspection of any electrical equipment around bodies of water. That could include anything from lighting to pump motors.
"Any type of the conductors, the conduit, any type of disconnect device or whatever has to be suitable for wet locations," said Larry Reichle, deputy chief electrical inspector with TDLR. "The biggest is going to be ground fault circuit interrupter protection. Most people call it GFCI. That's the abbreviation of it, and that is what protects people from electric shock or even electrocution."
For homeowners that need work done, it is important to ensure a hired contractor is properly licensed.
"This time of year, there are a lot of unregistered technicians and unlicensed contractors," said William Weatherly, air conditioning and refrigeration chief inspector with TDLR.
Any licensed contractor should be able to show their TDLR license number when asked. It should also be displayed on their vehicle.
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"When you have a licensed contractor, you're going to know that they're experienced," said Weatherly. "They have to have a background check. They have insurance."
The same goes if your HVAC unit needs repairs during the Texas summer heat.
"You just don't know," said Weatherly. "They could either, cause equipment problems if we're dealing with electricity or in the worst case, they could burn your house down."
When it comes to poolside safety, the TDLR also recommends making sure overhead electrical lines do not pass over a pool. Additionally, never build an in-ground pool or put an above-ground pool over underground electric cables.
To see if a business is licensed with the TDLR, click here.
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