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An Interview with John McElligott: Part 3


(Part 3 of 3)

Peter_Falk_with_notebook

John carries a notepad because of Columbo

Electrika Inc. was founded in 2004 and the company has serviced thousands of homes in the greater Montreal area (including Laval, South Shore, West Island, Vaudreuil etc.)

The whole reason Electrika was founded was to better service Montreal homes (and homeowners!). A lot of companies use residential projects as “fillers” in between commercial and industrial contracts, this tends to leave the homeowners feeling uncertain about when projects can be started or finished and a lot of feelings that their projects are unimportant. John decided that by focusing on just the residential market, he could ensure quality service and provide service to projects no matter how small they were (change an outlet, put up a light fixture etc.)

This is the final post in this interview series with John, if you have missed the other posts you can visit Part I and Part II to get caught up! Find out in this post what mistake John has encountered over and over again in Montreal homes.

What must you have on your person at all times?

J: My phone.

A: Of course! What about that little notepad (that’s kept in your shirt pocket)?

J: Oh yeah, the notepad! Actually, my notepad came from Columbo (played by Peter Falk). I used to enjoy that show and the way he would always say “Just one more thing…” and write in his little notepad.

 

The five extraordinary attributes of an electrika electricianWhat are the three top tools you keep in your toolbelt?

J: Pliers, screwdriver and wire strippers.

 

What must an electrician never forget?

J: An Electrician should never forget their Code Book.

 

What is one of the most common electrical hazards you come across in Montreal homes? Like what do you feel you’ve seen over and over and over again over the last ten years?

J: I’ve seen so many electrical fires. I’ve never experienced (this amount) of electrical fires like I have in Montreal…. And it’s all down to not having enough Inspectors. The work is not getting inspected, you know, and contractors are doing the electrical and plumbing (for which they are not licensed and insured) and they do not know the code to do it. I always say “if it’s not inspected, it’s not respected”.

A: And do you find this is happening at new builds too, not just old buildings and old systems?

J: Oh definitely new builds, too.

 

 What are some things you wish you could tell every home owner before they buy their house?

J: I think they should have a Master Plumber, a Master Electrician inspect the home before they buy it. That way they get a real picture, without a load of fine print. Who’s interested in the fine print if they’re spending half a million dollars on a home? They need the raw facts. They need to know all about the wiring, all about the plumbing, not guesswork!”

A: Right. From what I’ve heard an inspector can open something up and see copper wire, but they can’t tell if the copper wire has just been spliced into old wiring. Is there a way for you (a Master Electrician) to detect that?

J: YES. Master Electricians can give you a clear and definitive picture so that you know everything about the electrical system before you sink all your money into buying the house.

 

What’s your favorite electrical job? And why?

J: For me, in my career, I loved getting the set of the plans, and building the electrical from the ground up.

 

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 What do you think makes a great team here at Electrika?

J: A big part of a great team is having individuals who like being part of a team.

A: Yeah, enjoying things together. Recently you bought the billiards table, the darts board and certain elements to the new HQ that we didn’t have before – so why do you feel like those things are important to the space?

J: Well, I always believe that you have got to work hard, but you have to have a laugh too.

A: Right. A place where people would actually want to go to work!

 

Why is training our team so important to you?

J:  Well, I come from a world where if you call yourself a licensed professional electrician, then you should know the code, feel educated and walk into a home confident with the facts.  I do not want any techs using bullshit to get through a job. They have got to know their trade and be up on new developments.  And even though we hire excellent candidates, we provide two training sessions a week to ensure our team is educated with the latest and that they know their trade inside out.

 

If you have a day off, what do you do to relax?

J: One of my favorite things to do is watch a good soccer game from England. Or go watch a good Gaelic Game at Hurley’s Irish Pub!

 

 

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