By Deborah Bostock-Kelley

Eric Campbell’s company is the fastest-growing Mr. Electric franchise location in the United States. Only opened in 2018, Eric has already outgrown his second location, moving to an expansive space on Waters and Benjamin with additional employees, a larger fleet of recognizable yellow and blue vans – now ten in service, and the addition of a warehouse to store electrical equipment.  

Recently celebrating his third anniversary, Eric has over 320 positive reviews on Google touting his company and employees’ professionalism serving customers in the Tampa Gulf Region. He and his team have earned the title of Tampa Bay Times” 2021 Best of the Best in Tampa Bay” nominated by his customers. 

After years of traveling throughout the country for his career, when Eric Campbell finally decided to come off the road, he looked for a franchise business that could be his and his wife, Christy’s legacy. With healthcare finance and consulting background, Eric searched for a process-oriented business with a customer-centric focus. When he discovered Neighborly, the Mr. Electric brand’s parent company, he knew he had found his perfect match. This was a company that shared Eric’s values.

“There is a tremendous need in Tampa Bay for quality electricians,” he said. 

The electric company that a customer selects to perform work in their home should be a licensed electrician, insured, and background and drug checked. Friends of friends or the handyman off Facebook may be cheaper than a licensed and insured company, but in the long run, the cost could be your home or even your life if the electrical work is not done correctly.

Some unethical electric companies won’t pull permits. Though it may save the customer money, Hillsborough County will not inspect the work to confirm it was performed according to the National Electrical Code (NEC) standards. 

“Unfortunately, permits aren’t free, and I get asked, ‘Can’t you do the work without a permit?'”

Eric’s answer is always that the company could, but he is concerned with the customer’s safety, and his license is at risk if he doesn’t pull a permit. 

“At the end of the day, the electrical system is the heartbeat of your home, and if something isn’t done correctly, the customer’s home and family may be at risk.”

Frequently work done by an unlicensed contractor or untrained handyman necessitates an urgent call to Mr. Electric to repair the repair. Homeowners don’t realize that saving a few dollars could become a dangerous fire hazard.

Eric said the most common issue in residential calls is replacing an outdated electrical panel, outlets, wiring, or installing new fixtures. For $249, customers can have Eric’s expert technician do a home safety check to assure that everything is safe and up-to-code.

“We review all of the electrical systems in the home,” he said. “Many people are selling their homes right now, and home inspectors are not electricians. Our inspection is extremely detailed. We walk through our findings and recommendations with the customer.”

Eric gave an example of a yellowed smoke detector. Despite regularly replacing batteries, a smoke detector past ten years may not work in an emergency.

“A smoke detector has a manufacturer’s lifetime of ten years. This isn’t Mr. Electric telling you this. This is the Fire Safety Council. A yellow smoke detector is a good indication that it is outdated and should be replaced.”

Eric also explained the danger of keeping an electrical panel past its shelf life.

“An electrical panel only has a 20 to 25-year life before you should think about replacing it or have someone evaluate it and give you an assessment. 

“Often, you go into a home to look at a problem with a receptacle or a switch – something going on in a couple of rooms – and we open the panel. We see the panel is 40 years old, the company who manufactured it is no longer around, so we’re unable to get the proper breakers that go into it, and they may be a known fire hazard. They’re several panels on a banned list that we run across all too frequently.”

Challenger electrical panels pose a safety hazard. The biggest concern for Challengers were their issue with overheating. In turn, that can cause many other issues, like fusing and/or melting, corrosion, or actual fires. Occasionally they don’t trip at all or just may take too long to trip. This is why he recommends replacing Challenger panels.

Eric’s team was recently at a home with a Challenger panel with a burnt busbar caused by overheating. The breakers were tripping, so the homeowner reached out to Mr. Electric to find out why. 

“We showed the homeowner the burnt busbar and recommended they replace it. We got the job done, and now their home is safe. It was inspected and passed by the City of Tampa.”

Replacing an electrical system is a necessary but not inexpensive process.  Mr. Electric is one of the few companies that offer 0% financing for 18 months. Many of its customers appreciate this option.

“We want to make having a safe home easy for you,” Eric said. “We want you to always think of Mr. Electric when you have other electrical needs in your home or maybe your next home.”

Mr. Electric is open weekdays from 8 AM to 5 PM. Call (813) 730-4950 for an appointment or visit mrelectric.com/lutz to learn more information.