Home Office Surge Protection

May 20th, 2020 Comments off

Does Your Home Office Need “Extra” Surge Protection?

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home office desk with computer

Home offices require a number of electronic devices.

Working from home has become the “new normal” for many of us. In order to be productive at our residence, we’ve installed additional computers, monitors, printers, scanners and other electronic equipment.  

These are all devices that are essential to doing our jobs. What would happen if all of this necessary equipment went out at once?  What would you do then?

Power Surges Can Hit at Any Time, Anywhere

With the spring/summer thunderstorm season just getting started, now is the time to make sure all your recently added electronic equipment is properly protected from electrical surges. Surges from lightning strikes can instantly ruin unprotected and poorly protected computers, printers and other electronic devices, even your programmable coffeemaker.

Electrical surges can occur at any time.  The most damaging are lightning strikes close to your home that enter through the power, telephone and cable TV lines. Although surges caused by lightening are the most destructive, it is more common that surges result from motors in our large appliances kicking on and off and creating electrical spikes within your home.

Today’s homes are more reliant than ever on appliances and electronics that are controlled by extremely sensitive microprocessor circuits. These circuits are easily damaged or disrupted by power surges originating both inside and outside the home. 

Sensitive electronic circuits are susceptible to electrical surges.

Take These Steps to Protect Valuable Electronics

Step 1: Ask a qualified electrician to take a look at what you have in your home or office that is susceptible to power surges and where surge protection is warranted.

Step 2: Add surge protection at the main power panel, cable TV/satellite service and telephone service. This prevents major electrical spikes from outside sources i.e. lightning strikes, from entering your home.

Step 3: Or, if you choose, install individual surge protectors for each device to protect sensitive electronics from surges from both inside and outside your home.

Avoid Expensive Replacement or Repair Bills

Protecting your valuable assets now by adding surge protection will prevent you from dealing with expensive replacement or repair bills later.

Artisan Electric offers surge protection products for commercial and residential customers. For more information on these products go to SurgeAssure.

Artisan Electric logoFree Site Assessment

Have questions or concerns about surge protection for your home or business?  Contact us today at Artisan Electric or call us at 765-414-3913 and let our licensed pros do a free site assessment.  We can then discuss the best way to protect all your electronic devices.

 

Live Stream Your Next Event

April 21st, 2020 Comments off

How Can You Live Stream Your Next Event?

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When all the shelter-in-place orders went out the need to connect did not go away.  Classes had to be taught, businesses had to function, churches needed to congregate, and we all still wanted to be entertained.  All of which has to be done remotely at this time.

All of a sudden live streaming of numerous activities is being done everywhere to allow groups to take part in live events as they occur.  Not only can we view what is taking place, but we can also respond and participate.

Advantages of Live Streaming

What we are learning as we “keep our distance” from others is that live streaming offers several advantages.

  1. Participants view content as it takes place. This means those taking part can see and hear what is occurring. Concerts, church services, business meetings and classes are seen in real time.
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  2. Live streaming permits direct audience interaction. Face to face time with participants allows businesses to humanize themselves and connect with their customers.  The opportunity for direct dialogue for students, businesses and congregations makes for a more dynamic and productive interface.
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  3. For marketers no other content marketing channel provides the opportunity to connect with customers the way live streaming does. This allows product messages to be directed to highly specific audiences who want more information on what you offer.
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  4. Participants can take part from remote locations. Those that work remotely, travel or are just not able to attend can still take part through live streaming of an event.
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  5. Broadcasts can be viewed on multiple devices. This includes phones, tablets, TVs and computers. Having this capability means it is easy to participate from just about anywhere, as long as you have a good internet connection.

Getting Started with Live Streaming
One of the common myths of live streaming is that it is extremely expensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. With some basic equipment, it’s possible to get up and running. High-quality streaming is possible with just a small initial investment in gear.  See below:

  1. Video and audio source(s) – these are cameras, computer screens, and other image sources to be shown, as well as microphones, mixer feeds, and other sounds to be played in the stream.
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  2. Your audio setup. Too many people spend too much time thinking about picture quality, and not enough time considering audio quality. This goes beyond just having a good microphone, but also includes making sure the acoustics from wherever you are broadcasting from are good as well.
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  3. A video encoder – this is the computer software or standalone hardware device that packages real-time video and sends it to the Internet.
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  4. A streaming destination – the place your live video will become available online. Popular ones include YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook Live.
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  5. A stable Internet connection – so your stream doesn’t freeze, buffer, or drop off entirely.

Artisan Electric logoArtisan Electric Can Set You Up
Artisan Electric understands what is involved in putting together high quality live streaming broadcasts.  This entails what audio visual equipment is needed, how to address acoustic issues in a venue, and the intricacies of wiring and connecting everything together.

For those wanting to integrate live streaming into your business, church or entertainment venue, now is the time to get this capability set up.  Not only will it benefit you today, but it will provide the ability to connect remotely after we are all back together.

Image Credit: ID 132158252 © Zoaarts11 | Dreamstime.com

Electrical Contractor Lafayette Indiana

February 28th, 2020 Comments off

Now’s the Time to Line Up an Electrical Contractor

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electrical contractorThis is the time of year that contractors are being lined up to work on spring and summer projects.  With all the building currently being done in our area, it is not easy to find an electrical contractor.

And since every project typically includes some electrical work, it is important to get on a reliable and qualified electrical contractor’s schedule as soon as possible.

Ask These Questions Before Hiring an Electrical Contractor

There are a lot of individuals and companies that offer to do electrical work.  In choosing which one is best suited to install a new electrical service; wire your home or business; or perform service calls and repairs; you’ll want to ask the following questions.

Do they hold the correct license(s) for the location? Are they up-to-date on code requirements?
A license is your guarantee that the contractor has completed the necessary courses and practical work to perform the job safely and correctly.  Failure to adhere to code and license requirements could mean additional costs down the road to re-do a non-compliant job.

What type of training have they received?
Degreed journeyman electricians, who have completed a 4 or 5 year certified apprenticeship program, have the field experience and education to provide top level services and deal with the unforeseen in a professional manor.

Are they bonded and insured?
Check with the City Engineers Office in the town or county where you live to determine if the trade you are researching requires a state license, and if the specific contractor you are researching is bonded with the city or county they are working in.

Hiring electrical contractorBe sure your contractor carries their own workers’ comp insurance. Ask to see copies of current policies and make sure they have not expired. Make no mistake, if an electrician is injured on the job, it will come back on the homeowner’s insurance policy if the contractor doesn’t carry workers’ comp insurance.

Always ask that a COI (certificate of insurance) be sent directly to you from their agent!

Are they listed with the Better Business Bureau or well-reviewed on Angie’s List?
The Better Business Bureau has an ever growing data base of information on contractors – you can find out a lot from their website or a phone call.  Angie’s List is a great resource to find out about first-hand experiences other customers have had with a contractor.

Does their company do background checks?
Not all electrical contractors perform background checks. In this day and age it is important to know who you are hiring and letting into your place of business or home.

Is their estimate clear and in writing?
A proper estimate for work should be fully itemized, provide adequate details and a scope of work, outline the terms and obligations of all parties, and always be in writing.  It should be clear what is and what is not going to be done for the dollars you are about to spend.

Will they provide full disclosure?
If you feel uncertain about an initial estimate ask the contractor to provide a schedule of values.  This is a document used to break down and track all job costs, including % mark up of material and profit.  A good contractor should be willing to share this information with you up front.

Ask for recommendations and references.
Talking with someone you trust, who has worked closely with an electrician, can give you valuable insight into what you can expect in service and workmanship. If you cannot get a recommendation then ask the electrician for references.  Contact the references to learn firsthand about their experience with the contractor.  You can also review our 7 Guiding Principles.

Ask a Pro logoWe’ll Be Happy to Answer Your Questions

Talk to us about your next project and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions. We’ll follow up with one of our licensed pros providing an estimate on any electrical work you wish done.

Contact us today at ASK A PRO or give us a call at 765-414-3913.

 

Home & Office Lighting Updates

January 31st, 2020 Comments off

Brighten the Dark Days of Winter with Updated Lighting

Winter brings dark, gloomy days and long nights.  Much of this time we spend indoors.  If our homes and offices are poorly lit, then even our time inside can add to the gloominess of this time of year.

By adding new lights, replacing old fixtures and rethinking how you light each room, your home or office can take on a new appearance and help you be more energized.  Using newer lighting products can even save you money.

Assess Each Room or Work Space

Lighting should be tailored for each room or work space.  Rooms that are used for multiple purposes will require different lighting schemes than kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.  Assess how a space is used before doing a lighting makeover.

Lighting in layers allows you to choose light fixtures that provide light where you need it and add visual interest as well.

  • Ambient or General Lighting
    Ceiling fixtures and chandeliers provide light throughout a room.
  • Task Lighting
    Add extra light to areas where chores and activities get done. Reading, cutting up food, applying makeup, and work areas benefit from task lighting.
  • Accent Lighting
    Add interest to the décor or unique features of your home.  Lighting over a painting or display, or below or above cabinets will set these areas apart.

Lighting Upgrade Options That Inspire

Here are some suggestions we have to upgrade your lighting and not only enhance the ambiance of a space, but also make it more functional.

  • Use wall-washing recessed lighting fixtures around the perimeter of a small room to illuminate the walls and make the space feel larger, or highlight artwork or other special features.
  • A combination of ceiling lights, wall mounted sconces, and table lamps can create an overall look that resonates.  Adding sconce lights to living rooms and dining rooms is a very cost effective way to spruce up a space and really change the look of a room.
  • Install under-cabinet light strips in the kitchen, desk area, or workroom. The light will shine directly on the work area and make any task easier. Switch them off when you leave the job.
  • Illustration of white switch with dimmer

    Install dimmer switches on as many lamps and light fixtures as practical. Dimmer switches and controls add versatility – creating a light source that’s customizable to your needs.

    Set a different mood in your dining room, bathroom, bedroom and even outside on your deck or patio. You’ll have control over the intensity of light around your home and save energy at the same time.Being able to dim the lights in a given space is one of the quickest and most affordable changes that can be made to dramatically affect the lighting in a space.

Not Sure Where to Start

Talk to the designers at a local lighting showroom to discuss your options.  You can then select lighting that fits your taste and budget.   Artisan Electric can also help with design considerations, placement of new lights, and installation.  Just give us a call at 765-414-3913.

Electric Vehicle Chargers

December 12th, 2019 Comments off

Will You Need an Electric Vehicle Charger in 2020?

For those who like to be on the cutting edge, you probably already know where your local electric vehicle (EV) charging station is located. For the rest of us, the need may not be as eminent, but in the not too distant future, EV charging stations will be everywhere including our own garages and where we work.

Electrical Vehicles Are Here to Stay

An electric vehicle charging station supplies electric energy for the recharging of plug-in electric vehicles. The usable battery capacity of a first-generation electric vehicle is about 20 kWh, giving it a range of about 100 miles.

Tesla was the first company to introduce longer range mass production electric vehicles, initially releasing their Model S with battery capacities of 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh, with the latter having an estimated range of about

300 miles. The new Tesla Cybertruck and Roadster are coming to market with ranges of over 500 miles and performance unmatched by most supercars.  As of August 2018, there were 800,000 electric vehicles and 18,000 charging stations in the United States.

What type of charger will I need?

Charging an electric vehicle is as simple as connecting a normal electrical appliance; however to ensure that this operation takes place in complete safety, the electrical installation must comply with standard safety regulations. These include being grounded, having a circuit breaker to protect against overloads, and be protected from accidental contact.

Level 1 — Home Charging cords are standard equipment on a new EV. Level 1 charging only requires a grounded (three-prong) 120V outlet and can add about 40 miles of range in an eight- hour overnight charge. Overnight Level 1 charging is suitable for low- and medium-range plug- in hybrids and for all-electric and battery electric vehicle drivers with low daily driving usage.

Level 2 and Beyond — Home and Public Charging typically require a charging unit on a 240V circuit, like the circuit used to power a common electric clothes dryer. With a typical 30 amp circuit, about 180 miles can be added during an eight-hour charge. Common public chargers are typically Level 2 chargers that can be found at offices, grocery stores, and parking garages. Many companies are now offering what is being called “wall connectors” that take a 50 or 60 amp circuit but are 50% faster than then 30 amp home charging connections – these are now becoming the preferred choice for EV customers.

DC Fast Charging — Public Charging is the fastest currently available recharging method. It can typically add 50 to 90 miles in 30 minutes, depending on the station’s power capacity and the make of EV. These are also known as SuperChargers.

Potential Home Upgrades Needed

To accommodate charging EV’s at home, especially if you want to charge the vehicle more quickly and to higher capacity levels, many homes will need to have their electrical service increased.  Many electrical services in residential homes are only 100 amps and are not sized large enough to accommodate charging circuits (even some 200 amp services may not have the capacity).  It is very important to get these designed and installed right as an EV will likely be the most expensive investment you make that “plugs in”.

For some, these are decisions you are already making, for the rest of us, it’s just a matter of time.  If you need assistance in understanding what it takes to GO EV we are here to help!

SMART Home Device Integration

November 22nd, 2019 Comments off

How To Make Your Home Smarter & More User Friendly

Just about anything that runs on electricity can be automated to make your home smarter. With so many options available with today’s technology, the first step is to determine what you want to accomplish.

Connect your entertainment, lighting, climate and security devices into one singular hub … like your phone.

Do you want to be able to monitor packages left at your front door; control your thermostat from outside the home; or alter light levels and play music throughout your home?

Once you outline your wish list obtaining the specific products and having someone install them will go much more smoothly.

Building, Renovating or Just Adding to Your Existing Home?

The perfect time to install home automation technology is during the building or renovating process. The most advanced systems often require wiring and other structural considerations. But with all of today’s SMART products connected via the internet, many home automation projects can still be implemented in existing homes with little or no physical changes needed.

Integrating Home Automation Systems

The goal for many home owners is to integrate their home automation devices so they can sync their entertainment, lighting, climate and security devices into one singular hub.  This lets the owner more easily control several devices and monitor usage and control settings – even if they’re not at home.

Popular Home Automation Applications

Lighting Control
Smart light bulbs allow you to set the mood and dim lights remotely from your phone or control hub (i.e. Alexa).  Through verbal instructions lights can be turned on and off, and a home’s lighting can be programmed to save electricity.

Home Security
SMART home security systems allow you to monitor your home’s door locks, lights and security cameras remotely. They can also communicate with visitors via the built-in microphone and two-way talk. Cameras can also monitor the inside of your home when you are away. These devices send alerts to your phone when someone comes to your door – great for keeping track of packages, or to detect unexpected activity.

Smart Home Entertainment center

SMART television and sound systems paired with control hubs can provide enhanced viewing and listening experiences.

Environmental Control
Your heating and cooling system can be programmed to turn on/off or up/down automatically at certain times or temperatures.  Monitoring and setting changes can be done from your phone or voice hub.  This approach can provide more timely adjustments to your HVAC system and save energy and money in the long run.

Entertainment Systems
SMART television and sound systems paired with control hubs can provide enhanced viewing and listening experiences.  Streaming services offer multiple options of video and music content that can be accessed and managed through centralized control devices.

Professional Assistance Normally Required

Designing and installing home automation systems including lighting, security, environmental and entertainment systems requires a degree of expertise.  Understanding where to locate the devices, how to install and wire them, and programming them to work together may come easier to some than others.

For those without a tech background, finding a home automation contractor to plan and install your devices will ensure all the pieces work well together.

 

 

 

Artisan Electric January-February Offer

October 10th, 2019 Comments off

Book Your January/February Electrical Work Now and Save 10%

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Artisan Electric is offering 10% Off work scheduled now to be completed in January and February.  Take advantage of this offer on those projects you have been putting off.

Residential and Commercial Projects

  • Data, voice, structured network, video, and sound system cabling – Leviton Certified
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  • Audio & video consulting and solutions design for business, venues, and churches
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  • Rewiring and modernization of historic properties with non-destructive rewiring techniques
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  • LED lighting conversion and retrofits
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  • Home theater design, install, service wall mount TV, monitor, and projector installation and service
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  • Residential and commercial generator backup systems – Kohler Power Systems Certified Dealer
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  • Power conditioning, surge protection, UPS systems – Surge Assure Authorized Vendor
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  • Service upgrades and Inspection Repairs

Schedule Artisan Electric Today and SAVE

Give us a call at 765-414-3913 and we’ll be glad to take a look at your electrical project and provide a free estimate with 10% off if booked in October or November 2018 to be completed in January or February 2020.  Call for details.  Some conditions apply.

Labor Day Celebration

August 28th, 2019 Comments off

An Annual Celebration of American Labor

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Worker with an American flag

The American Labor movement grew into prominence in the late 1800’s as workers organized to gain better and safer working conditions, higher wages, and an eight hour work day.  They also sought to eliminate child labor and abusive working environments.

On Labor Day we honor the American worker who, with dignity and pride, continues to contribute to the prosperity of our country.

5 Lesser Known Facts about Labor Day

Originating during one of America’s labor history’s most tumultuous periods, Labor Day has become an annual celebration of workers and their achievements.  Here are some little known facts about this annual holiday that celebrates the “dignity of the American worker”.

Who gets credit for the creation of Labor Day is unclear.

Maguire and McGuire Labor Day foundersLegend has it that Peter McGuire proclaimed his plan to honor all workers with a parade through New York City in May 1882.  But Matthew Maguire, another union worker, is also credited with proposing a day off for laborers.  Varying opinions still debate the originator of this holiday.  Was it McGuire or Maquire?

New York City was the location of the first Labor Day Celebration.

There is more certainty as to when and where the first official Labor Day celebration in the U.S. took place.  It was in New York City on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882. The parade began in the front of City Hall with a couple hundred participants, but as the parade wound its way through the city over 10,000 men and women joined in.

Why did Congress designate the first Monday in September as Labor Day?

In 1884, the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions declared that by May 1, 1886, all employers institute an eight-hour workday.  (May 1 is recognized as International Workers’ Day.)

Labor Day Parade 1882

The first Labor Day celebration and parade was held in New York City in 1882.

When that proclamation failed to take place, workers moved to strike, sparking the brutal Haymarket Riot in Chicago.  To avoid any association with these riots, in 1894 President Grover Cleveland followed the lead of several states and designated the first Monday in September the official holiday for laborers.

Oregon was the first state to legally establish Labor Day.

Oregon on Feb. 21, 1887 passed a law declaring the first Saturday in June, Labor Day, a state holiday giving the state’s workers a designated day off.  Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York each made Labor Day an official holiday in 1887, but placed it on a week day, giving workers the extra-long weekend.

Labor Day had its beginning in Canada.

The first worker parades occurred in 1872 following labor disputes in Toronto.  Soon after, anti–labor union laws were repealed.  In 1882 union activist Peter McGuire, whom some call the founder of our American Labor Day, spoke at a Canadian labor festival and liked the event so well that he proposed the idea of a workers’ national holiday to a New York labor union later that same year.

Enjoy Your Labor Day

Regardless of how you celebrate this long weekend, we encourage you to remember the reason for this holiday and be safe in your travels.

 

Electrical Preventive Maintenance

July 15th, 2019 No comments

Don’t Neglect Preventive Maintenance on Your Electrical Systems

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We perform preventive maintenance on a number of items around our homes and businesses.  This includes your HVAC system, your security system and your vehicles.  But how often do we schedule preventive maintenance on our electrical system? 

Your home’s wiring to your lights, appliances and computers, as well as your electrical panels, electrical outlets and switches all require maintenance as your home or facilities age.  Making sure your electrical components are working properly is essential to maintaining your family’s and employee’s safety.

electrical maintenance

A Home Maintenance Electrical Checklist  

Give your home a timely electrical checkup to ensure that your wiring, circuit breakers, outlets, and plugs are in good working order and are used safely.  Several of these items can be done on your own, but others, particularly if they need repairs, will require a licensed electrician.

  • If you have breakers tripping and fuses blowing on a regular basis, it’s time to bring in an electrician to inspect your home.
  • Having your electrical panel inspected is important.  Depending on the age of your home or business older panels may no longer be adequate or safe.  Those with older style circuit breakers or fuses may need to be replaced.
  • Also with the increased electrical loads that newer appliances and technologies require, older electrical services may need to be upgraded to 200 or 400 amp units.
  • On newer electrical panels all wiring connections should be tightened periodically to ensure each breaker works properly.  Outside service connections should also be checked and the overall condition of any outdoor equipment monitored.
  • Electrician working on outdoor electrical panelBe sure all your circuits are properly grounded. A circuit consists of wires transporting electrical current to your lights and appliances, so properly grounded wiring is connected to a ground wire in your home.
  • All outlets near wet locations such as kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms should be Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI).
  •  If you have children or grandchildren, put protectors in all your outlets or replace them with tamper-resistant outlets. These outlets are now required by code in all new homes.
  • Replace any frayed wires in your house that can potentially cause shocks or fires.
  • Replace all plugs that wobble or fit loosely in the socket.
  • Any indication of dimming lights, flickering lights, a sizzling sound, or a burning odor mandate a prompt inspection.
  • Extension cords are a temporary solution. They shouldn’t be used to power home appliances on a permanent basis. Most extension cords are not rated to handle air conditioners, refrigerators, or space heaters that draw high current.

Artisan Electric logoArtisan Electric Preventive Maintenance

To learn more about what’s included in Artisan Electric’s preventive maintenance service calls, please just give us a call.  We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Commercial Facility Electrical Maintenance

July 15th, 2019 No comments

Preventive Electrical Maintenance for Commercial Facilities

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With the additional wear and tear that commercial properties and industrial sites place on their electrical systems, it is critical that they are inspected regularly.

commercial electrial maintenanceKeep your Property Safe

When you own or operate any commercial property, you have a responsibility to keep it safe for your employees, customers, and/or tenants.

One of the best ways to ensure the safety of your commercial property is to have regular electrical maintenance performed.  Even the smallest problems with an electrical system can be extremely unsafe, and you may be held accountable for any injuries that occur on your property.

Keep Your Electrical Equipment Working Smoothly

No matter what kind of business you own or property you manage, you rely on your electrical system and electrical equipment every day. That’s why it’s so important to keep your electrical service and all electrical equipment well maintained.  This will extend the life of your electrical systems.

Minimize Major Electrical Problems

By addressing electrical system concerns early, you put off the day major maintenance will be needed, and perhaps prevent it from occurring at all.  Catching serious problems that might go unnoticed saves on downtime and repair/replacement costs.

Artisan Electric logoPreventive Electrical Maintenance

To learn more about what’s included in Artisan Electric’s preventive maintenance service calls, please just give us a call.  We’ll be happy to answer your questions.