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.

Career as an Electrician

June 26th, 2019 No comments

Want to Make a Good, Secure Living?  Try the Electrical Trades.

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Most people when they pick a career are looking for something they enjoy doing; that will provide a challenge; and offer some security.  According to industry experts, becoming an electrician checks all these boxes.

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electricians tool belt
High Demand Profession

Not only is doing electrical work challenging and fulfilling, it is also in high demand.  Every day, the shortage in the skilled trades becomes more acute.  According to numbers from the National Electrical Contractors Association, 7,000 electricians join the field each year, but 10,000 retire.  Currently there are 20,095 openings for electricians.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 14 percent job growth for electricians through 2024. This is twice the national average of 7 percent. Electricians may also enjoy greater job security.

What’s the Job Entail?

The main tasks associated with being an electrician are wiring buildings for electrical power, lighting, or communications systems (and maintaining or repairing those systems).

An electrician is a tradesman specializing in electrical wiring of buildings, transmission lines, stationary machines, and related equipment. Electricians may be employed in the installation of new electrical components or the maintenance and repair of existing electrical infrastructure.

Electrician Duties

  • Interpreting blueprints of electrical systems to determine the location of outlets, circuits, and other equipment.
  • Visiting construction sites to install control, wiring, and lighting systems on new buildings.
  • Making service calls to inspect circuit breakers, transformers, and electrical components.
  • Using testing devices to troubleshoot problems in electrical equipment.
  • Working with power and hand tools to replace or repair faulty electrical wiring or parts.
  • Adhering to the National Electrical Code and local and state building rules.
  • Training and managing the work of other employees.

electrician drawing circuitHow to Become an Electrician

High school students who are interested in a trade can start by taking whatever relevant classes are available, such as industrial arts.  Completing high school is an important step, since most trade and technical schools (as well as many apprenticeships) require a high school diploma or GED.

Complete an associate degree (which typically takes two years) or a certificate (which could take anywhere from a few months to a year or more).  There are different types of trade schools, such as vocational schools, career colleges, and technical institutes. Some feature a range of different programs, while others specialize in certain areas.

There is simply no better way to learn the electrician trade than completing an apprenticeship over four years.  With apprenticeships, you get paid to learn from experienced professionals in real work environments while also completing formal classroom training.  When you complete your apprenticeship you will receive an industry-recognized credential as a journeyman electrician.

Artisan Electric logoHow Can Artisan Electric Help?

We would encourage anyone interested in a career as an electrician to stop by or give us a call at Artisan Electric.  We will be happy to answer your questions and encourage anyone to explore all the possibilities in our field.

Choosing a Contractor

May 24th, 2019 No comments

When to Use a Contractor, or Tackle the Project Yourself
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Deciding to hire a contractor or do a project yourself depends on a long list of considerations. The first centers on your own DIY skills and comfort level in taking on a given task. 

If you can competently do the work yourself then you can typically save a lot of money in exchange for your time.  Using a professional contractor normally comes with less hassle, faster results, safety, and professional-quality work. 

Why Use a Contractor?

electrical contractor

There are a number of reasons to use a contractor.

When determining whether to do a project yourself or hire it out here are a few reasons for choosing a professional to do the difficult jobs.

      • It’s Dangerous. If the job involves electricity, using power tools, or climbing tall ladders or up on the roof of your home, it could lead to significant injury if an accident or mistakes are made.Jobs requiring technical know-how are ones you’ll want done by a contractor for safety reasons.
      • Mistakes Could Be Costly. Even when there are no safety issues involved, paying extra for a professional is often a good decision. Not doing the job properly initially can lead to having to call in a professional later to correct your mistakes.  This can lead to paying for the same job twice.
      • It Could Hurt Your Home’s Value. Work in a home that does not look well done can turn off future buyers and detract from the value of your home.  Home buyers are not looking for homes where they have to come in and redo slipshod work.
      • It Requires a Permit.  One indication that a job is probably too complicated for a DIY project is that it requires a building permit.  Permits typically call for inspections that determine if the work was done safely and correctly.

All these advantages explain why so many homeowners ultimately decide to hire a professional, despite the higher cost.

How to Choose a Contractor                    

signing contract

Do your due diligence before signing any contract with a contractor.

Finding the right contractor for your home improvement project takes a little effort and diligence.

  • Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations, and get quotes from at least three contractors, asking not only about their fees but also about their experience with this type of work.
  • Do a little homework on all the contractors, checking their ratings with the Better Business Bureau and making sure their licenses and insurance are up-to-date.
  • Review the checklist found at Selecting the Right Contractor and then make an informed choice, balancing the contractors’ quoted prices against the quality of the work you can expect from them.

Artisan Electric is Happy to Help

If your home improvement project involves electrical work, Artisan Electric would be happy to speak with you.  We can also help you assess your total project and provide suggestions on how to get started.

 

Project Done Home Pre-Sale Services

April 30th, 2019 No comments

How Long is Your Home’s Pre-Sale Checklist?

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Selling your home is always a big project.  Finding a real estate agent, fixing the house up, making arrangements for a move, all take a great deal of time and energy.  But in order for the sale to go smoothly all these things must be done.

home for sale sign

Pre-Sale Home Inspection Highly Recommended
Realtors will tell you there are certain things that help a house sell more quickly.  One of these is making sure that there are no major problems with your home.  Getting a home inspection prior to putting your home on the market is highly recommended.

A home inspection will assess the condition of your HVAC system, plumbing, electrical service, foundation, roof and other aspects of your home that could cause a potential buyer to reconsider.  If a home has a concern in any of these areas, it will need to be addressed.

Take Care of the Little Things
Realtors will also tell you a well maintained home will sell faster and for a higher price.  Addressing a number of less costly tasks can add to the appeal of a home.  These can include:

Making Your Home Attractive from the Outside
Sprucing up your front door and porch including painting the door, clearing debris and clutter from the walkway and yard, adding some colorful potted plants, mowing the lawn and pruning hedges all help.  Fix broken screens, doorbells, roof tiles, shingles and outdoor lighting in order to make a good first impression.

man doing home repairsFix the Small Stuff Inside the Home
Repair or replace broken or outdated hardware throughout your home.  Install new door handles, faucets, towel bars and curtain rods where needed.  New hardware in the bathroom, kitchen and on windows and doors also improves functionality and safety.  Make sure caulking around tubs, sinks and windows looks fresh and seals any gaps.

Update Older Light Fixtures
Older light fixtures often can date the look of a room. Replace decorative light fixtures with cleaner, more contemporary styles.  Install new bulbs with the appropriate lighting for specific areas of your home.

Long and Daunting
Often your home’s pre-sale checklist of tasks can seem long and daunting.  To keep the stress levels down realtors will often suggest having professionals do some of these repairs or upgrades.  Having these tasks done well and quickly can pay dividends when potential buyers walk through your home.

Helping Hand Services badgeJust the Team for the Job
Project Done is the local resource for taking on a number of repair projects around your home.  This can include addressing needed repairs found in a home inspection report, handling jobs that require skilled labor, and doing outdoor maintenance and clean up.

Let Project Done take care of your maintenance checklist.  This will allow you to concentrate on all the other items that must be accomplished in order to sell your house and move into your new home.

 

EMAIL: info@projectdone4u.com
PHONE: 765-464-9184
WEB: http://projectdone4u.com/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/projectdone4u

Pushmatic Breakers and Panels

April 23rd, 2019 No comments

How can I tell if my electrical panel uses Pushmatic circuit breakers?
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The Pushmatic panel board was a widely used circuit breaker panel installed in homes built between 1950 and 1980. This is a distinctive panel because it is the only electrical panel brand that does not have switches that flip left and right. Instead, the breakers are rectangular buttons you must “push” to activate or deactivate.

pushmatic breaker box


Pushmatic breakers have a distinctive design.

Obsolete, Hard to Find Replacement Breakers

ITE Pushmatic electrical panels and circuit breakers do not have any proven design flaws that can cause a fire or shock hazard, but they are obsolete. As Pushmatic breakers age springs inside rust, corrode, and break and they become hard to trip and reset.  Some insurance companies will not insure a home with this type of panel.

Replacement circuit breakers are hard to find and when you can, they are expensive.  The design of these old electrical panels also makes it impossible to add new circuits and loads to the already limited spaces in the panel.

Not Built for Today’s Electrical Loads

working on electrical panel

A qualified electrician can update your electrical panel if needed.

Houses built 50 or more years ago usually have 60 or 100 amp services and the load placed on these older components often exceeds their design capacity.

Many houses built before 1970 did not have central air conditioning, microwaves and dishwashers. Refrigerators were 18 cubic feet and no one had more than one television set.  Fast forward to today’s electrical load needs and we find 200 amp service is the most common with larger homes requiring 300 or 400 amp services.

What are Your Options?

Artisan Electric is happy to set up a time to visit and inspect your home’s or business’s electrical panel and service.  If it still uses Pushmatic breakers then we’ll provide you with options to replace this obsolete system.  Just give us a call at 765-414-3913.

Knob and Tube Wiring

March 22nd, 2019 No comments

Is Knob and Tube Wiring Safe?

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For those who relish the grandeur and charm of an historic home built in the 1950’s or earlier there is the possibility of your home having knob and tube wiring.  The older the home, the more likely this will be.   Knob and tube wiring was a common wiring method used beginning in the 1870’s to the late 1940’s.

knob-and-tube wiring

Knob and tube wiring must meet specific NEC standards to be used in a home today.

Knob and Tube wiring is not inherently dangerous.

The dangers from this form of wiring arise from its age, failing insulation, improper modifications, and situations where building insulation covers the wires.  It has no ground wire and thus cannot service any three-pronged appliances or outlets.

NEC code and most local jurisdictions do not specifically say that knob and tube wiring is illegal, however there are very specific requirements if it is to be left installed and in use (NEC 2008 – article 394). Knob and tube wiring is only rated to be used in free air, uninsulated spaces.  It is also only rated for a load of 15 amps.  Many inspection jurisdictions will now require it to be removed for a permitted project or remodel.

What Should I do if I have Knob and Tube wiring in my home?

Realistically, complete replacement of the old wiring is the best option. The presence of knob and tube electrical wiring means the house was probably built 60 to 100+ years ago when this was the only wiring method available.

Demands on a home’s electrical system have increased significantly over time and old wiring cannot safely and reliably handle the electrical requirements of today’s lighting, appliances, and electronics.

rewiring old house that had knob and tube wiring

Rewiring a home that has knob and tube wiring will make it safer and more attractive to future buyers.

How much does it cost to replace Knob and Tube wiring?

If you decide to replace knob and tube wiring in your home, hire a professional electrician for the job.  Expect to pay around $10,000 to $20,000 to rewire a 1,500 to 3,000 square foot home.

Keep in mind that the resale value of your home will increase after this work is completed, so not only is your home safer for you and your family, your home is also now more desirable to potential future buyers.

How does Knob and Tube wiring affect insurance rates?

Insurance companies are wary of homes with knob and tube wiring and view them as a potential safety hazard, and therefore a claim waiting to happen. Premiums for policies for these homes can be high.  Most insurance companies will require an inspection by a certified electrical contractor.  If unsafe conditions are found, the insurance company will require the knob and tube wiring to be completely replaced prior to issuing or renewing a policy.  Many insurance companies will no longer insure homes with knob and tube wiring due to the risk.

Artisan Electric logoQuestions?

If you have questions regarding knob and tube wiring or need someone to inspect your home’s wiring, one of Artisan’s experienced electricians will be happy to arrange a time to stop by. Just give us a call at 765-414-3913.

Project Done Helping Hand Services

March 6th, 2019 No comments

Project Done, Lafayette, IN

Project Done Services

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Let PROJECT DONE Take On Your Home Projects

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The PROJECT DONE team does home improvements, light carpentry, general repairs and small projects.

 

  • Helping Hand Services badgeGeneral repairs of all kinds
  • Clean ups and punch lists
  • Small project home improvements
  • The preverbal “honey do” list
  • Light carpentry, painting, and cosmetic work
  • Reality inspection report repairs
  • Deck and fence repairs
  • Gutter cleaning
  • The dreaded “garage and basement” clean out and organization
  • Shelving and closet fix ups
  • Faucet and toilet repairs
  • Maintenance for income properties
  • Project management and finding you the right trusted team for work out of our scope
  • Yard clean up and mulch work
  • Anything you may need a skilled hand with around your home or business
  • We will be the answer to the question “who do I call”.

It’s Easy to Get a PROJECT DONE
In order to ensure that your project is done to your satisfaction, we recommend taking the following steps.

  • Project Done truckCompile your list of projects
  • Contact Us
  • Conduct a walk through (no charge)
  • Review your list and answer questions
  • Outline plan for each repair
  • Review pricing with our standardized rates
  • Schedule a time to get started

...and that is how you get a PROJECT DONE!     

What Does It Cost?
We are committed to doing ethical business and quality work for a fair price. We are completely transparent with our pricing, so there are no surprises.  Our published pricing and terms can be found at http://projectdone4u.com/.

Project Done logoEMAIL: info@projectdone4u.com
PHONE: 765-464-9184
WEB: http://projectdone4u.com/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/projectdone4u

 

Line Up a Contractor Now for Spring Projects

February 20th, 2019 No comments

Don’t Wait to Get Started On Your Spring To Do List!

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Spring is right around the corner and many of us already have a list of things we’d like to get done around our homes or businesses.

To Do ListIf you have plans to add a deck, sun room, new outdoor or indoor lighting or even remodel some part of your home or office, now is the time to start the planning process and line up your contractors.

The local construction economy is very strong.  The area’s best contractors are already booking well into spring and summer; some are even booking into fall!  To get on their schedules, you’ll want to speak with them soon.

8 Good Reasons to Get Started Today

Getting started as soon as possible will allow for adequate time to plan the project thoroughly and avoid mistakes that come from “rushing” the planning process.

Depending on the scope of your project this will also allow you to line up all the necessary people that will be involved.

1. Good planning makes for good results. “Winging it” at the last minute is never a pleasant experience and often results in mistakes and low satisfaction with the end results.

electricians tool belt2. Getting a head start saves money, reduces stress levels, and most importantly, ensures the end result will be more to your satisfaction.

3. By not rushing through the early stages of a project, there is more time to evaluate different options and avoid project delays, cost overruns, and frustration from all those involved.

4. For larger projects that require architectural plans and permitting, selecting a good General Contractor to help with the process is essential to success. This takes time.

5. Having some extra time allows you to consider different choices of contractors, not just having to take the first one that is available.

6. Staying on budget is always a challenge with any project, so having time to evaluate alternative approaches can minimize cost overruns and schedule delays.

7. You will save money by getting bids now, rather than when everyone is booked solid during the height of the construction season – often as much as 25%.

8. Arranging dates and schedules early will give you the greatest flexibility and allow time for some contingencies to handle unforeseen problems and delays.

Artisan Electric logoContact Us With Your Questions

We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction to get your next project up and running … the sooner the better. Let us help you turn a good project into a great project.

Contact us today at Artisan Electric or give us a call at 765-414-3913.