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Is Your Home Ready For Winter?

September 25th, 2020 Comments off

The time is here for bonfires, sweaters, pumpkins, and falling leaves… But are you prepared for winter? Let’s discuss the top three electrical checklist items you should have completed before the cold weather hits.

 

1) Generator

Kohler Generator

Are you prepared for a potential power outage this winter? Cold-season power failures arise due to freezing rain, high winds, and winter storms which can damage power lines and equipment. Without a steady supply of heat, not only are you impacted, but your home can suffer from dampness, damaging walls, floors and plumbing. Today’s residential generators are cable of automatically transferring the selected household circuits over to the generator in less than 10 seconds. The LP or natural gas powered units are clean, quiet, and nearly odor free. Most homes only need 10kW to 14kW capacity for basic emergency loads and units are available that can provide 100% complete coverage for even 6,000 square feet or more of living space. While it is possible to purchase a home generator from the local home improvement warehouse or even online, the best way to determine your needs and ensure the unit is properly installed, is to work with your local dealer to determine your current electrical demands. We are proud to inform you that we are authorized dealers of Kohler backup power generators and we offer complete sales and service in Lafayette, West Lafayette and surrounding counties.

 

Outdoor Deck Lighting

2) Outdoor Lighting and Outlets

Cold weather days approaching means digging out the outdoor holiday lighting and decorations! Have you checked your outdoor outlets to ensure they are working properly? We can test, fix, and/or replace your outdoor outlets to help you ease into the holiday season worry free! We also offer holiday lighting installation and removal! With Daylight Savings Time right around the corner, consider installing walkway lighting to guide your way from your driveway to your front door so your family and guests will safely reach your front door at any time of day or night.

 

3) Overloaded Outlets

Did you know that half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February? We can help you stay safe this winter by double-checking your electrical appliances in your house to make sure the outlets they are using aren’t overloaded. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests only using one heat producing appliance plugged into one outlet at a time. Reach out to us today if you’d like us to come ensure your home is safe by performing the above checklist items and giving you some peace of mind going into the holiday season!

 

The A-Team is here to keep you safe!

Call us at 765-414-3913 or fill out our contact form on our website to set up an appointment today!

 

Lighting Upgrades and Artisan Updates

August 14th, 2020 Comments off

Have you considered updating the lighting in your home?

 

Ethan finalizing installation on a custom chandelier


 

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 even help you be more energized! Investing in your home as your sanctuary is now more important than ever. While working from home and students e-learning becomes the new normal, the lighting in our house is probably not the first thing we think of. Studies show that a bulb that is brighter, with a cooler white to natural daylight ranges best for reading and study. This is the equivalent of 4000k to 6500k. 

 

Take a look at this custom lighting project we completed last week:

 

Custom Lighting in Kitchen, Dining Room, and Living Room

Each room in your house requires different lighting layers in order to provide the light you need and to create visual interest. Some examples are:

  • Living Room: For such an all-purpose area of your house you should consider lighting fixtures that will spread an efficient amount of light like: table lamps, floor lamps, and sconces.
  • Home Office: In order to promote a productive environment you’ll want this to be brighter lighting fixtures than your ambient lighting so the contrast focuses the light in the specific area needed. Pendants and track lighting can be used to help achieve this.
  • Kitchen: Ambient overhead lighting and lower task lighting similar to the lighting for your home office are a great option to help to illuminate your counter space.
  • Bathroom: Consider lighting the bathroom mirror on either side and overhead ambient lighting to fully illuminate the room.

 

Custom chandelier we installed as part of this lighting project

Dimmers are also a great way to add versatility to your home that create a light source that is 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. The custom lighting project we completed to the right is equipped with dimmers.

 

 

 

 

 

John Buttacavoli

Meet our newest team member!

 

We would like to introduce John Buttacavoli our newest team member and Journeyman Electrician to the A-Team! John has relocated to our area from Illinois. He is a seasoned service technician and has a very deep skill set as a job lead and PM for commercial electrical projects. We are excited to have him on our team and look forward to watching him grow with us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L-R: Chad, John, and Ethan at this custom lighting project!

Ready to upgrade your home and not sure where to start?

 

Lighting design and solutions are one of our favorite things to assist clients with. We typically start with a walk thru with our clients to get to know their aesthetic and talk about ideas and options. We can help you with design considerations, placement of new lights, and installation. From there we can assist with visiting a local lighting showroom or on line vendors for fixture selections for your home to fit your taste and budget Give us the opportunity to help you achieve your home improvement goals call us at 765-414-3913.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Electrical Panels!

July 15th, 2020 Comments off

Is Your Home Electrical Panel Dangerous? Check Your Panel for Discontinued Breakers or Brands

Pushmatic Breaker Panel

What is a Pushmatic Home Electrical Panel?

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. 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.

 

How to tell if you have Pushmatic Breakers:

Take a look at your breakers… Can you flip your breakers left and right or are they buttons that you must “push” to activate or deactivate? If you have “push” button breakers you have a Pushmatic Electrical Panel! These breakers are now obsolete and replacement circuit breakers are hard to find and 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.

Besides just the Pushmatic brand there are also other outdated and unsafe electrical panels that you should be on the lookout for in your home:

    • Zinsco Panels: Zinsco or GTE-Sylvania panels were popular electrical panels installed in homes throughout the 1970’s. Zinsco is now defunct, but many homes still have these panels.

Why they’re unsafe: The circuit breakers inside many Zinsco panels melt to the main ‘bus bar’. This means the breaker can’t ever trip, even when there’s a short or overloaded circuit. So if there ever is a short or other problems, the surge of power melts wires and starts fires in your home.

    • Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Panels: For a long time (1950s-1980s) Federal Pacific Electric was one of the most popular manufacturers of electrical panels in the United States. And they were installed in millions of homes. But these panels are extremely unsafe.

Why they’re unsafe: FPE electric panels’ circuit breakers fail to trip when they should (when there’s a short circuit or circuit overload). This problem has lead to             thousands of fires across the United States. There are also many reports that FPE circuits in the off position still send power to the circuit. This can cause electrocution   when working on a circuit you believe to be off.

    • Fuse box: Fuse boxes are old electrical panels that use fuses instead of circuit breakers to protect your wires from becoming overloaded. When a circuit draws too much electricity, the fuse burns out and must be replaced.

Why they’re unsafe: Fuses aren’t inherently unsafe. They work just like circuit breakers (except they can’t be reset and must be replaced.) However, most fuse boxes in homes today are unsafe because they’ve been modified to try to serve today’s energy demands.

 

Time for an upgrade?

Check out this before and after of a panel upgrade we did this week! The A-Team is happy to set up a time to visit and inspect your home 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! Contact us today at Artisan Electric or call us at 765-414-3913 and let our licensed pros do a free site assessment.

 

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.

Categories: electrical wiring, lighting updates Tags:

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!

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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.

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.

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