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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

Supplemental Heating Options for Your Home

November 26th, 2018 No comments

10 Ways to Eliminate Cold Areas in Your Home

man in cold home.
Every home seems to have places in it that just seem colder than the rest of the house.  Areas in a room, or a room itself, just stay cold when the temperatures outside drop.This can be particularly true in older homes. 

So what can be done to warm up these areas?  You can turn the thermostat up to a level that the cold areas get comfortable, while the rest of the house becomes unbearably warm, or you can try some of the suggestions below.

First Things First
There are a few initial things to check on before you start spending money on additional heat sources.

  1. Check to see if the heat registers are open or blocked. Make sure furniture, rugs or drapes aren’t blocking the flow of warm air into the room.
  2. Are the dampers in your ductwork adjusted correctly? Look for handles and markings on the ductwork such as ‘summer’ and ‘winter.’  Set the damper handle parallel to the duct line for maximum airflow.
  3. When was the last time your furnace filter was replaced? Restricted airflow through your furnace can prevent warm air from reaching all parts of your home.
  4. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. If you have a ceiling fan in a cooler room, simply switch the direction of your fan so that the warmer air near the ceiling is pushed down.   A low setting is all you need to keep the warm air flowing.

What to do next.
If the simple things don’t work well enough, the next options are to look at supplemental heat sources.

Toe-kick heaters fit under cabinets.

Toe-kick heaters fit under cabinets.

Portable Space Heaters
Space heaters are the easiest means of providing additional heat to a room.  They come in different sizes and heating capacities, so finding one that works for you should not be hard.

But space heaters have their drawbacks.  They can burn the fingers of curious kids, and they’re often unattractive obstacles.  Larger models take up a lot of floor space and may overload an electrical circuit. If not used carefully, they can become a fire hazard.  Go to this link to read more on Space Heater Safety.

Electric Baseboard or Wall Mount Heaters
Installing baseboard heating or wall mount electric heaters allows you to heat an entire room or specific zones.  These units control the temperatures in a room separately from the rest of the house and come in sleek, compact designs.

Electric Toe-Kick Heaters
Electric toe-kick heaters with blowers fit into the hollow space under kitchen cabinets, stair treads and vanities.  This can be a good solution for a bathroom or kitchen where chilly feet are the main complaint.

duct booster fan

Duct-booster fans increase air flow into a room.

Duct-Booster Fans
For homes with forced air heat, duct booster fans can increase the flow of warm air through your ducts into a cooler room. In-line duct booster fans fit inside standard-size metal ducts.

Cove Heaters
Cove heaters mount inconspicuously along the wall near the ceiling.  For a bedroom or TV room, cove heaters can be a great choice. These units use radiant panels that emit heat downward to warm occupants directly instead of heating the air. They work well in rooms where drapes and furniture make baseboard heaters inconvenient.

cove heaters

Cove heaters work well in bedrooms and family rooms.

Electric Floor Heat
If you are willing to replace flooring, electric floor heat will do a great job of heating a kitchen or bathroom.  Under-tile radiant systems are still the most common, but many companies offer systems that work equally well beneath laminate, carpet and engineered hardwood floors.

Radiant Ceiling Panels
Radiant ceiling panels heat the occupants of a room from above. These panels mount on the ceiling and provide ‘spot heat’ to people in a specific area.  Mounted directly above a work table or desk, someone can work comfortably without having to heat the entire room.

Professional Installation Required
Most of these options to provide supplemental heat to a room or area in your home will require a professional to install them.  In almost all cases additional wiring is needed requiring an electrician. Carpentry skills may also be needed if you are replacing flooring or cutting holes in walls.

Artisan Electric logoA Comfortable Home Throughout
Having a home that is comfort throughout allows you to take advantage of all the charm and utility of your home.  So in the end deciding how best to add to your home’s comfort will be worth it.

Artisan Electric or Project Done can be help in reviewing your options and with installation support of any of these supplemental heating options.

Contact us today at Artisan Electric or give us a call at 765-414-3913 and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

Prep Your Outdoor Lighting, Signs and Home for Winter

October 26th, 2018 No comments

Winter is Coming.
When cold weather arrives no one likes working on outdoor electrical problems. Frozen fixtures and ground make parking lot lights, wall packs, motion detector lights, landscape lighting, and any outdoor wiring, motors, and electrical panels extra difficult and more expensive to service.

Now is the time to have outdoor electrical maintenance done

Thermometer showing 0 degrees

Scheduled maintenance is always more cost effective than emergency or unplanned repair work.  There are preventive maintenance steps you can take in the fall that will help eliminate potential problems when your electrical usage increases during the winter months. Installing fresh light bulbs and inspecting outdoor electrical wiring before winter arrives is money well spent.

Businesses

  • Outdoor lights including parking lot lights, and hard to reach pole lights, wall packs and security lighting should be inspected.
  • Signage on commercial buildings can be very difficult and costly to service once it freezes up. When this occurs we often cannot get the fixtures apart to work on them.
  • Panels and service equipment  The summer cooling season and the big electrical loads from AC units place heavy stress on electrical systems. The same thing occurs at peak heating season when the below zero temps set in. It is a good idea to have your outside electrical service, meter box, and electrical panel board “the breaker box” inspected and all the wiring connections and breaker terminals tightened on a regular basis. Manufacturers recommend this be done annually.

Home Owners

  • Landscape lights after a summer of heavy use many landscape lighting systems have some fixtures and lamps that need repair. These get very hard to service once the ground freezes. If there are in-ground buried wiring issues sometimes we have to wait for spring.
  • Exterior lighting on homes is always more expensive to service outdoor lighting in the winter time – especially those hard to reach fixture locations and pesky motion sensor lights.  Lights that don’t work become much more noticeable and inconvenient as our days grow shorter.
  • Outdoor spa and hot tub electric circuits that heat the water in your spa or hot tub should be checked to avoid electrical equipment failure that might lead to a costly freeze up of the unit.
  • Portable space heaters are commonly used to provide additional heat to help keep rooms comfortable.  We see this frequently in older historic homes.  Space heaters draw a lot of current and many older electrical circuits are not rated for this kind of use.  If you are using portable heaters you need to know that the circuit and electrical outlet you are using is correctly sized and rated for the load. Never use portable heaters on extension cords, plug strips or two-prong adapters!

Artisan Electric logoExterior Electrical Maintenance
One of Artisan Electric’s certified technicians would be happy to come out and provide an estimate on any electrical maintenance work you wish done. Contact us today at Artisan Electric or give us a call at 765-414-3913 and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

 

Don’t Ignore “Concerns” on a Home Inspection Report

October 2nd, 2018 No comments

Home InspectionWhen considering the purchase of a home a potential buyer will receive a real estate disclosure that documents the seller’s knowledge of the property. 

This disclosure is not the same thing as an independent third party home inspection.  A home inspection is more extensive and may reveal defects that the seller may not have been aware of.

A Home’s Overall Condition
A home buyer should always do a full property inspection before moving forward with a purchase. A home inspection is an inexpensive way to discover the overall condition of a home.  The inspector checks all systems and components from the roof to the basement. It will cover features of the house such as the electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, insulation, as well as structural features of the home.  Home inspections may often reveal problems with a home that could be pricey to fix.

inspecting electrical box

Make sure there are no surprises with your home’s wiring.

Once the inspection is completed, the home inspector will provide the buyer with a report suggesting any improvements or repairs deemed necessary to bring the home up to current standards.

If There Are Concerns
Remember, inspectors can’t see through walls or ceilings. They can only inspect what they have access to.  If home inspector says, “they have concerns,” pay attention.  This means that based on what they could observe, they may have seen evidence or suspect a home has mold, termites, asbestos or old wiring.  If this is the case it’s a good idea to bring in a specialist to investigate just how extensive a problem it is within the home, and how much it might cost to fix it.

We Can Help With Old Wiring
If you’re looking at a home that has pre-1960 “knob and tube” style electrical wiring, it does not meet code, and the home’s entire electrical system will need to be replaced.  Old wiring like knob and tube is a huge fire hazard, so it has to be replaced.  Unfortunately, it can cost several thousand dollars to rewire an old home.

If a report indicates a rodent problem, a thorough inspection of the house’s wiring is recommended.  Pests can cause serious harm to electrical systems, exposing wires which can lead to electrical fires, shocks, and short circuits.

ArtisanElectricBW name onlyNo One Likes Surprises
Getting a home inspection and, if needed, a more extensive inspection from a specialist, is a small price to pay to avoid the costly mistake of purchasing a property in need of major repairs.

If you have questions concerning your electrical service or wiring, please give Artisan Electric a call at 765-414-3913.  We have extensive experience in working on older homes and their electrical systems.

 

How Hard is it to Update an Older Home with Today’s Technology?

August 29th, 2018 No comments

Got an older home where your new technology just doesn’t seem to fit?  Wiring isn’t in the right place, wireless signals are weak, internet speeds are slow, and when you lose power it’s a major task to restart everything?

Updating older home technology

Incorporating newer technologies into older homes sometimes requires a little extra effort.

These problems tend to have a common cause.  Older homes, especially larger ones, were not built with today’s audio/visual, computer and wireless devices in mind.  As a result your wireless technology just doesn’t seem to work at the level you expect.  Fortunately there are solutions to these problems that do not require you to move.

Improving WIFI Signals
Some of the simpler steps that can be taken to improve WIFI signal strength are:

  1. Checking your router to make sure it is not obsolete. To handle higher bandwidth applications you should be using models designated 802.11n at 300Mbps, or the latest 802.11ac at 1Gbps.
  2. Placement of your router. The more central the location the better.
  3. Add wireless signal extenders that boost the signal throughout your home.
Artisan rack

Additional equipment installed to enhance overall signal performance.

Streaming Applications
For those wanting to stream shows to their computers and high definition TV’s, taking the above steps may not be enough.  More sophisticated technology like POE switches and direct wiring via CAT6 and coax cable to the units may be required.  For older homes this entails more work because, unlike newer homes, they were not pre-wired for this type of application.

Taking It to the Max
Recently Artisan Electric, working in conjunction with Abstract Technology, wrapped up a project to significantly upgrade the network connectivity of a number of devices in a customer’s older home.

Because of the size of the home and the number of devices to be controlled Artisan installed a POE switch and 3 enterprise grade access points that boosted the WIFI signal throughout the home. In addition we ran new CAT6 network and coax cable to accommodate five TV locations and other electronic devices.  To top it off, the customer had us install a UPS battery backup that can run a full 100 meg WIFI network for up to eight hours.

Artisan Electric "gimme that juice" logoNot Every Project Is This Big
Updating your older home’s tech infrastructure doesn’t have to entail everything we did in the project above.  We’d encourage you to give Artisan Electric a call at 765-464-9184 and we’d be happy to come out, run a few speed and signal strength tests, and help you determine the best approach to making your beautiful home more tech savvy.

We’re Looking for a Multi-Skilled Person Who Can Get the Project Done

August 29th, 2018 No comments

Do you have a broad set of home improvement/repair skills? Do you like to work independently? Enjoy a job with never ending variety? Get satisfaction from a job well done?

Our PROJECT DONE team is looking for the right person to help us grow this business.  Someone with a variety of skills to take on ….Project Done logo

  • General repairs of all kinds
  • Clean ups and punch lists
  • Small project home improvements
  • Light carpentry, painting, and cosmetic work
  • Reality inspection report repairs
  • Deck and fence repairs
  • Faucet and toilet repairs
  • Maintenance for income properties
  • Yard clean up and mulch work

PROJECT DONE is a home repair services company that does home improvements, light carpentry, general repairs and small projects.  Anything someone needs done by a skilled hand around their home or business.

Position Requirements
A strong candidate will need to have carpentry skills and some experience with basic plumbing and electrical wiring.  They will also have to demonstrate a solid work history and the ability to manage their own time; pass a drug screening; and be able to work flexible hours.  For the right person, this could grow into a future business opportunity.

Interested?
Please submit a resume or summary of your work history to Chris Voglund at info@projectdone4u.com or phone: 765-464-9184.

Learn more at http://projectdone4u.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/projectdone4u.