Space Heater Safety Tips

November 17th, 2017 No comments

Space Heater Safety Tips

Staying Safe When Using a Portable Space Heater

As the winter chill settles in portable space heaters can be a quick way to heat up a room. However, they can be as dangerous as they are convenient if used improperly. Space heaters cause 25,000 home fires a year, and 6,000 emergency room visits, according to the Harvard University Environmental Health & Safety group.

The National Fire Protection Association states that approximately one-third of all house fires nationwide occur between December and February and space heaters are the leading cause of these fires.

space heatersPortable Space Heater Home Safety Tips
To keep your family and home safe follow these recommendations when using portable heaters of any type.

  • Purchase only space heaters that are safety tested and UL approved. Make sure it is equipped with an emergency tip-over shut-off feature and heating element guards.Read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for operation and care.
  • Before using a space heater, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition.
  • Don’t place heaters in high-traffic areas.  Set them on a level, hard, non-flammable floor surface—not on carpets, furniture or countertops.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet from combustible liquids like fuel, spray cans and paint, as well as flammable items such as draperies, blankets and sofas.
  • Space Heaters Need SpaceNever allow pets or children near an electric heater. Accidental contact could result in serious shock or burns.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. If you must – use a grounded #12 gauge cord that is just long enough to do the job.
  • Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
  • Never leave space heaters unattended. Turn off your space heater and unplug it before leaving the room or going to bed. Do not leave your heater running overnight while you sleep.
  • Do not use space heaters in homes with wiring systems that have not been upgraded to 3 wire grounded circuits and modern toggle style breakers.  We find these in older homes whose old electrical systems were not designed for these kinds of loads.
  • Ideally space heaters should be used on 20 amp circuits that do not share power with the lighting system or other electrical loads.
  • If the heater keeps tripping the circuit, then don’t “force” the breaker back into reset.  It is tripping for a reason indicating a potentially larger problem.

Artisan Electric logoNeed Some Advice
If you have any questions on how to safely use space heaters in your home or office, give us a call at 765-414-3913 – we would be happy to discuss your electrical requirements.

Wiring in Historic and Older Homes

October 24th, 2017 No comments

Historic and older homes come with charm and wiring questions.

Historic Home

Historic homes come with charm and a lot of questions about wiring.

Older homes come with a great deal of charm and style, as well as a number of potentially hazardous situations related to old wiring.

Old house electrical systems can often become a rat’s nest of wires and splices as the occupant’s electrical needs have grown over the years and unqualified people have worked on the wiring.

Depending on the age of your old house, you may have several generations of electrical wiring and components that aren’t as safe as they should or could be. 

Knowing the Condition of Your House’s Wiring
In order to determine if your historic house or building requires new electrical wiring or needs upgrades, a qualified electrician will need to conduct a thorough inspection of the electrical system.  As an electrical contractor who has worked on a great many historic one-of-a-kind properties we understand that it takes a very specific set of skills to do this work well.  Even then you have to love these properties like they are your own and believe in their value!  See our thoughts on how to proceed with your older home.

Not All Old Wiring Is Unsafe
In unaltered buildings built since about 1940, the electrical system can be intact and safe – but there are a lot of *IF’s* with that statement. These homes used a variety of electrical wire types with different forms of insulation and since 1940 there have been many changes to the NEC (National Electrical Code).  You will want to check to make sure there are enough existing circuits and the load capacity is adequate for the electrical requirements of the renovated home or building.  It is also important to understand if the wiring is grounded and was installed correctly initially.

knob and tube wiringWatch Out for Knob & Tube Wiring
As you are inspecting the electrical wiring in your house or building, you should determine if your structure has any knob and tube wiring.  This was the earliest form of electrical wiring in the U.S. and was used in the 1870’s to the 1930’s.  The popularity of knob and tube wiring diminished by 1940, but continued to be installed in some homes and buildings until about 1975.

Knob and tube wiring consists of two wires running parallel to each other and threaded through a hole in the joist. A porcelain tube inserted into the hole prevents the wire from touching the wood. When these wires are bent to make a turn, they are wrapped around a porcelain knob nailed to the side of the joist. Since knob and tube wiring has no grounding wire, it can be a fire and shock hazard. If you find knob and tube wiring during your inspection, it would be our only recommendation that it needs to be replaced.

Requirements for GFCI Outlets
Ground Fault Circuit InterupterIf you are planning a substantial rehab to your structure, you might be required by building codes to install a three-pronged, grounded GRCI outlet every six feet.  A licensed electrician can help you determine if you must meet this requirement.

Outlets within six feet of every sink or water-supplied fixture should be GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets. A GFCI outlet has a push-in button for testing and another button that acts like a circuit breaker. A GFCI outlet, and any outlet that is properly wired to it, will prevent an electrical short caused by water coming in contact with a source of electricity.

Check Your Light Fixture Wiring
If the wiring to your lighting has only two wires present, it is a good indication that your lights are not grounded. This can create a fire and shock hazard and the ceiling light fixtures in your house or building will need to be rewired.

juice2Need Someone to Inspect Your Wiring?
Please note that the information presented in this article is not intended to provide comprehensive technical advice or instructions on solving historic home wiring issues.

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

 

2017 Readers’ Choice Awards

October 6th, 2017 No comments

Artisan Electric Team


The Artisan Team is Asking for Your Vote!

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The voting for the 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards is underway and the Artisan Electric Team would really appreciate your support.

We’ve received complements from many of you and we are thankful for the positive feedback you’ve given us over this past year. At Artisan Electric we have a saying we use often to govern how we approach our business – “we all come up together”.  To that end we could really use your help and your vote now to achieve this next goal!

Red check in vote box

Cast Your Vote for Artisan Electric

Please “click on” the RED CHECK VOTE button and cast your vote for Artisan Electric. Your vote will make a difference, so please vote now, it only takes a few seconds.

Respectfully – Chris Voglund and The Artisan Electric Team

*Voting is open until 10/16 @ 11:59pm EASTERN

Journeyman Electrician Sought

September 28th, 2017 No comments

Artisan Electric Team

We’re Looking for the Next Space Protector

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Artisan Electric is asking for your help.  As we continue to grow, Artisan Electric is looking to add a member to our A-TEAM.  Do you know someone in the electrical trades?  Maybe someone who is not satisfied with their current job, or is looking for a new challenge with real growth opportunities?

If so, we would LOVE to talk with them about all Artisan Electric has to offer.

We are looking for candidates with some or all of the following traits / skills.

  • Electrician working on outdoor electrical panelMust be hard wired to care about people and team members, and be committed to the social responsibility of doing ethical business
  • Is willing, able, and enjoys being in new situations
  • Is a problem solver!
  • Believes that business relationships must be WIN / WIN for all parties
  • Journeyman electrician who has been thru a 4 year BAT certified apprentice program and has a minimum 4 years of post-apprenticeship residential and light commercial service experience
  • No felony convictions and can pass a federal back ground check for work at secure facilities
  • Is able to write proficiently and work with computers and basic computer applications

Artisan Electric "gimme that juice" logoKnow a Candidate? Please Pass the Word Along.
Please feel free to reply to this email, forward it to potential candidates, call us at 765-414-3913, or make a connection thru our website at WWW.ARTISANELECTRIC.NET.  We would love to hear from you!

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Home Technology Problems

August 25th, 2017 No comments

Home Technology Problems We All Face

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If you are like most families, particularly if you have kids in middle and/or high school, your home is inundated in electronic devices and technology.  This includes computers, IPads, video game systems, multiple audio and video products, streaming of movies and other programs, and of course, the ever present smart phone.

When family members in a home try to simultaneously use multiple devices it can often lead to the following problems. 

Lack of bandwidthLack of Band Width
Typically the first issue that arises with families with multiple devices is with available band width.  This happens when several users connect to the internet and perform data consuming processes, like downloading large files, watching movies, or streaming programs.  This can lead to programs stalling or the connection being dropped.

Upgrading your network hardware, cabling and router can often be a first step in taking care of this problem.

You can test your Internet speeds by going to SPEAK EASY SPEED TEST.  If you are not getting what you expect, then call your internet service provider.

Spotty WiFi Coverage
girl on computerThe average family of four often has ten or more devices connected to the home Wifi network! Phones, TV’s, laptops and tablets, cameras, alarm system, and smart home systems are everywhere now.  Even new appliances are now being designed to connect to a network.

Inadequate WiFi coverage can be very annoying to say the least.  Not being able to sit on your deck or work in an upstairs bedroom is a problem that can be addressed in two ways … extend your current network, or create a stronger one.

With the increased demand and number of connected devices, many built in Wifi devices like those found in a typical cable router struggle to keep up.  Moving into a pro-grade wired WAP (wireless access point) system can extend your network, increase your speeds, and handle multiple users much better. These systems can also be configured to have a “guest” and “home” network.  This gives your network added security and keeps the neighbor’s kids from chewing up your bandwidth.

Not Enough Electrical Outlets
With so many devices in use some homes and apartments do not always have enough outlets to plug in your new gadgets. If your electronic devices are grouped together, i.e. home theater system, purchasing a good surge protector that allows you to plug in six or more devices will alleviate this problem.

Sometimes the issue is too many outlets are taken up by single-use power adapters for phones and tablets.  To address this you can replace the outlets with ones that have USB ports built into them, or purchase a multi-port adapter that can charge up to five devices while only taking up a single outlet.

remote controlsWires and Remotes Everywhere
Too many wires and remotes can be an aggravating problem. Wires for multiple devices get in your way, and locating the remote control you need for all your audio/video equipment can seem like a daunting task at times.

There are easy to use touch screen universal remotes available that can integrate up to eight remotes into one unit.  Set them up with icons like “watch Netflix” and with one tap on one remote you are ready to go.  You can eliminate some of your wiring by using a Bluetooth or wireless mouse and keyboard.

Higher Electrical Bills
We tend to leave many of our smart devices on all the time. So even when we are not using them, they are silently drawing power.  There are devices available that will allow you to switch off your computer, printer, scanner, etc. with one wireless remote device.  This saves energy and lowers your electric bill.

Artisan is qualified to do all forms of networking cabling.
If you are building a new home, or remodeling your current abode, many of the issues noted above can be addressed when the house is wired initially.  This can include installing the following …

  • Category cabling for home data networks and structured wiring
  • Cabling for Internet, HDTV installs, home automation, audio projects
  • Flat panel TV installs that look good and hide all those wires
  • Camera system wiring
  • Owner provided hardware installation
  • Audio and video, and whole house sound solutions
  • All forms of low voltage wiring for home automation and lighting control
  • Testing for structured wiring networks

juice2Free Consultation Available
The Artisan Electric team would be happy to discuss your “internet and electronic equipment” plans and provide a free estimate.  Just give us a call at 765-414-3913 or contact us at Artisan Electric.

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Electrical Construction Management

July 28th, 2017 No comments

Getting a Construction Project to Turn Out Like You Planned

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Large or small … getting construction projects to run smoothly, completed on time, and on budget always presents its challenges. To have the end result turn out the way you want takes planning and staying on top of the details.

Construction project planning

Having a well thought out plan always makes things easier.

Planning is Key to Success
To be successful we have found that defining the plan, adjusting the plan when needed, and ultimately implementing a well thought out construction plan is key to the success of your project.

When working with multiple contractors it is essential that the roles and responsibilities of each are clearly defined.

To make this happen the project manager, or owners group should consider the following standardized practices. Be sure to solicit the input and perspective from those involved about their specific tasks.

  • Who is in charge
    First and foremost establishing a clear chain of command and identifying who has the authority to make changes and spend additional monies is key to the success of any project large or small.       With larger projects, if someone from the owners group is too busy or not qualified to make construction related decisions, we highly recommend a good project manger.
  • Scope Statement
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    Understanding the scope, schedule and milestones of the project helps the contractors coordinate their work schedules.

    A simple document that clearly defines the work to be done, deliverables, key milestones, and ideally a schedule of values and costs. A scope statement may change during the project, but it shouldn’t be done without the approval of the project manager and/or the owners group.

  • Written Schedule
    A visual representation of the time line that breaks down the scope of the project into well understood dates and times for all the trades in the job.
  • Written Change Orders
    Get them in writing and make sure all parties agree ahead of time how they will be billed!
  • Milestones
    Identify high-level goals that need to be met throughout the project and make sure they are well understood by all the players on the job.
  • Communication Plan
    This is of particular importance if your project involves outside stakeholders. Create reporting about project details and a schedule of when to update team members based on deliverables and milestones.  Also determine what the preferred method of disseminating information on progress reports will be, i.e. email, phone, text, pictures, video.
  • Weekly job site meetings with all the players
    This is essential to avoid rework and costly delays and conflicts. Start by making sure everyone on the project has contact information for every other person on the project. The importance of getting all the players on the job working together is key to the project’s ultimate success.
  • Only Hire Pros
    Hire the best trade’s professional you can. It is the single best investment you can make if you want less headaches and contractors who will go to bat for you and look out for your best interests. Remember low bid is exactly that – it always comes with a cost.

It’s A Beautiful Thing
Staying on top of all aspects of the project using these suggestions will make a big difference. As we all know, “It’s a beautiful thing, when it all comes together according to plan.”

Contact Us With Your Questions
We’ll be happy to answer your questions and have one of our licensed pros assist you in obtaining more information or a quote on your next electrical project.

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

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Online Reviews Help Us Build a Customer Driven Reputation

June 26th, 2017 No comments

 

At Artisan Electric we believe that when we support one another that “we all come up together”.   Our mission “To achieve success with a relentless pursuit of quality, safety, value, and ethics by elevating the work of electricians to a level that is more than just construction; but the work of Artisans” directs our everyday actions.

Acquiring your input on how we are performing is critical to our team meeting its long term goals.

online reviewsThe Importance of Online Reviews
Online reviews continue to grow in importance to every business. Through information obtained from Invesp we know that …

  • 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with “excellent” reviewsonline info graphic 3
  • 72% say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 92% of users will  us a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating
  • 72% of consumers will take action only after reading a positive review

How you can help Artisan Electric
Obtaining feedback on our performance through online reviews helps us improve our business.

Good reviews are important and we love to hear that we did things to your satisfaction, but we also realize that we are not perfect and do make mistakes.  If we failed to meet your expectations, we also want to hear from you.  Truth be told learning what we are did wrong can be more important than the praise we receive for things we do right.  If you have immediate concerns please call me directly at 765-414-3913 option #3, or send me an email at cvoglund@artisanelectric.net – owner Chris Voglund and the Artisan Team.

How to Make an Online Review
We encourage you to go online and leave a Google, Yelp, Facebook or Angie’s List review of your professional experience with Artisan Electric.  The links to each are below.

 google_reviews  yelp-logo  Facebook-Review-Button  review-angies-list

GOOGLE REVIEW

YELP REVIEW

FACEBOOK REVIEW

ANGIE’S LIST REVIEW

Contact Us With Your Questions
We’ll be happy to answer your questions and have one of our licensed pros assist you in obtaining more information or a quote on your next electrical project.

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

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Electrical Amenities Add to Outdoor Living

May 30th, 2017 No comments

Add to Your Summer Memories with Great Outdoor Living

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With spring here and the summer soon to follow we can all look forward to taking advantage of those long summer days and warm summer nights.  Having an outdoor living space with extra amenities that your friends and family can enjoy will add to your summer memories.

Outdoor Living At Its Best
Here are five great ways to take your patio, deck or backyard to the next level.

trex deck lighting

Add visual appeal with outdoor lighting.

1. Incorporate Landscape and Architectural Lighting
Make your outdoor space and walkways more functional and attractive with lights around your deck, walkways and landscaping.  LED accent lighting adds beauty and appeal to your evening activities.

2. Supplement Outdoor Heating and Cooling
Using fans and patio heaters you can help cool the summer heat or be comfortable in the fall when the temperatures drop.  Ceiling fans in your screened-in porch or gazebo can easily be installed.

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Relax in your own hot tub.

3. Install Outdoor Audio and Video Systems
Enjoying the game or your favorite music while relaxing on your deck can be a lot of fun with family and friends.  Installing a big screen TV and audio components around your outdoor bar or pool can easily be done with today’s technology.

4. Add a Spa or Hot Tub
When it comes to relaxing nothing beats a Jacuzzi or hot tub.  Incorporating a hot tub into your outdoor design will give you extra enjoyment for many years.

5. Create an Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor kitchen 1233

Enjoy great meals in your outdoor kitchen.

For the chef in all of us, creating a place to grill and prepare meals is a great way to entertain and enjoy a great meal at the same time.  From the simple to the elaborate, outdoor kitchens can be created to your specifications and budget.

Electrical Expertise Required
From installing a ceiling fan, to adding accent lighting, to wiring an A/V system, all of these projects require input from a knowledgeable electrician.  Making sure that all wiring is to code and is weather proof is important to insure everyone’s safety.

juice2Any one of our the certified electricians on the Artisan Electric team would be happy to discuss your plans and provide input on turning your backyard into the outdoor space of your dreams.  Just give us a call at 765-414-3913 or contact us at Artisan Electric.

Commercial & Residential Surge Protection

May 1st, 2017 No comments

Surge Protection Can Save You Thousands of Dollars and Tons of Aggravation

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How much can Surge Protection save you? That depends on how much you’ve invested in your home theatre; audio and computer equipment; and home appliances.

Electrical Spikes Come from Multiple Sources
The dreaded lightning strike on or near your home can quickly take out your home’s electronic devices including your computer, TV, audio equipment and alarm system.  It can also damage and/or degrade larger items like refrigerators, washers and dryers, and other home appliances.

Power surges are also caused by appliances inside your home from larger motors like refrigerators, microwave ovens, tools and HVAC systems.  When electrical spikes occur from these motors, sensitive electronic devices can be affected.

How do you protect your home and equipment from these highly disruptive power surges?

houseStep 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 protects inside your home from major electrical spikes from outside sources i.e. lightning strikes.

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Step 3: Install smaller surge protectors to protect sensitive electronics inside your home from power surges caused by large appliances and other motors within your home.

Step 4:  Protect equipment located outside the home such as the air conditioning unit, pool pump or well pumps.

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.

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Free 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.

 

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Not all electrical contractors are created equal.

March 24th, 2017 No comments

Not all electrical contractors are created equal.

 

This is the prime time of the year to start new construction projects. And almost every one of those projects will require some electrical work.

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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 current state licenses?
Are they up-to-date on all 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. You should insist on any job, large or small, that your contractor demonstrates adherence to code and license requirements. Failure to do so could mean additional costs down the road to re-do a non-compliant job.

What type of training have they received?
Choosing a company that uses degreed journeyman electricians, who have completed a 4 or 5 year certified apprenticeship program, helps guarantee that the electrician has both the field experience and education to provide top level services and deal with the unforeseen in a professional manor.

Are they bonded and insured?
A call to the City Engineers Office in the town or county where you live can reveal a lot.  Find out 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.

Be 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!

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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 percent 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.

juice2We’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 Artisan Electric or give us a call at 765-414-3913.

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