Preventing Damaging Power Surges

March 21st, 2018 No comments

How to Stop Sneaky Power Surges from Damaging Your Electronics


motherboard hit by electrical surge

Power surges from different sources can all cause damage to electronic devices.

“Just had it happen to us,” noted Chris Voglund, owner of Artisan Electric. “We had surge protection on all of our devices, but a recent spike through the electric company’s transformer was so fast, it still knocked out a couple of our more sensitive electronic pieces of equipment.  We are now installing surge protection at the outside electrical panel to prevent this from happening again.”

Causes of Power Surges
Although lightning strikes are the most visible examples of what causes damaging power surges, they are not the most common reason.  Other more common sources are faulty electrical equipment from outside the home, and internal power surges caused by larger appliance motors on refrigerators, A/C units, and microwave ovens.

Smaller, repeated power surges may also slowly damage your electronic equipment. Repetitive, small power surges shorten the life of appliances and electronics. Your electronic devices may continue to function following small surges until the integrity of the electronic components finally degrades and your computers, TV’s and other electronics mysteriously stop working.

Types of surge protectors

How to Prevent Damage from Power Surges
Power surges caused by lightning can enter the home through the cable TV or satellite dish cable, the incoming telephone lines or through the electrical service line.

Knowing that power surges can take several paths and do not always enter through the electrical panel indicates a good surge protection system should include:

  • Protection of the incoming electrical service
  • Some type of protection of phone lines and cable TV lines
  • Point-of-use surge protectors at sensitive and expensive appliances

When deciding on what type of and how much surge protection is needed, each house and its contents should be assessed individually. An electrician knowledgeable about power surge protection systems and the history of problems in your area is a valuable resource.

Lightning storm over city

Lightning is the most visible form of power surge, but not the most common.

The Odds Are Not In Our Favor
Many of us think a power surge won’t happen to our home or business, so we are hesitant to spend the extra money on a complete surge protection system.

There are over 20 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes detected per year in the 48 contiguous states of the U.S.  The 10 year average for Indiana is 425, 478 per year. Odds are that it will happen to you at some point.

When you are a victim of a power surge either by lightning or other cause, the consequences can be expensive.  Replacing TV’s, appliances and computers are all high ticket items.  Unless you have additional coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy, standard policies typically don’t cover damaged items from a power surge.  Renter’s insurance policies usually don’t provide this kind of coverage either, meaning tenants must get compensation from their landlord.

Power Strips Are Not Surge Protectors
It is also helpful to remember that power strips and surge protectors are different.  Using a power strip as a surge protector will not typically give you adequate protection. Power strips are multi-outlet products that allow you to plug-in additional items into one outlet. They usually have a circuit breaker, but most won’t protect your valuable home electronics completely.

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

Outdoor Living Space Electrical Upgrades

February 23rd, 2018 No comments

Looking to Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space?  We Can Help With Those Warm Weather Electrical Projects.

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Outdoor lighting, hot tub, outdoor kitchen
With a hint of spring in the air, many of us look forward to getting outside and enjoying the nicer weather.  For those who want to upgrade their outdoor living spaces, this is the time to plan and line up the contractors you’ll need to get these jobs done.
 

Even if you are handy and expect to do most of the work yourself, we highly suggest leaving the electrical work to the professionals.

Artisan List of Outdoor Wiring ProjectsIncrease the Enjoyment and Value of Your Home
Improving your outdoor living space with landscape, patio and deck lighting improves the appeal and safety around your home.

Adding electrical capacity for outdoor kitchens, sheds, garages, pools and docks will allow you to use these areas more extensively. For more outdoor wiring ideas go to Enjoy Your Home.

Keep Everyone Safe
The National Electrical Code (NEC) includes many specific requirements for outdoor circuits and equipment. The primary safety concerns outdoors are moisture and corrosion, physical damage, and issues related to underground burial.

With most residential outdoor wiring projects, the relevant code requirements pertain to installing outdoor receptacles and fixtures and running wiring above and below ground.

Where requirements call for “listed” equipment, products must be listed for the application by an approved testing agency, such as UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories).

Artisan Electric logoContact Us With Your Questions
We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction to get your next warm weather project up and running. Contact us today at Artisan Electric or give us a call at 765-414-3913.

Scheduling Your Next Project

January 19th, 2018 No comments

It’s Time to Line Up Your Spring & Summer Projects


NOW
is the time to start planning for upcoming 2018 construction projects, large or small.  Getting a head start saves money, reduces stress levels, and most importantly, ensures the end result will be more to your satisfaction.

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

Now Motivation Message

The Ideal Time to Get Started

This is the time of year where contractor’s work can slow down due to poor weather and the inability to do a lot outside.

This makes it the ideal time to plan your upcoming spring or summer project and to begin lining up contractors to do the work.

Planning your project early has a number of advantages:

  • Good planning makes for a good results.  “Winging it” at the last minute is never a pleasant experience and often results in mistakes and low satisfaction with the end results.
  • The local construction economy is very strong. The area’s best contractors are already booking well into spring and summer; some are even booking into fall!
  • For larger projects that require architectural plans and permitting, selecting a good General Contractor to help with the process is essential to success. This takes time.
    • Having some extra time allows you to consider different choices of contractors, not just having to take the first one that is available.
electrical meter on print

Work with a qualified contractor “early” for the best results.

  • Staying on budget is always a challenge with any project, so having time to evaluate alternative approaches can minimize cost overruns and schedule delays.
  • You will save money by getting bids now, rather than when everyone is booked solid during the height of the construction season – often as much as 25%.
  • Arranging dates and schedules early will give you the greatest flexibility and allow time for some contingencies to handle unforeseen problems and delays.
  • You gain the advantage of having time to plan and refine ideas.  Working on your spring and summer projects now allows all parties the necessary time to plan those essential details that turn a good project into a great project.

Artisan Electric logoContact Us With Your Questions
We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction to get your next project up and running … the sooner the better.

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

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
    construction workers 685

    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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