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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.

 

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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.