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Posts Tagged ‘Lafayette IN electricians’

The War Room Makers – Audio & Video Technology Specialist

November 22nd, 2013 No comments

Why us you ask?  Here is a little info about what our Audio / Video / Technology team brings to the table.

Mark Baitinger is the owner of Sound Lab:  Sound Lab is a professional custom electronics corporation founded by Mark in 1989.  Specializing in competitively priced System Design, Consulting, Retail Sales, Installation and Service, Sound Lab has been providing quality Audio/Video solutions for a wide range of large and small residential and commercial projects throughout Central Indiana.  In addition to his extensive background, certifications, and training in the A/V world, Mark is a Contacta affiliated authorized dealer and is advanced hearing loop trained.

Chris Voglund is the owner of Artisan Electric:  Artisan Electric was founded in 2004 by Chris, after 15 years of previous electrical contracting experience.  Specialists in residential, commercial, and industrial electrical contracting as well as voice, data, and audio solutions.  Chris is a degreed Journeyman Electrician, Leviton Network Systems certified installer, and has an extensive background in electrical service, live audio, sound reinforcement, recording, and performance space planning.

Profound Technology Group:  Our technology partner, Profound Technologies, is recognized as a world leader in the AV integration Industry – specializing in Crestron solution systems and programming. Combining complex and advanced audio video communication systems with custom programming to make simple to use, enjoyable end-use solutions.  

Paired together our companies provide a combined 100+ years of electrical, tech integration, and A/V experience – making us a uniquely qualified team for today’s demanding tech based design, project management, and installation services.  Couple that with our passion for A/V and our professional reputations we represent one of Indiana’s best teams for integration projects of all sizes.

 Mark and Chris joint project logo

 

Generator Systems and Emergency Power

November 20th, 2013 No comments

Who do you know that got spooked by this recent line of storms and the related power outages?

The reality is that with the continued deterioration or our aging power grids, line worker cut backs and under staffed utility providers, and the rapid increase in dramatic weather events these situations are going to become more common place.

Artisan Electric can help with mobile and back up power solutions, using certified and licensed journeyman electricians, licensed plumbers (for the gas line work) and the proven performance and 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE that comes with the KOHLER product line.

Artisan Electric is an approved vendor of Kohler Generator Systems thru Buckeye Power Sales.  We have the full package of solution, design, installation, warranty, and service that is second to none in the area.  When you think back up power think Artisan Electric

gen post plog pic top

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Room Style Makeover Contest 2013 now live!

July 8th, 2013 No comments

The Artisan Electric 2013 Room Style Makeover contest is up and running.  This year we are looking to style out one lucky Mom with a very special $3000.00 space of her own.

room style makeover

 

Here is how it works:

  • Find us on Facebook – www.facebook.com/artisan electric
  • Like our page and go to the contest giveaway tab – here is a direct link >>>  Room Style Makover Contest
  • Watch the reveal video for last year’s contest winner
  • Follow the contest instructions and nominate a Mom for this year’s contest!

Just that easy.  Hope to see your entry come in soon.

 

How old are your smoke detectors? When was the last time you tested them?

November 4th, 2011 No comments

The home heating and holiday season is approaching so now is a good time to inspect your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in proper working condition.  It’s also a great time to consider having a professional electrician upgrade your smoke detectors to meet the current safety standards and local codes.

Ninety-six percent (96%) of all homes in the US have at least one smoke detector according to a 2010 National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) sponsored telephone survey.  But, only 75% of the homes in the US have a working smoke detector.  According to NFPA data from 2005-2009, smoke detectors sounded in only half (50%) of the fires reported to US fire departments and almost two-thirds (66%) of home fire deaths resulted from fires within homes with non-working or no smoke detectors.  Twenty-four percent (24%) of the deaths occurred in homes that had smoke detectors installed, but the detectors failed to sound.

Smoke detector installation code requirements are governed by the National Fire Alarm Code, NFPA 72.  Prior to 1993, smoke detectors were governed by NFPA 74.  The code requirements have changed over time, with the goal being the improvement of personal safety by providing earlier warning of fires through the home’s smoke detectors.  Prior to 1989, single, stand-alone battery operated smoke detectors were required to be installed in homes or in new construction.  In 1989, newly constructed homes were required to have interconnected (hardwired) smoke detectors on every level of the home and outside of sleeping areas.  With inter-connected detectors, all the units would sound if any one detector triggered and alarm.  In 1993, the code was revised to include a requirement for the hardwired smoke detectors to be in every bedroom or sleeping area in addition to the units on every floor.  In 1996, the code requirements were modified to require the hardwire smoke detectors also have battery back-ups to ensure operation during power outages.  This battery back-up must be able to maintain power to the smoke detector for a period of seven (7) days after the low battery warning begins to sound.

While governed by NFPA 72, smoke detectors are also covered or addressed in the National Electric Code (NEC).  The 2002 NEC saw a major revision with the new requirement of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters for all bedroom circuits including lighting and smoke detector receptacles.  Local codes and local jurisdictions have overridden the NEC in many areas over concerns that nuisance tripping of AFCI circuits can leave the bedroom unprotected if the battery back-up fails.

Both the NFPA 72 and NEC require that smoke detectors have visible Power-On indicators (usually green LEDs) and be supplied by either a dedicated branch circuit or the unswitched portion of a branch circuit for power and lighting.  The NFPA 72 and NEC prohibit the use of a GFCI to supply power to smoke detectors.

Most electricians will strongly recommend that older homes or those built before the adoption of the 2002 NEC, should have the smoke detectors updated to meet the new code requirements and be installed on a dedicated, interconnected circuit with a smoke detector on all floors and detectors in all bedrooms or sleeping areas.  In addition, most electricians also recommend the addition of a hardwired, interconnected Carbon Monoxide detector with battery back-up be added the smoke detector alarm circuit near the furnace and hot water heater.  Alarm strobe lights are highly recommended for families with individuals that are hard of hearing or hearing impaired to alert them of alarm conditions.

 A parting tip:

Always change the back-up batteries in all smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors on your birthday and test the detectors at least four times a year, at the change of each season.  This ensures that the batteries are always in good condition and ready to offer the extended coverage in the event of a power loss.  Also, if you do experience and extended power loss for more than a day or two, it’s recommended that the batteries in all smoke detectors be replaced to ensure they are in top condition for the next power loss.  Batteries are a small price to pay to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.

 

For additional information on the NFPA or NFPA 72, please visit the NFPA’s web site at:
http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=278&URL=Safety%20Information/For%20consumers/Fire%20&%20safety%20equipment/Smoke%20alarms

Electrical Tip of the Day – don’t use the “stab in the back” connections!

February 24th, 2011 No comments

Ask any well trained journeyman electrician who has done service work about “stab in the back” outlets and switches and you will be in for an ear full.  We jokingly call them back stabbers or service call generators, because that is exactly what they do. We get a least a call a week one these from someone, usually in one of the newer track homes built in the last 20 years, that has lights flickering or an outlet that seems to have quit working.  On the more dangerous end of the spectrum we get those frantic calls about how an outlet or switch just seemed to MELT in the wall.

Let me introduce you to  “stab in the back” switches and outlets – one of the most dangerous installs methods we find used in the electrical trades:

stab in the back switch

These devices rely on small metal pinchers recessed in holes in the back of the plastic case to hold the wire contentions in place.  They are very poor quality connections and make even worse junctions for feed thru wiring methods (daisy chaining from outlet to outlet to outlet).  Most reliable companies will not even allow the use of this method and require their employees to use the proven method of pig tail wiring:  Wire nuts for pig tailing multiple wires together, and the biding screws on the devices for the final mechanical connection of conductors to the devices.

Here is a picture of properly secured wire on an outlet by use of the binding screws to get an idea of what the difference looks like:

side wired outlet

Next time you have a screw driver handy go take a cover plate off any device location in your home, might need a flash light to look in the box, but you will be able see  right away of the installer used the binding screws or not.  If they did not consider giving us a call to talk about some options on replacement or re-termination of the existing devices.

Remember – don’t get stabbed in the back!

When terminations go bad…

December 15th, 2010 No comments

Found this mess in a lighting control panel last week. These type of crimp on terminal connectors don’t work on solid wire.

12 unit meter bank change out

December 15th, 2010 No comments

We just completed this project last week. Retro fit of a new 800 amp service on a 12 unit building. The old service was not installed correctly and failed due to water and rust.

Electrical Tip of the Day – Fall outdoor light fixture maintenance

October 13th, 2010 No comments

Its that time of year again and (gasp) bad weather will be upon us soon.  This weeks tip is a simple one… it will save you a bundle to deal with outdoor light fixture repairs before the snow flies and things freeze… in some case, like in ground landscape lighting, if a problem occurs after it has hard frozen for the winter we have little choice but to put the repair work off until spring thaw

In other areas, like commercial parking lot lights, wall packs, those pesky motion detector sensor lights – getting fresh lamps in and checking out the systems before winter is money well spent.  Things break when it gets cold, and planning for bucket truck / large ladder use during those bad winter months will always cost more then doing the same work during favorable weather.

And of course – PLANNED maintenance is always more cost effective then emergency or unplanned repair work!

Knob-and-tube wiring, what you should know

October 20th, 2009 No comments

Electrical Tip of the Day: Knob and tube electrical wiring was installed in homes from the 1920’s to the mid 1960’s – later in some rural locations.  As indicated by the name the instillation method used a combination of porcelain “knobs” and “tubes” as insulators to install the wire.  Here are the basic characteristics of a knob and tube wiring system:

  • No ground: Only a hot and neutral wire are used… the circuit does not have a ground conductor
  • Wire insulation: Electrical wires are wrapped in a rubberized cloth or ascroll fiber insulation.  In some cases a second rubber / fiber insulator was also slid over the primary conductors.
  • Connections or splices were made outside of electrical junction boxes, typically by twisting the wire at a “tap” point, soldering the connection, and insulating it with tape.
  • Hot and Neutral conductors separated on framing member:  Hot and neutral conductors were not in a common cable like modern romex wire.  They were separated onto opposite sides of framing members.

PIMG0095

What you should know.  Currently the NEC code and most local jurisdictions do not specifically say that knob and tube wiring is illegal, however they do have some very specific requirements if it is to be left installed and in use (NEC 2008 – article 394). Here are the basic guide lines that must be followed:

  • Over current protection to be on hot conductors only
  • Over current protection not to exceed 15 amps
  • No open splices – original splices may remain if soldered and insulated with tape
  • New extension wire connections to be made in junction boxes
  • Knob and tube wiring to be supported only by non-conductive stand off supports – it may not be secured in contact with combustible materials
  • Knob and tube wiring is only rated to be used in free air, un-insulated spaces.  It is not permitted to have knob and tube wiring covered or concealed by insulation of any kind

PIMG0097

So what makes knob and tube such a major safety concern today?   What it really comes down to is that it does not have a ground, the age of the conductor insulation, changes to the building or original installation (such as the way it has been spliced), and the addition of building insulation over or around the knob and tube.  Here are the key concerns:

  • No electrical ground: The circuit is only comprised of a “hot” and a “neutral” conductor – making it less safe than a modern grounded electrical circuit.  Devices that use a grounded plug (three prong) should not be connected on an un-grounded circuit, specifically appliance loads.
  • Damage : In most cases knob and tube is past the “safe” useable life span. Heat damage, cracked and rotten insulation, exposure to leaks, cracked or missing insulators, chewing rodents, or damage from being steeped on all add up over time.  We don’t find much knob and tube that is in safe useable condition.
  • New work and open splices: We often find improper “new” extensions added to original knob and tube circuits.  Electrical splices are to be made in an approved junction box per NEC code.  The very basic reason for this is to contain a fire if the junction fails.
  • Building insulation: The fire safety of knob and tube wiring relied on the fact that the wires were typically separated on framing members, suspended in free air between knobs, and passed thru combustible materials in ceramic tubes. Where original conductors were installed in walls or in attic floors, and where then later covered in building insulation, the knob and tube wires then no longer meet code.  They can become hotter than intended, and may be a fire hazard due to the proximity to combustible materials.
  • Switched Neutral: It was the excepted install practice at the time to switch the neutral conductor on a knob and tube circuit.  It poses a increased risk for homeowners to have switched neutrals.  A switch can be in the off position and still have full voltage at the load (like a light fixture). Switched neutrals on a circuit can also cause voltage irregularities that can effect today’s sensitive modern electronics.
  • Homeowners insurance: Most homeowner’s insurance policies have specific language regarding knob and tube wiring.  Is some cases they call for its removal in order for the policy to be valid.  In other cases there may be increased rates and/ or changes in coverage.  If your home has knob and tube wiring you will want to specifically ask your insurance agent how this affects your coverage.

So, that was a lot to digest.  If you have questions or concerns about knob and tube I would be happy to answer them for you.  Contact me here or thru the Artisan web page.