Monthly Archives: February 2013

Tennessee State Flag

What It Takes to Get an Electrician’s License in Tennessee

Anyone who contracts to do electrical work in Tennessee needs a license, which involves passing  two exams, one on business law and another trade-specific exam. They also have to create a business entity and secure reasonable liability insurance, something that every homeowner will ask about when choosing an electrician. Detailed financial information regarding working capital has to be provided to the licensing board and tax identification numbers have to be obtained.

Apprenticeships and Examination

The difficulty of licensing requirements is intended to protect both electricians and homeowners, and the exams involved present significant hurdles. Generally, they cannot be passed by someone without on-the-job training, so a degree of experience is typically confirmed by these exams. Compelling many into apprenticeships, these exams test not only for familiarity with local regulations and code requirements but for electrician-specific knowledge.

Tennessee Licenses for Electricians Vary With Project Totals

The State of Tennessee issues two types of electrician’s licenses, varying with the total amount of the project to be undertaken. Electrical projects that exceed $25,000 require a CE-classified Contractor’s License which is accepted throughout the state without further examination. That does not mean electricians can avoid familiarizing themselves with municipal and country restrictions and codes. They still need local licenses and permits, but the CE-classification allows electricians to obtain them.

The second possibility is to be licensed as a Limited Licensed Electrician, which permits electricians to work on projects that total less than $25,000. Insufficient by itself in some municipalities, it is important for electricians to check on local licensing requirements to determine if a local license is required. Typically, it hinges on whether or not there is a local licensing agency that provides inspections.

In all cases where a local agency exists to determine adherence to code, a local license is required, regardless of the amount of the project. CE-licensed electricians will not need to take local exams, but codes vary with municipalities and there are fees to pay. It is also possible that electricians will need a local business tax license or a federal business identification number for tax purposes.


Lighting & Ceiling Fan Installation Services

Don’t Change That Ceiling Fan, Call an Electrician

Installing a ceiling fan often seems like a simple do it yourself project. After all, how hard can it be to hook up a fan, right? Unfortunately, they are not quite as easy as one would think and because they can require electrical installations and/or adjustments, it is best to call on a certified electrician for its installation.

First, let’s look at some of the tools and supplies needed for this job. If you don’t have them, you are going to have to go out and buy them. Some of these supplies and tools are not cheap and if you are not going to use them again, why spend the money?

  • Claw hammer
  • Cable ripper
  • Bonding screws
  • Electrical boxes
  • Switch covers
  • Compass saw
  • Stud locator

If these items are not in your toolbox already or you simply do not know for what they are used, this job may be just a bit too much to undertake at this time.

While having to purchase new tools and supplies is one reason to let a professional handle this job, the fact that you would be working with live electricity is the most important reason to call a licensed electrician. There is definitely the need to tap into existing wiring and if the current load is at its limit, you may need to add additional breakers to the current breaker box. Is this something you are prepared to do?

Tasks such as this that seem simple are often when do it yourselfers do the most damage to their homes. This is especially true when electricity becomes involved. Older homes may not be up to code, but it is unlikely the average DIYer will know the difference. If there is ever one area of the home where you are best served to use a licenses professional, it is when dealing with electricity.



Commercial Electrical Contractors

The Value of Working with Qualified Commercial Electricians

You need some basic electrical work done for your business and one of your workers knows “someone” that does this type of work. Best of all, they are very cheap and out of work, so they can get it done right away. This often sounds like a great idea to business owners, but they often get exactly what they are paying for and end up with a complete mess on their hands.

Budgets can be very tight these days and when unexpected repairs pop up, such as commercial electrical work, there simply is not enough room in the budget for major repairs. So, business owners will often look for a local handyman or a friend of a friend that can do the job on the cheap and save them some money.

However, in many cases, instead of saving money, they often end up with bad electrical work and more damage than when they started. First and foremost, the value of a qualified commercial contractor is in making sure the job is done right the first time around! It may seem like more money now, but those few extra dollars spent will definitely save money and aggravation in the future.

Simply put, experience is everything when it comes to this type of work. The “Average Joe” is not going to have the expertise to work with commercial wiring. Most electricians have served for years as an apprentice as well as having worked with another electrician before they are out on their own. They not only benefit from the supervised time, but also have the benefit of the years of experience from their mentor.

When hiring a commercial electrician, check for licensing and insurance. In addition, ask for an estimate so you have a rough idea as to how much the job will cost. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, that estimate should be very close the actual price charged. A qualified electrician will be able to provide all of this to you as well as professional and quality workmanship.



Schaffhouser Electricrical Project Management

Why Project Management Matters on Large Industrial Electrical Projects

Project management is both a science and an art. Planning, organizing, and securing and managing resources all fall under the umbrella of project management. When each area is executed properly, a project is considered successful. Though project management is beneficial for projects of any scale, it is particularly useful for large-scale projects, especially those focusing on electrical systems.

Large projects tend to be more complex than smaller ones, and the organization of resources delivered by project management helps these undertakings run more smoothly. The nature of electrical projects implies a particular level of complexity and large-scale electrical projects can be extremely involved. With project management, leaders obtain the necessary human and material resources and plan project implementation to deliver a successful result.

Project management strives to meet the specified performance on schedule and within budget. Businesses remain competitive when they complete projects on time and without overspending. Managers must analyze information and make decisions without slowing down the project timeline with over-evaluation. Project management skills help them stay on track so the competition does not gain an edge.

Electrical contractors perform wiring installations in buildings and with large projects, they are typically licensed. Installations involve reviewing building plans, designing wiring, presenting this design to clients, and incorporating client feedback into the final design. Costs of materials and labor are determined, a delivery date is estimated, and a timeline featuring task breakdown is developed from that.

Electrical projects involve several major tasks including piping, box positioning, wiring, installing fittings, testing, and commissioning. For large projects, each of these can be streamlined through a project management framework that allocates supplies, time, and workers. Progress is monitored against established targets and action is taken when deviations arise. Managing delivery of project outputs to achieve success becomes easier when a project management approach is used.