All posts by schaffhouser

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How a Commercial Energy Audit Can Benefit Your Business

A commercial building’s energy use is a large operating expense. Typically, one-third of operating expenses is comprised of energy consumption. That is why it is so important to have an energy audit conducted at your commercial building. If your commercial building becomes more energy efficient, you will reap the benefits of reduced operating expenses and an increase in profits and property asset values.

A commercial building energy audit evaluates how efficiently your building is using energy. An audit is the first step to take to make your building more energy efficient. If you want to conserve energy, lower ownership costs, increase asset values, and create a more environmentally friendly building, then you should have a commercial energy audit conducted. It is a simple process. An auditor will come to your facility and take a comprehensive look at energy consumption data to make an assessment. Overall, the following factors will be examined: utility bill (including past bills), on-site survey of property, retrieve data and calculate equipment performance and runtime, review condition of the building envelope, and review current operating schedules. After evaluating all the factors, an energy auditor will recommend cost-effective solutions to maximize the functionality of your building.

There are many benefits to have an energy audit performed at your commercial building. Financially, the greatest impact will be reducing your operating expenses. The operation of the building will also benefit after a completion of an energy audit to become more modernized and operationally efficient. Not only will an energy audit benefit you financially and operationally, but it will also benefit the environment by reducing carbon emissions. It’s important to keep in mind that to fully reap the benefits of an energy audit, you need to follow through with the recommendations of the auditor.

Electrical Contractor

What Is an Electrical Contractor?

An electrical contractor is someone who has been trained extensively to install and maintain electrical components and systems. Often times, you will find an electrical contractor on a construction project. Electrical contractors specialize in various areas, such as line electricity contractors, inside electricity contractors, and integrated building system (IBS) electricity contractors. Line electricity contractors work on a power plant to work with installation, repair, and management. Inside contractors work in both commercial and residential properties; these contractors do almost all types of electrical work. IBS electrical contractors work on installing, fixing, and removing wiring in telecommunication services along with working on wireless network and back-up power in high tech equipment.

There are differences between an electrician and an electrical contractor. To begin, an electrical contractor is the person who works more closely with building crews and home builders during the construction phase of a building. They are responsible for keeping the project within budget and staying on task with the timeline of completion. A major difference between an electrical contractor and an electrician is that typically an electrical contractor has experience in the business and financial sides of electrical contracting. Additionally, an electrical contractor is in charge of a group of electricians. They hire electrician crews and supervise their work during the installation phase of a project.

At Schaffhouser Electric, we have many qualified electrical contractors who are looking forward to working with you on your next project. Contact us at (615) 325-8001 to set up an appointment.

Overloaded Surge Protector

How To Prevent an Electrical Fire

Overloaded Power Strip

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 5,300 fires were caused by some type of electrical malfunction. This number can dramatically drop by learning of ways to prevent electrical fires and keep everyone safe and sound. Obviously, the most important preventative step is to make sure your smoke detectors are working properly, and that you have them installed throughout your residence or business. In fact, 65% of home fire deaths result from residences with no working smoke detectors according to the CPSC. The following provides some guidelines to prevent electric fires from igniting in your residence or place of business.

One of the most important preventative steps to take is to check your wiring. Wiring has a lifespan of 30-40 years and even less than that if your building uses aluminum wiring. Some signs to look for that could indicate that your wiring is old or outdated is if your circuit breaker trips often, if your fuses frequently blow, or if you are utilizing too many extension cords or surge protectors throughout your home. If any of these factors are typical in your household, it is imperative that you call a professional to check the wiring to see if it needs to be replaced.

An arc fault is a leading cause of electrical fires. An arc fault results when there is a high-power discharge between two or more conductors, thus resulting in producing heat that can lead to a fire. These commonly result from a loose connection in an outlet. So, to take a preventative step, a good place to start is to check all your outlets at least once a year. An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (ACFI) is a device used to detect arc faults and is most definitely a great way to prevent electrical fires due to an arc fault.

Lastly, the following are some easy steps you can take to prevent an electrical fire from starting in your home or business.

  • Replace any cracked, damaged, or loose electrical cords.
  • Plug major or small appliances directly into the wall instead of an extension cord.
  • Keep any flammable material away from outlets, so they do not trigger a fire.
  • Replace any wall outlets that do not fit snugly into the wall.
  • Use power strips and surge protectors that are labeled by a recognized testing laboratory.

Please give us a call at 615-325-8001 if you would like to schedule a certified electrician from Schaffhouser Electric to inspect your home or business. We are here to protect you and your property from electrical fires and other electrical problems.

Circuit Breaker Box

Troubleshoot Your Breaker Panel

Breaker Panel Troubleshooting

When a breaker panel trips, it often seems to happen at the most inopportune times and is extremely frustrating! Circuit breakers are designed to trip when too much electricity is being pushed through the breaker. When a breaker panel trips, it turns off power due to an electrical current overload, thus protecting your home’s electrical system. There are simple methods to follow to troubleshoot problems with your circuit breakers in your breaker box. The best place to start when you have lost power in your home is to reset your breaker box.

How To Reset Your Breaker

  • Locate your breaker box. Most breaker boxes are located in the basement; in the garage; or in the utility room close to a water heater, air conditioning system, or furnace. After opening the door to your breaker box, listen and make sure you do not hear a buzzing sound or any other odd sound because if you do, you need to contact a professional instead of proceeding on your own.
  • Examine the diagram on the inside of your panel door to locate the circuit to reset in your home. It is typically labeled according to your house layout and numbered on the switches.
  • Inspect all the switches. You will know which circuit is tripped because the switch will be positioned in the middle and have a bit of a “springy” feel when touched.
  • Flip the switch to the OFF position and wait three seconds before switching it to ON position.

If resetting your breaker does not resolve the problem, then consider the following questions:

  • Have I added extra appliances to my home such as microwaves, portable space heaters, or hair dryers?
  • Do I have aging appliances that are causing a jolt in electricity because they need to be replaced?
  • Do I have too many appliances or equipment plugged into one circuit? For example, a television, multiple lamps, and home entertainment system will cause a circuit overload.
  • Do I have devices that are not used regularly turned off?

If your answers to the above questions are “no,” then you need to contact a professional electrician because you may be dealing with some other factors that are causing your circuit breaker to trip. Short circuit issues, faulty wiring, or needing an additional electrical circuit to power all of your electrical needs at home could all be reasons for you circuit breaker tripping.

If you are having problems and you can’t fix them, call us at (615) 325-8001.  Our knowledgeable electricians and support staff are here for you 24/7!

Schaffhouser Electricians

What is the difference in commercial, residential, and industrial electricians?

An electrician is not a “one size fits all” profession because there are many differences among commercial, residential, and industrial electricians. For each type of job, an electrician will use different wiring techniques due to energy needs, equipment used, and load demands. Also, commercial, residential, and industrial electricians abide by different procedures and different materials. That is why it is so important to make sure you are hiring the right type of electrician to get the job done for you.

Residential Electricians
Obviously, residential electricians work in homes. They differ from industrial and commercial electricians because they use single phase power supplies (120-240 volts). Residential electricians run romex cables and keep the wiring hidden from view by wrapping their wiring in sheathed insulation. This approach minimizes exposure and damage to the wires, and, most importantly, protects homeowners from electrical shock.

Commercial Electricians
Stores and offices are where you will find a commercial electrician installing power outlets and lighting. By using a three-phase approach, their wiring has two smaller “legs” running one voltage and a larger “leg” running a higher voltage. Thus, the three-wire systems allows an overall lighter workload. The wiring done by commercial electricians remain exposed; however, it is typically run along the exposed sides of ceilings and walls.

Industrial Electricians
Basically, an industrial electrician is the same as a commercial electrician but works in factories, chemical plants, and mines. Industrial electricians also use a three-phase power set up. The main difference is that they mostly work with RMC conduit that powers control circuitry as opposed to running MTC or MC cables.

Here at Schaffhouser Electric we have quality industrial and commercial electricians for all of your wiring needs. Whether it is a store, office, factory, or plant, we will get the job done right!

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What are the qualities of a good industrial or commercial electrician?

Schaffhouser Electric employs many quality industrial and commercial electricians. For our current customers and prospective customers, we want to explain the qualities that all of our industrial and commercial electricians possess to perform the jobs and repairs you need accomplished at your business or plant.

The tasks conducted by our industrial and commercial electricians range from testing and maintaining current electrical equipment to understanding new technologies, such as robotics and other newly developed equipment to perform the job needed to be accomplished.

So, what are the qualities of an excellent industrial or commercial electrician?

Most importantly, an electrician working in industrial and commercial sites is always well educated and studies to increase his or her skill set in specialized electrical machinery, including robotics. Due to their relentless effort during apprenticeships and other educational processes, electricians tend to specialize in one or two specific areas to excel in the industrial or commercial field.

Quality industrial and commercial engineers are clear thinkers who can work in cramped, difficult conditions where large pieces of equipment require them to climb to great heights to get the job done right.

Even though quality industrial and commercial electricians are highly specialized in their respective areas, they are still team players. Being a part of team is critical because it is crucial that these electricians are great communicators to not only their supervisors but also their customers. Without proper communication skills, a productive, harmonious workplace will not be maintained. A huge component of this team is a quality industrial or commercial electrician.

Industrial or commercial electricians are required to be flexible with their work hours because they are often required to work on problems that may arise outside of normal business hours in order to keep the business or plant running efficiently. Machinery does not always choose the most ideal time to be repaired, but a quality industrial or commercial electrician will always be ready to make that repair to ensure equipment continues to run at its full potential.

To hire a quality industrial or commercial electrician, we are only a phone call away at 615-325-8001.

UL Certified

UL Certified Builder of Industrial Control Panels

Schaffhouser Electric is pleased to announce that we have become a UL certified builder of industrial control panels. By seeing a UL mark on a panel, regulators, specifiers, and end-product certifiers will be confident that the panel meets all certification requirements. Additionally, in North America, UL Safety Marks are the most credible and pursued marks.

There are many benefits in choosing UL for your industrial control panel needs. Your competitive advantage will rise by providing your customers with UL certified general use, industrial machinery, elevator control, service equipment, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, fountain control, irrigation equipment, crane and flame control, and marine use panels. Also, your competitive advantage will rise by having the ability to bid on jobs that specify UL certified ICPs. When you choose UL for you industrial control panel needs, you will have greater efficiency because red-tagged panels at the job site will be eliminated, including the subsequent delays and extra cost. Another benefit in choosing UL is that regulatory authorities in every jurisdiction in the United States and Canada accept the UL Mark because it covers all requirements. All of these requirements include the following: proper component usage, enclosure environmental ratings, wiring and motor protection, safety markings, and conformance to the National Electrical Code (NEC) and Canadian Electrical Code (CEC).

To become UL certified, a company must acquire credits through UL Knowledge Solutions. They offer online course, private workshops, and public workshops all of which have been approved by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

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How Static Electricity Affects Business

Static electricity is a type of electricity that you probably only associate with memories of school science experiments involving a balloon and hair raising. Or perhaps, you associate static electricity with the unexpected shock you sometimes get when you touch a metal object. You may be wondering what static electricity has to do with your business, and why you should care about this shock inducing energy. Well, static electricity can greatly affect your business in more ways than one.

In the drier seasons of the year, late fall and winter, static electricity is much more prevalent due to the lack of moisture in the air. This can be extremely dangerous if you work in a place where there is gasoline or another airborne flammable material in the air. In these situations, static electricity can ignite the airborne gas causing a potentially dangerous explosion.

Although most workplaces may not have flammable material in the air, the majority of workplaces do house electronics including computers and other office machinery that could be damage by static discharge. Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is basically a miniature version of lightning and can be extremely destructive on the micro level of circuit boards. This happens when the energy of the shock travels through the circuitry of the electronics and destroys critical elements along the way. One could compare this event to an electric storm in teacup that causes catastrophic damage to your equipment. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent this “tiny storm” from destroying your electronics in your workplace:

• Keep humidity levels regulated
• Treat carpets to prevent static buildup or invest in static proof mats
• Use non-static forming sprays on electronics
• Refrain from using compressed air to clean circuit boards
• Avoid placing plastic or polystyrene or other synthetic materials near electronics because these materials commonly cause static discharge
• Eliminate charge from circuitry by requiring technicians to wear an ESD wrist strap when working on electronic equipment

Static charge can most definitely destroy electronic equipment, so it is crucial to take the above precautions seriously to prevent damage. These precautions are particularly important for larger electronic equipment, like a server where critical data is stored. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to static electricity and your electronic equipment.

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Pros and Cons of a Backup Generator

Having a power outage at your business or plant is definitely a worrisome thought for any business owner, especially if that outage could last longer than a half hour. That is why many owners decide to invest in an industrial backup generator. However, many would argue that the low frequency of power outages does not warrant investing in an industrial backup generator. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of purchasing a backup generator for your business so that you can make an informed decision.

Pros
Unfortunately, it seems that natural disasters are occurring more frequently, and as we have witnessed, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and severe storms can cause catastrophic damage to property. Since these devastations cannot be controlled, many owners will invest in an industrial backup generator in case of unforeseen power outages due to catastrophic events.

Risk Management

• Power outages that lasts for an hour or more can be detrimental for a business, so being prepared with an industrial backup generator will give any business an advantage over competitors during times of power outages.

• There will be no complaints from customers and no loss of revenue if your company can continue production with the use of an industrial backup generator.
More Revenue

• Obviously, many companies will lose revenue during power outages because they will not be capable of producing for their customers.

• Your company will gain new customers because your company will be in production due to your preparation of having an industrial backup generator, which gives you a competitive advantage.

Cons
Since catastrophic events are not predetermined, some may never need to rely on an industrial backup generator to keep production going at their business. Also, some routine maintenance is involved with an industrial backup generator. Therefore, the cons will outweigh the pros in deciding whether to invest in an industrial backup generator.

Expensive
• Small businesses may not have the budget to purchase an industrial backup generator on the front end.
• Industrial backup generator’s price tags range from $17,000 to $27,000.

Fueling Is Pricey
• Although you will not need to fuel a generator all the time, when you do you will have to use an alternative power source.
• Three fueling options for industrial backup generators are diesel, natural gas, or liquid propane.
• Of the three options, natural gas is the better option because it is renewable and cheap; whereas, diesel is the most expensive and not always the best.

Data Cabling

Data Cabling Services With Lifetime Warranty

Data cabling consists of many different types of services. At its core, though, the process of data cabling requires a systematic approach and a knowledgeable person conducting the services. Although the very basic elements of the process can be easily understood by most people, the technical nuances required for optimal results are something only few professionals are equipped to provide.

Some of the specific needs that we can help you with include wireless router installation and setting up security passwords. Proper installation of these elements are crucial to the security of your company both on and offline. In today’s technological climate, it is incredibly important to successfully set up, maintain and monitor your connection and security measures. Without the proper safeguards in place, your company could be put at risk for exposure and breaches of security.

Schaffhouser Electric Company can also help you with computer networking and physically setting up and linking computers to the proper servers and systems. The use of Ethernet cable helps us in the process of doing this. Other ways we can help you include audio and video cabling, VOIP, voice installs, fiber cabling and data center installs.

Many of these services create added layers of security and efficiency for your company. From security and protection to data transactions, our services enable you to operate at your maximum level of productivity. It’s hard to outrun a bad connection and poor electrical setup. With our services, you will never have to worry about extra layers of stress from cabling and connection issues we have you covered. From the basics of installation to the complexities of optimal operations, we are here for you in every single way that you need.

Although many companies offer these services, only a few can compare to the level of excellence that the team at Schaffhouser Electric offers. Our years of experience and commitment to quality are the reason our customers trust us with their data cabling needs. Customer service is top priority and to ensure that you are satisfied with your services, we offer a lifetime warranty for data cabling.

Schedule an appointment with our skilled electricians, call 615-325-8082 or visit Get An Estimate.