4/13/15   Testing a GFCI receptacle is a good idea that’s sometimes forgotten. Now the National Electrical Code is requiring new receptacles to be SELF TESTING. The Self-Test GFCI automates the process and performs a self-test every 3 to fifteen minutes. It adds an extra level of safety, testing itself to confirm that protected power is available. If the self-test detects any condition that would indicate GFCI protection might be compromised, visual and audible indicators provide an alert.  Yep that means, another annoying beep to locate and deal with.  



3/10/2015  JEFF WEISSMAN ELECTRIC

Earns Esteemed 2014

Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Jeff Weissman Electric has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

“Only about 5 percent of the Electrical companies in Houston TX have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

2/23/2015  Jeff Weissman Electric PARK CITY, UTAH  Will be open for business soon.

2/19/2015  Jeff Weissman has retired from TEXAS and relocated to Park City Utah.  Jeff Weissman Electric, Texas is for sale!  Owner Financing Available.  Please contact me for info.

11/20/14  I hate cell Phones!  OK, I know the necessity of having a phone in your pocket, but honestly they are making you stupid and killing our economy from booming again.  First off, my published phone number is a land line, I cannot receive text on it, stop assuming everyone only has a cell phone, I'm a business and as a business with a published phone number online I get bombarded hourly with solicitors,  I can't give out my cell phone # or I would constantly be distracted.  Texting? OK, I have accepted the texting thing, but I need to talk and have a discussion, ask questions so I can be prepared for our appointment.  The other day I was driving to my 3rd job, there was a lady in a Volvo, driving slow in the left lane, as I passed her, I noticed the was texting with both hands, steering with her knee, then I noticed she had a newborn in the back seat. Can it wait?  People driving slow in the right lane talking on the phone oblivious to anything going on around them, then they are the first one at a red light in the right turn lane.  Who the fuck are you talking to thats so important that it can't wait? That Geo Metro with the faded paint and a LA TREMENDA bumper sticker tells me your not a CEO of a fortune 500 company, Can it wait?  
Next, is you give me your cell phone number as the best way to reach you for our appointment, not your landline when you are at home, and you have your ringer on your cell phone turned off.  How can I confirm your are home for our appointment before fighting traffic across town? Then I leave a voicemail on your cell phone but you don't check it?  You just missed our appointment

11/17/14  All I do is Fix Shit!  
Yea, I know, Its my job, and I make a decent living doing it, But nowadays its all I do even when I get home from work.  I'm having problems with my web hosting, I have a door lock that won't close or unlock, two external hard drives not working, I had to replace my water heater last week, Vacuum cleaner needs repair, it never ends.  As soon as something is fixed there is something else sure to break and make it to my fixit list.  I'm not even going to mention all the stuff needing fixing on my car, van or motorcycle.  I use Google pages for this web page and hosted on Yahoo, but forgetaboutit if I need to talk to someone for help.  Website could be down because I turn down every cold caller trying to sell me a SEO contract, maybe they hacked my accounts and shut em down to spite me? LOL  Oh well, no time to rant, got more shit to fix and gotta go.

9/7/2014 I just got back from a week in Utah. Rocky Mountain Power(RMP), is the electric utility, much like HL&P was for us long time ago. Well RMP has a $20 rebate on qualified LED fixtures, which incudes most of the LED recessed can retrofits. Making the entry cost per fixture around $8 each depending on where you get them. RMP also has a instant rebate of several dollars per bulb on the LED bulbs at Costco.
Too bad, Texas opted for deregulation, giving Centerpoint the power lines and anyone and their brother can be your utility provider. Texas will never see Rebates as in Utah 

6/2/2014  Swimming Pool Lights   I got my 2nd call from a customer wanting to completely disconnect the electrical connection to their pool light,  they are afraid of electrocution, even with a GFI protecting it.  I can't really blame them. This got me thinking, who was the first person to say, lets put a 120volt light fixture in a pool.  I mean Really? Mixing electrical and H2O?  Remember, the very first pool light had no Protection against electrocution.  It was many years before we got GFCI for protection, and unfortunately these can fail or be improperly installed.  So, Its 2014, we now have low voltage 12volt lighting and Fiber Optics to light swimming pools.  Today we have many options, how much longer will the National Electrical Code allow 120volt pool lights for new construction?  I think its now time to change this code article to Not permit 120v pool lights.  Do you agree?

2/18/2014  Credit Cards  Well that was close, I was ready to sign up to accept credit cards today. But before I did, I called a good friend, a Plumber that I know is now accepting cards and he told me NOT TO SIGN UP!  
Look, I've been in business on my own since '88 and never needed to take cards.  After all, 99% of my work is at a residence, most homeowners have checks at their own house, if not, my bad, and you can just mail me a check from your office tomorrow.  Never had any problems with this.  Its just very easy today to take cards on a smart phone, so I thought I'd get with it.  Well, bottom line is most credit card fees average 4-5%, not the advertised 2.75%.  Why? Its because they exclude any credit card with privileges, which means cash back or mileage or points.  No one has a credit card that is not tied in some way to a program with rewards.  So as it still stands, I'm not going to get involved accepting credit cards.  This also gets me thinking about the expense a store front has taking cards.  Sure, they have to, because most people don't carry checks on them anymore, and anyone working for The Man has their checks direct deposited. They never go to a bank! If they want cash they need an ATM.  I haven't had an ATM card since I was an apprentice.  All I'm saying is help out the small businessman, pay with cash or check, use the credit card for HUGE expenses or the BIG BOX stores.

2/4/2014  Reviews  I've been on my own since 1988 and a lot has changed since then.  Most of my work still comes from repeat customers and referrals, but back in the day, my new customers came from the small ads I placed in the local papers.  Today most of my new customers come from online sources, such as Google, Angie's List and Yelp.  All of these new online portals allow us to leave reviews telling a story about our experiences.  Ebay was the first to allow reviews and they were helpful in deciding on who to buy from.  Reviews are very important to my business.  I have the highest rating possible on Angie's List, and 5 stars on Yelp with just 2 reviews.  But what I'm learning is most people won't leave good reviews, because we expect good service.  I have to admit, I'm the same in this manner.  I too can leave reviews for the people I have to pay for service, and I too leave more negative reviews than I do positive.  I did leave a great review for my new dermatologist, but I found him on Yelp with all good reviews.  I just left a bad review on Yelp and Google for a mechanic that worked on my service van, mainly because of the overcharging for parts they ripped me off on.  In other words $90 for an ignition coil that sell over the counter to me for less than $20, and they replaced 6 of them at that inflated price. I'm all for a fair markup on prices,  I too mark up my materials, but, over 400% markup is unacceptable today.   This all got me thinking about reviews, and the ones I have left.  Yes, I too fit the demographic.  Do a bad job and customers tell 20 people, do a good job and customers tell 4.  I think I read that in a book called "Gorilla Marketing"  and its true.  So I'm going to start to leave more good reviews when I receive good service.


1/11/2014
Marketing.  Just because my sticker is on your breaker panel doesn't mean I installed it.  All it means is I have been on your property, it could be for an estimate or a previous service call.  This is something I've been doing for the last 25 years, it's marking my turf, but mostly its so you will remember me and to put my phone number there were you need it.  At least 6 times a year I get calls from new customers that bought a house, with my decal in the breaker panel.  I can then search my customer database and know who you bought the house from & even when I acquired that customer.  Either way, I still want to service the property so call me!

12/26/2013  Bye Bye 2013

2103 was a good year, one for me I won’t soon forget.  This year was the most important year for me electrically that I can remember, for two reasons.  First the introduction and  acceptance of LED lighting.  Second, the Introduction of the “LIGHTING FACTS” label.  


Lets start with this new label.  20 years ago the gov’t made the processed food manufacturers put the “NUTRITION FACTS” label on food.  we could then compare one brand to another in the store and read how many fats, carbs, proteins, servings etc. were in each box.  Well, now the gov’t has done the same for all new light bulbs.  On this new label, it list Brightness in Lumens, Estimated yearly energy cost, Life Expectancy(based on 3 hours/day), Light Appearance and the Energy used.  The only two things that should be important to us, is the brightness and the light appearance color.  Every room and every light fixture is going to be different and the amount of brightness you may want can differ from one application to the other.  You can now know exactly how bright a new bulb will be by reading the Brightness Number rated in Lumens.  The easiest comparison I can give is to divide the lumens by 10 to get an approximate comparison to the OLD style Incandescent bulbs(discontinued Jan 1 2014).  A 625 Lumen LED bulb is equivalent to a 62 Watt bulb.

Light appearance is rated in Kelvins.  On the left end of the scale is the warm white color that we are used to, most closely replicating the old style incandescent bulbs, this is a red or orange type color.This is 2700K.  Moving to the right on the scale, expect the color to be whiter as you get  above 3500K. and going towards the Blue above 4100K.  OK heres the deal, you need to learn this and figure out what color you like, and you can now purchase that color the first time, by reading the lighting facts label.  No more buying bulbs only to get home and install them and see they are that blueish purple color you hate.  This new Lighting Facts Label is on every bulbs sold today.


LED(Light Emitting Diode) bulbs, are not to be confused with the CFL(Compact Fluorescent Lamp).  CFL’s are the ones that resemble Curly Fries, they have mercury inside them, are not dimmable, take a minute to warm up to full brightness and the color has always been hated.  No one has ever liked the CFL’s.  The only redeeming quality with CFL’s is they did save electricity vs Incandescent bulbs.  The first LED replacement bulbs hit the shelves around january 2013 and were expensive, well over $50 and sometimes had a distinct look meaning you could see the actual LED’s.  The LED’s on the shelves today, physically look identical to the old incandescent bulbs and I’ve seen prices dropping, 3 packs for $19 at Costco.

Several things that make the LED great, Long life, as in 23+years, no more changing bulbs every year.  Energy savings of 80%, and fully dimmable, most with existing dimmers.  But the biggest thing to me is they put out virtually no heat.  No longer does your lighting also need to be a heat source, no longer will you feel the heat from that recessed can or table lamp.  I live in Houston, Its August, 100 degrees outside, I’m fighting to cool my house and my incandescent bulbs are putting heat into the same rooms I want to cool?  Why did we accept that for so many years?  

 LED’s will replace all forms of lights, I’ve already seen them in the freezer section at Randalls, all the new Buc-ees are 100% LED,  I have a cool LED Undercabinet light I’m installing now.  Almost every halogen or incandescent bulb has a replacement available today in LED.  

Personally I have replace all my lighting with LED’s.  Remember, the edison bulb is 130 year old technology.  Nothing else in your house, other than your original hard wood floors are older, many wood floors today are engineered, but thats another story.  


So what is store for 2014?  Starting Jan 1 2014 NO Incandescent bulbs can be imported or manufactured in the USA.  Many people still aren't aware of this.   I hope LED prices continue to drop and more people learn about this new lighting technology.  I feel, I have been an evangelist for the LED’s.  Every chance a customer has an open ear or I get a chance to teach them about LED’s and Explain how to read the new LIghting Facts label, I’ve been like a Prophet, speaking the LED gospel.    Its been fun, and almost every time I’ve returned to their houses I can notice the new LED replacement bulbs.  

12/21/2013  
JEFF WEISSMAN ELECTRIC 
Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List 
Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

 Jeff Weissman has again earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award for the 7th year in a row, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Jeff Weissman competes with in Houston are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines. 

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

 

7/3/2013  BEWARE JOHN MOORE.  Call John Pay MOORE   I just got a call from a person, out of my service area.  He just moved to town, doesn't know anyone, had a plug getting hot and wanted it replaced.  They called John Moore, and was told they needed a new breaker panel.  John Moore Scared the life out of his wife. Told them Federal Pacific was unsafe, a fire hazard and old.  He also used a thermal camera to show them hot breakers.  HELLO! its July 3rd and both of their A/C units are on full time, breakers to get hot when doing their job.  John moore told the HO to Google Federal pacific, and he did, and he googled John moore and found all the complaints, and my Blog.  He said John Moore got quiet then.  Here is the Kicker, John Moore wanted $4000 to replace a 200 amp panel!!!  
John Moore keeps a $4000 Thermal image camera on their Mercedes Trucks.  I must be doing something wrong.

5/31/2013  Mutha Fuggin Centerpoint again!!!  Listen to this new Bull Shit.  In order for me to get a lock band removed from a customers meter today,  I have to be on the job site, or the customer has to be.  Centerpoint gives a 2-4 hour time window, REALLY?, they want me to wait for them for 4 hours?  Then it gets worse, they tell me that the Centerpoint technician will wait for 30 minutes for me to make the repairs, or if it takes longer, they will leave and take the meter with them, untill I or the customer calls them back to re install the meter.  It used to be, I could call in the lockband removal order and they wuold unlock it in 2-4 hours and leave it unlocked for a wekk or so,or untill I called them to have it locked back up.   Every time I make a call for a lock band removal they ask me for a contact number, but in 30 years, they have never called me on my contact # to let me know anything.  I have to deal with centerpoint often, and its never been a pleasant process and Centerpoint has never been a customer service friendly company.  Who ever made this new policy is retarded, I mean every house has a smart meter, they won't run backwards even if you put it in upside down,  stealing electricicty is virtually impossible at the meter,  you would need some cleaver designed and hidden infrstructure to steal power.  I just cant grasp the reason for this new policy.  Centerpoint has nothing better than to hang out and wait whil I perform repairs?  Shouldnt they be going to another customers house and unlocking another meter in a more timely manner?  OH GOD I'm so glad I don't work for corporate america.


12/12/12    
Jeff Weissman Electric Earns Coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects businesses’ consistently high level of customer service

Jeff Weissman Electric has been awarded the prestigious 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, for the Sixth year in a row,  an honor bestowed annually on approximately 5 percent of all the businesses rated on the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service and health providers.

Only a fraction of the businesses rated on Angie’s List can claim the sterling service record of being a Super Service Award winner because we set a high bar,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “The fact that Jeff Weissman Electric can claim Super Service Award status speaks volumes about its dedication to consumers.

Angie’s List Super Service Award winners have met strict eligibility requirements including earning a minimum number of reports, an exemplary rating from their clients and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.




12/4/12 I gotta share this with ya...  A customer emails me today..."Jeff, We had our lights go out in a room in the house and my husband called Mr. Sparky out to check it (he didn't know we had worked with you so goggled it and found them). They suggested we needed a complete grounding system, including new copper rods, new grounding clamps,  a water bond system, a surge protector and more. They said it was very important to do all of this for safety of our children (and selves). They quoted me over $1000."  I replied, telling her there was nothing wrong with their Grounding system, I had already checked it out and replace the ground rod clamps last month. That this was the way Mr Sparky and Universal wiring conduct business.  They fraudulently attempt to up sell customers on unnecessary items and call it a safety issue and use the children for emotional espionage and the cost they attempt to get for this scare tactic is double what it should be.

5/9/12  Call John Pay Moore.....So, I have a customer tell me today how a family friend was helping her out with some repairs around her house. She needed a timer installed on her front porch lights, her friend called John Moore.  They told John Moore what they needed.  John Moore is there in less than 15 minutes, and with out the timer they wanted.  John Moore proceeds to do an free investigative review of her wiring only to come back and tell her that her breaker panel that is only 5 years old, that I installed, needs to be replaced at the sum or $3500.  John Moore gives the hard sell, saying its unsafe, a fire hazard and they would not spend the night there if they were her.  She sends John Moore packing, and calls me.  
Call John pay Moore, 720-2525  They do have a catchy jingle on the TV! LOL

5/7/12  T-12 fluorescent lamps are HISTORY!! The National Lighting Bureau has estimated that more than 500 million T12 lamps are still in use. However, recent regulations by the Department of Energy have initiated a plan to phase out traditional T12 lamps and ballasts by July 2012.
T12s were originally designed to respond to demand for more energy-efficient fluorescent lamps back in the 1970s during the energy crisis. Unfortunately, for a number of technical reasons, T12s have proved to have shorter lamp life, poor color and low lighting output.
Despite continued use, T12s are widely known as inefficient, dead technology that is easily replaced by T8 or T5 fluorescent, which are more energy-efficient, longer lasting and have better quality light.
The simplest retrofit for T12 lamp and magnetic ballast is a T8 lamp and electronic ballast. This switch-out can save 30 to 40 percent on energy costs.  

4/25/12    LED Lighting is in the house!  Its been almost a year since I last wrote about the revolution or Evolution of LED lighting.  I already have several favorites when it comes to LEDs.  First is the CREE CR6 which is a retro fit for most existing recessed cans and I can install these as new fixtures too. Second is a replacement LED lamp for the same 6" cans or exterior flood lamps,  The best price in town on this bulb is at Costco.  The last time I was at Home Depot and had a minute to spare I noticed that they are now stocking a LED replacement bulb for just about every fixture in your house.
It's easy to calculate the saving on your energy consumption when using these new LED bulbs. Changing from a 100 watt incandescent bulb to a 20 watt LED will save you about 80% per bulb.  But what's not easy to calculate, is the heat that the old style incandescent put out into your house when used.  We all know how hot those bulbs get, we can feel it by just putting our hand near the bulb when its on.  So, imagine a newer house kitchen with six 6" recessed cans, with 100 watt bulbs.  When these lights are on its the exact equivalent of having a plug in space heater on medium setting, emitting 600watts of heat sitting on the island.  Here in Houston we FIGHT to cool our houses, all the while the old incandescent bulbs are heating our houses.  The new LED's don't put out any measurable heat.   I just don't have a formula to calculate the saving you'd get from your cooling cost.
Hey Look, I hate the government getting in my business as much as any other American does.  But by discontinuing the manufacture and sales of incandescent lights, and I have to admit, this time its a good thing, and with time I feel everyone will agree.  Much like seat belts in cars in the early '60's or air bags, or double pane windows now in all new houses, we have accepted and learned to love that legislation. 

1/17/12  Reflecting back after 30+ years in the trade, 23 long years of being in my own business,  I've made a rapport with many loyal customers, we know the same people, we gossip, share stories, give each other personal advice, we are more like family than customers, it really is a small world, although some customers come and go, I see you once and never again, maybe you never needed my services again or you forgot me. But I always remember my long time loyal customers, I've lost a few, some moved away or they are now resting peacefully, I've watched your children grow up, go to college, buy houses and now I take care of their wiring.  Some of you are on your 4th house, third spouse, or is it the other way?  
The other day, I had a customer tip me $100 cash on a $900 job, that's one way to make sure I remember you, and he'll get priority service next time...Duh.  
Ive had a dozen customers from hell that almost made me quit. If God doesn't get them, Murphy will. Karma always wins.
Centerpoint is still a PITA to deal with, nothing more to say there.
I still learn something new every day.
And yes, I still enjoy what I do.  Lucky me!  

12/15/11
Jeff Weissman Electric Earns Coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects businesses’ consistently high level of customer service

Jeff Weissman Electric has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Angie’s List Super Service Award, for the fifth year in a row,  an honor bestowed annually on approximately 5 percent of all the businesses rated on the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service and health providers.

Only a fraction of the businesses rated on Angie’s List can claim the sterling service record of being a Super Service Award winner because we set a high bar,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “The fact that Jeff Weissman Electric can claim Super Service Award status speaks volumes about its dedication to consumers.

Angie’s List Super Service Award winners have met strict eligibility requirements including earning a minimum number of reports, an exemplary rating from their clients and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.


9/28/11  I don't understand this. Maybe someone can explain this to me.  Why do people call me and not leave a message and expect me to return their call?  I have a customer that I have scheduled for today, 4:30 for an estimate.  Today she Emails me, asking why I never showed yesterday for our appointment, she said she called.  I told her I never got the message, she said to check my caller ID around 4:45,  her number is on my caller ID, but she still didn't leave a message.   First she said she "remembered" the appointment for Tuesday, I write everything down, I don't go from memory.  Second, all of my phone messages are forwarded to me.  I think this must be a generation thing, the 20-30 something generation don't want to talk in person or on the phone, text and email, is their preference. So I called this customer, left messages on her work, cell & home phone about keeping our appointment for today or rescheduling, and as you can expect, she Emails me back a reply.  I don't understand this!!!!  Big Sigh.... 

9/12/11 News for September  Finally after 21 years of paying for a fax line its gone.  With Email I no longer need or use this, so, GOOD Bye!
Last two weeks I have installed Many LED recessed cans and light bulbs for customers, and again, I'm impressed with them.  Forget about the price, They are still expensive.  But it's something you should start paying attention too!
Hey Thanks for noticing! Over the last year and a half I have lost almost 20lbs. Yes, it was intentional, no, it wasn't easy.  I'm healthy and doing very well. I don't work out, I don't eat any healthier, I just eat less of it.  Food stopped being a hobby, or a feel good item. I now look at eating like fuel for my engine, and it's good not to top off the tank anymore.


7/25/11 Beware of the BOOK that the Big Box contractors use.  I had a new customer today share with me, his experience with Mr. Sparky, charging him $1500 to install a new ceiling fan in his bathroom.  That price is triple what it should have been.  Here is how they work,  free estimate, they spend an hour in the truck preparing the paperwork, then they come back in and sit down with you.  They show you a book with prices in it, each itemized for everything.  They start off showing that they are giving you a 10% discount based on the amount of work, They make the job sound difficult and the prices seem fair while your sitting down.  Then they have you sign a LEGAL BINDING contract, so they have you screwed from this point.  
What they are using is an Electrical Contractors Flat rate pricing Book.  It works off of a complicated algorithm formula that the contractor can plug in his own numbers for the massive amounts of money they wish to make.  The Contractor pays $3000 a year for this software to create the BOOK.  This book has studied the psychology of the contractor/homeowner relationship and how to "Take" the homeowner legally.  Who uses this, Mr Sparky, ARS, John Moore, Universal Wiring, and most of the big box franchise contractors, including plumbing & A/C too.
How do I know this,  I was taken by an Air Conditioning contractor, Fly Comfort Services. And after that I started researching this Flat Rate Book
But here is the secret, they don't tell you.  The Book, teaches them, that they are to expect a percentage of customers to complain about the overcharging, Its part of the game, and if the Homeowner insist, to give a full refund of the money.  This is how these Business stay in business & keeps a good rating with the BBB.
So if you want a free electrical installation after you get ripped off & complain back to the owner, Call Universal Wiring or Mr. Sparky first.  
If you want an Independent Electrician with integrity, Call me!

5/23/11  LED Lighting is ready for Prime Time   For the last few months I had been suggesting LED replacement bulbs for customers that had hard to reach fixtures.   The light color output and cost had improved enough to recomend. But after my last trip to the lighting store, I have seen the light, LED is where residential general illumination is headed.  No Question.
I'm using the new recessed can fixture for this example,  I'll try to keep it short.
Given; A normal bedroom will usually have 4 recessed cans, towards the corners and a ceiling fan in the middle.  The lamps/light bulbs that we used to be able to get, was 150watts 20 years ago, then it went down to 120 watts, then 90, and if you didn't know this, the 90watt R40 bulbs that our 6" recessed cans use are no longer being made.  The max we can get out of any bulb is now 75 watts, regardless of the size of the bulb.  So we no longer need 6" recessed cans.  We can get the same amout of light from a smaller 5" can.
Still further is the fact we keep forgetting, that is the end of the incandescent lamp.
Which bring me back on subject, LEDS.  The manufactures now have a good selection of LED retro fit and new construction cans available that improves lighting beyond the old incandescent. Prices are considerably higher than old style recessed cans but even these are dropping fast.  If I was installing new cans in my house I would definately go with the new LED's.
For more information contact me or stop by any lighting store, Home Cheapo & Lowes dont count.

1/31/11 Residential Break-ins still increasing  So how do we protect our houses?  I recently recieved a call from a loyal customer I've been working for since '97.  I service their parents & kids too.  Their call was for more security lighting as they just got "HIT" First let me say they are inside the loop, 
near the Med center and Rice university.  We have outdoor lights on programmable timers, giving the house a lived in look.  There is a monitored alarm. But they still got hit.  The Homeowners met with the security company & it was suggested that we install motion detectors on the side of the house.  The Security company said that they have done surveys & interviews with criminals, and the criminals said that the motion detectors would make them scared and would make them leave if the lights came on.  Now, hear my thought process.... Motion detectors will leave your house dark, until the criminal is over your fence or pass your property line, right?  I would prefer to leave lights on, inside & out, and hopefully deter the criminal to go to another house.  Why take the chance, of a motion detector not picking up the motion?  Why let this criminal think your house is a target.  If we leave lights on inside the house & outside, it does make one think there is a chance someone is home, versus,  a pitch dark house.  All this means is some criminals may get scared & leave,  but will all criminal leave or does the motion detecor light just give them enough light to see what they are doing.  Please Email me your thoughts on this, we are all trying to do our part to push crime out of our neighboorhods. 

10/29/10  New toy to play with!  In my customers best interest, I am testing the new Lutron Occupancy Sensor ECO dimmer switch.  I installed it in my kitchen since this is also a route from my back door, to my office and this gets lots of traffic.  Also, at the far end of my kitchen, where my laundry room is, there is no 3way switch for my kitchen.  Yes, I enter a dark kitchen for all of 10' before I can get to a switch.  It never bothered me.  
My first thoughts are... The dimmer is not bad looking or what I would call distractive.  The 15% of lower light isn't even noticeable,  my 100 watt 6" halogen cans on 8' ceilings can get warm.  The Dimming feature is just as great & reliable as all Lutrons dimmers.  The automatic off feature is adjustable in pre programed increments from 1-30 minutes. I set mine to 3 minutes.  The sensitivity is amazing, and this may become problematic since there is an open pathway to my dining room,  when I walk in the dining room the Sensor sees me & turns on the kitchen lights.  Not a big deal now but we'll see.
So far, I'm really liking this and see many places this can be a desirable option.  As far as the cost savings, cost & installation vs. potential savings?  I don't know where the break even point on this will be, or if its even measurable since every room and every household usage would be different.  But if it just rubs you the wrong way when lights are left on, in a vacant room, this is for you!
Now, think about not having to touch wall switches, on or off.  No germ transfer.  Seriously, How often do people clean wall switches? In bathrooms?   Yuk!
Update 11/8/10.... I'll keep this sensor!  But where is this sensor best suited for you?  Garage, with out the dimmer, Closets where the switch is inside the closet, Laundry room, Hallways where you wish there was another switch at the other end.  I'm still unsure of putting this in a bedroom.

8/3/10  OK... I have to ask this.  Why do y'all continue to let handymen and painters touch your electrical wiring?  I swear, I get more calls today asking me to repair wiring done by inexperienced, unlicensed individuals.  Even some of my best loyal customers, will occasionally let their yard man replace wall switches. I wish I could show you how many switches I have seen hooked up wrong, meaning wires are stuck on any screw they can find, not having a clue what they are doing, many times putting HOT wires on ground screws that put a 120 volt potential on the face plate screws.  That can kill you!
What many of you are afraid of is fires, but seriously fires don't happen much, but adults & children get shocked all the time and many times seriously hurt.  I just don't get it, is it your busy schedule, or do you really think your saving money?  If you could see what I do, you would never let these guys touch your wiring.  I'm in Home Depot daily picking up supplies, and there are always a few guys trying to piece together some fittings and conduits to boxes and breakers, I can tell they never did this before, and these are not homeowners doing it themselves.  Then there was a customer last week that said their painter had a "frind" thats licensed in Mexico.  Yea right, like Mexico has licensing?  I ended up repairing his wiring too!  Besides, once we have a license we never give it up, it was hard work to get the license, and we can get a new license thru reciprocity any place we go.
I always say.... "If you do it right the first time, you only Bitch once" Safety First

8/17/10   I'm predicting the hotest day on record for 2010  I'm home for lunch, and changing into dry clothing.  Yes, all I was doing was replacing a breaker panel in a garage and I'm soaked all the way down and into my socks,  I have water/sweat in my left ear swishing around, I feel like I was swimming today.  And I'm still the cheerful happy to show up electrician, even in August.

7/13/2010 Smart Meters?  Hey, if these are supposed to be smart, why don't they have a display when we are not getting full power from Centerpoint?  But if I'm a day late on paying my bill, my power get cut off immediately by a software program?  That's Smart!  I'm glad I'm paying $3/month for this.

4/10/10  I thought I'd share a story of a service call from Friday. 
Friday, lunch timeish I get a call from a customer(widowed senior citizen, aka sweet little old lady)  that I had replaced a oven receptacle for on Monday.  Her call said, she was having problems with the oven not working properly & her garage door opener was out too.  I explained to her how the door opener is separate from a 240volt oven, but that I would return to check things out.  Upon arrival I diagnose the oven, it has 240 volts to it and must have been damaged during moving,  she did just have all new floors put into the kitchen,  plus this oven is from the '70's and she had mentioned it was to be replace soon.  Of course, this frustrated her.  The garage door opener was simpler, someone had turned off the wall switch that controls power to her door opener, more frustration from her,  it seems one of the workers must have accidentally turned off the switch upon leaving the property.
Any way, she starts to thank me for coming out and wasting my time.  Uh Oh....Right then I knew where this was going.  I then told her that I did have to charge her my minimum fee for coming out.  I informed her that if anything from Monday, was my fault it would have been warranty and there would have been no charge to her, but since this was all separate from my Monday job that I did for her, I would be charging her for the additional call out.  She then proceeded to turn into a monster, telling me I wasnt a gentleman.  I told her I was a gentleman, and that's why I responded both Monday and Friday to her... "I need it done today" ...and provided a fast honest service.  But, I reminded her I am a business first,  She called a business (me) and requested service.  I promptly and honestly took care of her needs and in return I should be paid for my time.
I don't think I handled this wrong.  Many contractors wont even do small jobs and if they do, they make a big job out of it to make it worth their time, or they try to upsell you a breaker panel upgrade that you don't need.  I enjoy Small jobs, they can lead to referrals or larger jobs.  I don't mind not charging for a wasted service call to a loyal repeat customer that has refered many people or had me do extensive work for them. 
But for a little old lady, to throw me a $150 job on Monday and expect me to return again for free trip on Friday is not fair to me.  I have never taken advantage of Senior Citizens, and I'm not allowing them to take advantage of me.  Remember I am a Business, an Honest Trustworthy business that you can depend on, not your grandson.

10/23/09  Centerpoint is sticking it to us again!!! 
These new Electronic meters, that Centerpoint is installing & we are being charged $3.50 p/month for is Bull S#!*.  They are reportedly supposed to allow my meter to be read from downtown, and make it easier & faster to have service turn on & off.  Its also supposed to make it easy & quick to change utility providers.  I was expecting to not have meter readers in my yard again.   I changed utility providers this week from Bounce Energy to YEP Energy.  Today, Centerpoint is at my house jumping my fence to read my meter.  I asked the centerpoint guy why the meter has to be read, or why cant he do it from his truck.  He just looked at me like I had two heads and laughed. 
 
10/22/09 INTERMATIC RECALLS IN-WALL TIMERS 
                       DUE TO SHOCK HAZARD           

 8/18/09  Majority of my work is now, with out a doubt, repairs made by DIY Homeowners with no business doing electrical work and repairs to unsatisfactory work sold to Homeowners by unqualified General contractors not using Licensed Electricial contractors.  Recent examples include, A Homeownere that hired one guy to remodel her house,  the So called Contractor said he can do it all,  the homeowner thought how easy it would be to hire one guy and walk away. Well, the one guy had his father help him do the electrical, now he has walked off the job & left the homeowner with only half of their light working. Another customer, newlywed first time homeowners, tried saving money by remodeling with no permits, and no licensed contractors, got caught by the city of Houston & having to make all other repairs to the house.  Another Customer had a pool put in 4 years ago, permioted in West U and the pool contractor put 16 wires in a 1/2" conduit, causing it to short out.  NEC code requires 9 wires per 1/2 conduit, 16 per 3/4" conduit, this West U inspector never even caught this.
I could seriously go on and on with stories like this, but to keep the Blog short I won't.  Further more, I now have proof that having any work inspected doesn't cover you either.  The inspectors can't find everything.  What this all boils down to is you have to make sure you hire a licensed contractor that takes pride in his work and refuses to take short cuts or sneak a fast one by the homeowner or inspector.  And Lucky for you I'm the Licensed contractor you need.
6/14/09  QUOTES There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. It is unwise to pay too much, but it is also unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought is incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot... It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better." John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) English social reformer 
6/1/09  What is a "SHORT"?  The National Electrical Code has no simple reference for a SHORTYou'd be surprised how many times a day I have customers reference their problems to a SHORT.  "My lights blink so there must be a short" "My dimmer doesn't dim any more so it must be a short"  'My GFI won't reset so there has to be a short somewhere" "My light bulbs burn out very frequently , so there must be a short somewhere"
The humor here is, everything wrong or bad is a short, when in the real electrical world, a short circuit is the hot conductor coming into contact with a ground and therefore tripping a breaker into the off position.  But don't worry, whatever you call it, whatever is wrong I can fix it for you.
4/23/09  Ponzi Scams in remodeling & construction?  Yes there are, and the scam works like this.  Mr. Remodeler is half way thru  Job #1 and realizes he under bid it & is loosing money because materials went up or his is just mismanaging his finances.  So, Mr. remodeler gets another job, job #2.  He ask for money up front before starting Job #2.  This money goes to pay bills related to Job #1.  This goes on and on, it's easy to see how it works.  Bottom line is this, never pay up front for anything!  Any reputable contractor should have accounts set up at the supply houses & have good credit.  Good credit means we can manage our money properly.  Expect to pay for materials upon delivery and labor weekly or monthly depening on the size of the job.  If a contractor needs your money in advance, to mange his finances, then you are asking for problems.

4/3/09  Centerpoint's new Digital Radio Frequency meters have hit the street.  The meters are to be phased in completely over the next 5 years.  This will allow you to monitor your usage online,and for Centerpoint to read your meter, turn on & off your power with out entering your yard.  I think Centerpoint is charging $75 to the first 250,000 customers to have the meters installed.  BUT!!!! I can get you these new meters today, without a charge from centerpoint!(of course my service fees still apply)  Or, I can show you how to get these yourself, but you have to do the work.  I had mine installed today for free!  Contact me for more information if interested.

3/26/09  CLEAN OUT YOUR ATTIC'S  Bear with me a minute while I'm on my soap box.  You should see the thousands of dollars of crap in your attic I see.  Furniture, electronics, books, etc.  LOOK! if your not going to use it then sell it on EBAY or give it away to a charity.  I have to climb over and around this stuff.  Are you really saving the cassette tape player & bixes of tapes?  And I really want to know how you got the game table & four chairs into the attic.  Yes, you paid a lot for that but, its time to give it to a charitable orginazation that can let someone that really would appreciate having it more than you do.  My favorite Charities are the Salvation Amy for the loose junk. And  the Houston Furniture Bank for your furniture and electronics.  The HFB gives, at no charge, to needed families, on a voucher basis.  Just think how much a single mother of 3 kids that is struggling to pay rent & put food on the table would appreciate having a VCR and your old tapes for her kids.  Furthermore, all that JUNK is a fire hazard.  Remember heat & fire rises & when all that junk becomes combustible & falls thru your ceiling, crushing you when your trying to escape all that smoke, or the firefighter entering a burning structure looking for fluffy your cat, then you may wonder why you never got rid of your attic junk.  The only things in your attic should be Christmas decorations or File Boxes.  If your not using it this year or saving it for tax reasons get rid of it...PLEASE!

2/26/09 Economic Slow down  YES, I too am now affected.  My call volume is down 50%.  Other tradesmen that I won't mention names of, are telling me the same stories.  What does this mean to you?  Well, you can get a service call on a shorter notice.  Need to do a remodel? Not only, might it be possible to get a ridiculous price but with all trades affected, your project should be done in a quicker time frame.   Personally, my company is solvent,  I have no debt, I have a deep pocket of savings,  I don't have bar mitzvahs, college savings or weddings to save or plan for.  I have always kept my overhead to a minimun for these rainy days.   The phone could stop ringing all together for a long time and I'm still in business.  We should expect to see other small tradesmen to go out of business all together.  Many other small contractors get nervous about supporting their families, making the mortage payment, or car notes.  They can't handle the stress and pressure and result to taking on a regular job.  I can assure you, that I will still be around for years to come regardless of the length of this recession.  My golf game may get better in the meanwhile!

1/28/09  AVOID PHILLIPS DURAMAX BULBS!   Today I got my 5th customer in 3 weeks( I was out of town for one week) with problems directly caused from DURAMAX R40 85watt bulbs.  These are the ones made in Mexico and have a silver(chrome) back.  My customers have reported the bulbs burn out in just days, sometimes hours, and some just don't work at all.  After researching online I have found other stories about Phillips Duramax regular incancescent 60 watt bulbs have simular problems.  Phillips Lighting forums has pages & pages of complaints from consumers about this same thing.  Would it be nice if Phillips monitored its own lighting Furoms?  Good news now is that if you call & complain to the number listed on the boxes (800) 555-0050, Phillips will return your money. 

12/27/08    Technology---I was just thinking about how technology has evolved in my business.Back in ’87 when I started doing this full time, I was one of the first to get a cell phone, it was built into my van, cost $1500 installed & cost me $200-300/month.All electricians carried Pagers .Email hadn’t caught on except inside corporate America.Print advertising was the only affordable way to get my name out there.Today, Pagers are gone.Everyone over 8 years of age has a Cell phone.Print advertising has been replaced by internet search.Having Email connectivity when away from the home & office is a necessity.Printed maps have been replaced with GPS, which allows me to venture a little further from my normal service area.With Cellphones & GPS its now possible for people to Loopt in & view where I am in my daily service routes.  Video chat with Skype & Gmail has caught on with some of my friends, but my customers have not embraced this technology yet.  Looking back it’s all amazing, Looking forward its’ incredible to imagine the possibilities.


11/25/08  Today I'm Sick as  dog.  Rarely ever do I get sick, but last night, its either a stomach virus or some other bug. This morning I wake up & take a long shower, hoping I can my service calls today, An hour before I need to leave I crawl back into bed hoping to get a little sleep, Hey there is no way I'm leaving this bed today!  Those of you that work for the MAN can make one call in sick. I had to make six calls & reschedule everyone.  Luckily nothing was urgent & everyone was understanding.  After 1:30, I might of been able to make my last 2 calls of the day but it was not worth my relapsing or contaminating my customers with something that I don't know what it is. So back into bed for the rest of today.  I HATE BEING SICK
11/09  Whats UP?  I've had a lot of thoughts to write about, but by the time I can sit down & put it in the PC I forget what it was.  Two things I was taught when getting my Skydivers Instructor Certification, Yes I did teach Skydiving, was 1) Murphy's Law 2) Never Assume.  These hold true in my work and your house wiring.  Murphy's Law, if it can happen it will, not much more I need to say about this.  Never Assume, never assume your breakers are labeled correctly, reset all your breakers even if they look good,  Never assume it's not the bulb burned out, even if its a new bulb it can be bad, swap the bad buld with a new bulb and vice versa.  
But if you want to ignore these two rules, call me.  Its easy money for me, but not rewarding and can be embarrising to you.
9/22/08  After IKE What a wild week/10 days its been!  I've lost track of the day,  my hands are all torn to shreds, everything on my body aches even my knuckles.  But I got a lot done for a lot of customers.  It felt like I was the only electrician in the town.  Getting materials was chaos, Depot & Lowes ran out immediately, The supply houses are all out of something, which made my job tougher having to drive to 3 places to get all the small items I need to rebuild meters & breaker panels.  I have had 2 customers totally loose it & vented their frustration at me.  One customer has only one leg of the two they need to run their house. Nothing 240volt in their house, no A/C,  I showed them the problem on the pole.  They think I did not check enough places for the missing power.  And after calls to Centerpoint, they keep getting told by Centerpoint everything in their neighborhood is OK.  They want another opinion from another Electrician.  So tomorrow they will be told the same thing and have to pay again for this service again. Hopefully they will then remove the bad review they left me online.  The other was frustrated by the cost of the repairs & that I don't take credit cards.  
Over all it was a good productive week.  Many people stated that I must of made a lot of money this week.  I have no idea, I did spend a lot on materials,  I worked 12 hour days, lost one notch on my belt!  People that really know me, know I don't do this for the money, I do this for my customers and their respect.  
One customer that could not get Centerpoint to remove her lock-bands from the meter so I could make repairs, made a sign & posted it on the road as I suggested. Within 24 hours she had the bands removed, I made the repairs & she now has power.  She told me how she was at dinner with friends, the Mayor of Bellaire, Lynn Skinner(realtor) and others, and she was telling this story, mentioned my name and said how everyone knew me, used me & thought I was the best!  
Another customer had me make repairs at his Aunts.  Afterwards, he was looking at the repairs & talking to the neighbors, and found out everyone, left right & across the street were my customers.
This is the reason I do this job. This is what makes me wake up every day.
9/11/08   24 hours away to Hurricane Ike.  This will be the first test of the Generator Systems I have installed.  Many of these are now 2 years old, installed after Hurricane Rita.  Many of these are Automatic, which means as soon as power is interrupted, the generator will start & the designated circuits will have power restored.  Many of these are portable systems that will have to be manually started & plugged in to the houses and manually switched over to power the circuits.  These customers thought & planned ahead for days like tomorrow.  
Today, I get a calls from customers wanting generators hooked up.  A little late for this storm.  Another customer was wondering how to start & run his generator he bought 2 years ago.  This was not too late.  
Two years ago I too waited last minute in line at 5:00am at Home Depot to make sure I had a generator for Rita.  I never needed it.  But I immediately converted it to run on natural gas.  No way was I going to store 40 gallons of gasoline in my garage.  Today, upon returning home from work, I hooked up the rubber hose to my natural gas & tested the generator.  It started immediately!   
Hopefully, none of us will need our generators, but for those of you that don't have one this time, its not too late to get hooked up for next week or next year.  Wouldn't you rather bitch about the expense of getting a generator than bitch about not having one?  Call me!
8/27/08   What about the Hurricane?  I'm not going to give the preparedness list of water candles & batteries.  You know this already.  But did you know, if you have overhead lines from the power poles out back to your meter, that this is going to be your biggest concern to keep power on or have it restored fastest?  What's going to happen is, the hurricane winds are going to blow down your branches that you have hanging over your power lines.  They will fall onto your lines and then the weakest point of attachment will give way and probably pull your meter off the wall along with your breaker panel.  Repairing this is going to be costly.  If you can think ahead and remove, or trim back all branches that may come into contact with you power lines if they were to fall, then you may not be waiting in line to have your meter & service replaced.  
Next is having a whole house surge protector to protect your electronics & appliances from damage when the power is cut out or restored.   For further information please contact me. 
And lets hope we can go another season with out the Big One!
7/9/08   How to schedule installations  Last Saturday I am expecting a delivery of my new Washer & dryer from Home Cheapo.  They call me the day before with an automated call saying delivery will be between 10-2:00 and they will call 30minutes before.  OK , the 30 minute call before is an improvement, but I know exactly what is going on here.  The delivery department is in Tennessee.  A 10-2:00 delivery time means this. The delivery guys arrive at work at 8:00, are allowed an hour to load the truck, map out the day & hit the road.  Depending on distance & drive time this puts their first stop on time or even 30 minutes early.  Wouldn't that be nice.  On the other end of their plan, calling at 2:00 and only being 2 hours late might be acceptable for Home Cheapo.   Now at 2:00 sharp, I get a call from the installer, saying hes is at least an hour late.  I start whining and convinced him to move me higher on the list.  He arrives at 3:00 and I get a look at his delivery manifest.  He had 9 stops,  he had only made 2 before me, & I was on the list at #5.  If I hadn't bitched I might not of seen them till 5:00pm.  Well, they damaged my washer so I now have to do this again Thursday.  Newsflash! I'm not sitting around, They can wait for me at my house for an hour while I finish up work.   This method of scheduling is unacceptable. Reminds me of the cable company.  This is why I can give a 2 hour or less, max window for my schedule and even less for an earlier appointment.  I always call when I'm on my way.



6/02/08 Uh Oh....Price increases... Today, in the mail, from one supply house I get this.(picture on left) Price increases from 5% to 25%.  Most of these items are the all steel heavy items I don't use daily.  But it's still the same I see happening across the board on all my items.  My personal thoughts are the cost of gas and the heavier the items then more costly it is to ship. The other thought is Plastic is made from Oil too, so switches face plates, breakers, etc. all go up too.  Last year it was copper wiring due to the heavy demand in other parts of the world.  Those prices did level off below their highs but still have not dropped significantly.
5/12/08  Bitch Bitch Bitch...  Todays customers was venting their frustrations to me.  Shrinks get paid for this.  She was going on about her contractors truck leaking oil on her driveway & never cleaning it up as he said he wouldShe had to call him back several time to do, what was supposed to been done right the first timeShe told me her husband told her.."That's, Why I call Weissman,  you never have to call him back"This was good to hear.
The other was a call from a new customer,  her father referred me to her.  She has a kitchen/bath remodel going on & had "Harmony Electric" there for two days, telling her she can't do this & can't do that.  She said they were young, inexperienced & not too motivated to work very hard.  So, she paid them to leave and has me coming out tomorrow to finish up the work. Smart Lady!
Confucius Says  Weissman Says..."If it looks like crap, smells like crap, ... be careful not to step in it"
4/16/08 I have the same problems you do.... Yes, I too have to hire people to work on my house.  I need a marble table refinished, OK, small job but it's still a job.  Friday I see a van with marble & tile installation sign on it.  I call them to see if they refinish Marble.  He says no, just installation, and gives me a number of Wesley to call. So I call & get a voice mail.  I leave my number & name & all I say is I have some marble to refinish, thats it!  Four days later I still get no return call.  No problem I can take a hint.  Here is the bottom line.  If you are in business, you have voice mail, you check your messages, you return all your calls promptly, regardless of what the call is about.   It is that simple.  If you are too busy or don't want any more work, then don't return my call.  I get it!  
During the week, I check my voice mail several times daily.  Weekends, well it all depends, but Monday morning you will get a return call.  I don't care what you are calling about, where you live or if the job is small or huge.  I will call you & we will talk about it.  Why is this so tough for others to do the same? 
3/31/08  Gas closing in on $3.50/gal   Now is the time to double check if you hiring a local electrician.  I get 10 miles to the gallon, so remember going to & form many jobs within 10 miles I got $7 just in gas, not counting wear & tear on tires and other related overhead on my service vehicle just to get to ring your door bell.  I know its part of my doing business, but if you were to hire a contractor from Friendswood, or the Woodlands expect these overhead cost to be passed on to you.  And its predicted to get worse?????
3/18/08  DIY Customers  Yesterday I had 2 service calls repairing customers wiring that they did themselves.  I'm all for a homeowner replacing lights, switches & plugs themselves, but please know what your doing.  Both of these customers had Hot wires attached to grounding screws on switches.  In the right situation this would have caused a personal shock hazard and even possible electrocution.  And you know me, I am not an alarmist, but this could have been tragic.  Both of these guys had spent several hours trying to get their lights to work properly after attempting switch replacements.  One had the HOME DEPOT DIY book.....scary!
3/15/08  Mercury Vapor fixtures, parts no longer available.  Federal EPAct of 2005 has made it illegal to manufacture & import Mercury Vapor Ballast & fixtures containing Mercury Vapor Ballast as of Jan 2008.  This explains why I can't find the old 175 watt Mercury fixtures that many homeowners have in their yards.  And furthermore as of Jan 2009 the same will be happening to fluorescent fixtures & ballast with the older type magnetic ballast and T-12 type bulbs.  All new fluorescent fixtures will be the energy saving electronic T-8 type bulbs.

2/10/08  Kitchen remodels  What happened to the small contractor that specialized in kitchen remodels?  Today It seam more and More homeowners are DIY contractors for their own kitchen remodels.  A couple of things you should know,  Have every detail figured out, including what goes where but just who does the actual installation & hook up of any appliances.  Expect the unexpected, and when that happens it will slow down the whole process.  DIY homeowners should expect a kitchen remodel of new cabinets, floors, counter tops, lighting, appliance to take on average 6 weeks start to finish.  I have seen and been a part of shorter and longer projects.  Be prepared to eat out a lot and wash dishes in your bathrooms.

2/8/08  Flat Panel TV's   Its not the same as it used to be when buying TV's today.  Todays HD Flat panel TVs are a now a custom installation that is different for every homeowner.  First you'll need to install the plug behind the wall mounted flat panel, whether its on the wall or above the fireplace mantel.  After this its all a mater of getting the correct wire between the TV & components.  Thing to consider are Location of the TV, Location of the components, DVD, Cable box, satellite box, surround sound receiver, Gaming systems, TIVO, DVR and even future cabling needs.  The old days of buying a TV & hooking up 2 wires are gone.  Todays new HD TV's require separate HDMI cables for the DVD and cable boxes, along with separate Audio cables too.  If you think its all confusing your not alone.  Call me & I can help.
1/9/08  What do people expect?  Today, I showed up at my first appointment on time at 8:30am and the customer was surprised that I was on time.  She said it was uncommon that anyone was on time.  Last Friday, I had a job that I had bid and scheduled several weeks ago.  When I showed up the customer was not expecting me and did not have the materials she was to be suppling.  She too , was not expecting me to on time or prepared to even start the job.  So what I don't understand is how do other companies make money and retain customers if they don't provide a good service.
I try to provide the same courtesy that I expect when I have to hire a serviceman to work on my house.  That is, show up on time, call when I'm on my way or running late,  and be prepared to do the work discussed with any materials on my truck needed.  It really isn't that hard....

1/3/08  Happy New Years and congratulations on getting your new plasma TV.  As you no know you will need a receptacle installed behind the TV.  I can do this for you and help you decide on where to mount the new TV.  Do not route the cord that comes on the TV down thru the wall.  It is a code violation, and beside that it is unsafe and a fire hazard to do this.  Also, now is the time to be planning ahead for next Christmas.  Remember how you kept tripping circuit breakers this year?  I can install heavy duty dedicated circuits just for you to load up with your Christmas lights.  We can place these in strategic points where you won't have to run extensions cords across your front entry door.  Call me!
10/17/07  This week I'm finishing up a new residential house.  Owner had fired the previous two Electrical Contractors.  Behind the face plates and devices I'm finding some blatant code violations and safety concerns, mostly regarding shared wires for grounding and neutrals on GFCI protected circuits left behind by Cravens Electric.  So I just decided to Google, Cravens Electric.  What I found on TDLR's web site was a Licensed Electrical Contractor based in Alvin Texas.  Owner Justin Cravens, is only an apprentice Electrician, the master license holder of record is someone else, Harry Thomas.  My Customer tells me the owner, Cravens, does not work with his tools and attempts to run the company remotely from his office, no job site supervision from the owner or Master electrician.  OK, here is the way the law works in Texas,  anyone can get an apprentice license, just fill out a form, pay a state fee, and the continuing education is even less stringent to to keep a license.   Yes, a test will be required to upgrade to Journeyman license, but neither are even needed to be an Electrical Contractor.  All anyone needs, is to beg, borrow, or hire(rent) a master licensed electrician to sign off for your business and permits and your in business.  Sad thing is the construction/service industry is in a downward freefall.  There are only a few good contractors left,  motive for profits have taken over the desire for quality of work.  Homeowners desire for the lowest price has caused them to over look the desire quality or prompt service. Add to this, a shortage of skilled qualified, licensed workers and things are only going to be getting worse.
9/26/07   Electric Meters  Centerpoint was on the news yesterday, stating that if they can't access your electric meter for a reading, after 3 try's they will cut your power. They want $69 from you for an electronic radio frequency transmitting meter so they won't have to go in your yard.  My thoughts on this are, 1st, pay the money & keep the meter readers out of your yard.  Meter readers are not career employees and most likely hired from day labor pools.  I don't want them in my yard.  2nd thought is, if they can't access my meter to read it, how can they access it to disconnect power?  Well, that is Centerpoint.  Call 713/207-2222 to order your new meter.


9/13/07  Centerpoint Still Sucking... Power consultant now calls about the below job.  They now are going to cut the lines completely and Pull meter.  Requiring customer to upgrade the service to 2005 Code, pull permits and wait even more time for Centerpoint to reconnect power.  I give up, it's p[pointless for me to fight Centerpoint,  So, I have a permit, and installed a 3 wire meter for my customer.  She was told to wait 3 days for her power to be restored.  Lucky, that the house is vacant....

9/8/07 Again Centerpoint   Today a customer calls, she is switching from Reliant to another Power provider.  She has had power connected for years at this address.  Centerpoint goes out and has a problem with the 3 phase meter socket missing a 4th wire, a wire that is not needed or even used, and disconnects power completely, tells no one.   The pathetic point is the defacing note in permanent marks-a-lot , on the meter base, the Centerpoint serviceman made.   This house is in a nice Westbury neighborhood that is being readied to be sold.   Even if this house was in a ghetto, leaving marks like this is unacceptable.  Any way, I installed the 4th wire Centerpoint requested,  it is not needed or used anywhere inside the house.  Again, Centerpoint has no respect or concern for the customer.  I think the issue has to be, the service crews and supervisors attitude is, that the less they do, or the longer they can put off doing anything or getting out from behind the A/C in their trucks the better for them.   Or, could it be the service man have no training, experience, skill, common sense or supervision?  I have called requesting the serviceman's supervisor to call me regarding this defacing mark, graffiti, tagging left by centerpoint and the unnecessary request for a 3 wire meter base.  Much to my surprise, 4.5 hours later I get a call from the weekend field supervisor & he took my complaint, saying it will be forwarded by Email to the appropriate supervisor  Monday or Tuesday.   Monday, 4:12pm 2nd phone call today, from a power consultant, John.  After apologizing earlier today for the marks on the meter, John says the power will be restored to the house in about 2 days, with out any repairs needed.  He said he would have to send out a serviceman that knows what he's doing for the reconnect.  It would be nice to know why it's going to take 2 days.  Forget to pay your bill and Centerpoint will be there in hours to cut your power off.  Right?

9/6/7  CENTERPOINT  Free King SUCKS    Yesterday I have 2 customers with power issues that require Centerpoint’s assistance.  First, is a Meyerland residential house with a bad connection up on the pole that is intermittently going on and off.  I have already diagnosed the problem and two separate crews from Centerpoint refuse to climb the pole to replace the connections, saying the problem is in the breaker panel…ITS NOT!8:00 am I just called and find out the 3rd crew actually took my order & replace the connection on the pole. Problem finally resolved.  The next one is worse.  10:30 am A commercial business, large T shirt screen printer, has a fuse panel that is burning, yes smoking, & needs replacement.  Due to the age of the building, and wiring under old code methods, I have to have the power turned completely off to make the repair. Over an hour and several phone calls after making an emergency request, Centerpoint finally shows up to disconnect the power at @ Noon.  12:45pm repairs are all done and calls to City Permit Inspection & centerpoint and the utility provider are complete to have power turned back on.  Remember this business needs power to Print T shirts!  5:00pm Owner leaves after a wasted day, still with no power.  Calls are again made to Centerpoint, which say power will be back on by 10:00pm.   10:00 still no power more frantic calls to centerpoint, they say the order is issued and it will be after Midnight & someone has to be there for access!  10:30 the owner and I get calls that we need to be there right now, crews are waiting!   Let me put some pants on & get over there for your convenience    11:00 pm power is back on. So I want to know... What the fuck gives Centerpoint the right to treat us this way?  Deregulation was years ago, get over it, you are no longer HL&P Power.  We can change Utility providers when we get pissed at them, but we can't change the company that maintains our power lines?  Seriously, I have this problem every time I have to get centerpoint involved on any job.I have never been able to get a power reconnect in a timely manner.I know it’s not my job, I have done my part promptly, but it’s my customers Centerpoint is treating like shit and I take it personally.

8/7/7  Why do people assume things?  Today I get a call from a good customer needing a breaker replaced.  Her electric clothes dryer stopped working, she assumed is was bad & replaced it only to have the new one not work either.  Just a bad breaker, who ever she gave it away to got a good working clothes dryer for free.  The other assuming customer today had just bought a house & the ceiling fan in the front bedroom never worked, so she bought a new one, only to find out that the wiring & double switches were all wired wrong & never could work the way it was.  So I rewired the fan & switches & everything was just fine.

7/17/7  Today I left the office with a full days schedule, but during the day I received 3 emergency calls with customers having blown breakers on their A/C, dryers or refrigerators.As usual, I managed to squeeze them into my schedule for today.  It was a long, but rewarding day.   So, make sure you call me as soon as you have a problem.  I'll do everything I can to make sure you're not inconvenienced long.

7/6/7 I know scheduling to have someone to meet me at your house is tough for many people.   Especially when both people work.   But I don't understand why Mr. or Mrs. feels they can schedule for their spouse.  Its a great thought and fair try.   But today, three homeowners tried this, only to call me back with in minutes to tell me, the time their spouse set up for us won't work with their schedule.  SO WHY EVEN TRY????  Give me your spouses number, have them call me, or lets set up a 3way call and do it all together?  Furthermore, you are scheduling this while driving, on your cellphone, driving carpool, and frequently don't even tell your spouse till the last minute, that you have scheduled their day!    Big Sigh!  I'm real flexible to everyones work and carpool schedules, it's really not as hard as it may seam.  Call me and see!

6/14/07 Todays customer had first called Dempsy's Electric to repair a fluorescent fixture in the ceiling.  Dempsey's came out  but didn't have any replacement ballasts on the truck for  repairs or a  wall timer  for it either.  The service man said, it wasn't his responsibility to have parts for repair.  He then charged $85 for all of that  and left.   I always have parts like this on my truck, so I won't have to make two trips, wasting your time  or money. 

6/8/07  OK, today I get a call about a ceiling fan not moving enough air.  Long story made short, it was a partial power problem related to Centerpoint's overhead lines & a bad connection.  So, I call Centerpoint to have them make the repairs and ... are you ready for this?  14 minutes later the repairman was at the house. If only they could do this every time!

 5/22/07 OK Y'all... Now check this out.  Today I get a call from a customer saying when he changed a light bulb, it blew his breaker, and then the 2nd time it just sparked and the lights went out and stayed out.  I get there and find a fried dimmer, so when I connected the wires together the light works fine.  So I inspect the fixture and wiring and can't see anything that would be making the fixture short or fry the dimmer or trip the breaker.  So I put it all back together, everything is fine and while I'm in the other room repairing something else, the homeowner,  replaces the 40 watt lamp with the 60 watt lamp he originally wanted in there.  BOOM! There goes the circuit breaker.  So now even I'm confused.   So I again pull everything apart, inspect it and even replace the fixture with a temporary bare bulb fixture.  When I turn on the switch it is still tripping the breaker with the new fixture.  I then notice the bottom of the light bulb and WOW!  Look at what I found!  (Click on the picture) A manufacturing defect on the bottom of the bulb that left a washer embedded into glass directly under the screw shell and contact point.  This was causing a direct short whenever this bulb was energized.  27 years of being in the business and I can't remember ever seeing this.  Pretty cool, Huh?

5/20/07   HEY!  I'm now available for Saturday appointments thru the summer.

5/3/07 Hey! I received a cool Email/compliment today from another EC (Electrical Contractor) Harbinger Electric.  He saw my van and decided to check out my web page and liked both my web site and message.  That's what we call friendly competition.  This webpage is a free creation from Google that I maintain myself, I really appreciate that compliment as well as the others I have received from my customers.            Now... I can rant off my frustration from today.  I know its good money for me, but it pisses me off everytime I have to go into another customers house to repair wiring that was done by a so called General Contractor and his hackers attempting to to their own electrical work.  What it was today, was a very nice retired FBI agents house,  His retirement dream home had a kitchen and bath remodel.  The Contractor brought in his own guys to do the wiring.  Well, I'm no electrical crime scene investigator but I should be!  What I found was horrible!  First let me say electrical is fairly easy to understand how it works.  First you have a neutral wire(white), you could call it your negative, then you have your hot wire(black) you can call this your positive.  Every device has a white wire attached and a black.  The hot simply goes from the breaker to the plug, thru the switch, to the light.  Simple enough? Anyone can figure that out & make stuff work and this is what I found!  These freeking hackers were in an attic tying wires together doing exactly that, while trying to figure out if it would work.  Lucky for the HO (homeowner) they gave up & quit because it would have most likely worked long enough for them to leave before catching the attic on fire. This was so far back in the back of the house that no one would have seen the mess till shit happened.  Upon fixing the mess & doing some other upgrades for the HO I found many loose connections these hackers had made.  OK I could go on and on but you get it I hope.  Unfortunately General Contractors in Texas don't need a license, but they should hire licensed trades (A/C, Plumbing, & me).

4/23/07  OK I just got in my new refrigerator magnets shaped like a service van with my logo on it.  My friends wife Laura, at Buffalo Specialties had these made for me and they turned out great.  Let me know if you want one.  I just finished making a few changes to the web page, nothing major, just some new pictures and editing.   Well, the weather is heating up so it looks like I'll be scheduling attic work for the early mornings from now on till things cool back down in October.  Another month or so and I'll also start working Saturdays by request.  Answers to some of your questions...... Yes, No, Bagels with butter, I have several, No thanks...I think that would hurt too much.    Make sure you check out my new short film on How to change MR-16 lamps.         

11/28/06  Remember in the movie "Pulp Fiction" when Travolta, blows the head off of the guy in the back seat of their car?  They called, Harvey Keitel, who was known as the Cleaner.   Well, I too have been known to be the one to call to clean up other peoples messes.   Other Handy men, previous owners or even other electricians that have left undesirable wiring, I can clean it. I can get their fast, and in a small amount of time have this mess CLEANED for you too!

7/29/06
Homeowners never think about the life span of house wiring.  We all know that the lifespan of a water heater, roof, A/C system and kitchen appliances, is around 15 years, more if we are lucky.  But we never put enough emphasis on our light fixtures wall switches, plug or breakers. Besides the safety & possible fire hazard of deteriorating wiring in a light fixture what about the overcurrent or short circuit protection of a breaker?Isn’t it also possible to improve on the aesthetics of an old light fixture by replacing it every 15-20 years?Replacing these devices can usually be done for way more than the cost usually associated with a water heater replacement.

7/23/06  Two service calls this week both from customers who have have power out to certain areas for weeks.  Both were afraid that it would be something major to fix and costly, so they put off making repairs.  In both instances it was very minor & and easy to repair.   One was a bad breaker & the other was bad sockets in the light fixtures.   

7/10/06 My generator customer just called...HE LOVES IT! He has done the testing & it starts automatically and powers up his house & central A/C just perfect.He’s is now going thru the 4 hour break in period, and then an oil change, & he’ll be all set. I want one!

7/8/06  I just installed a Permanent Emergency Generator with an Automatic Transfer Switch for a customer today.  What an easy installation & a great system.  He's is going to love it when a hurricane comes up 45 south into Houston, and he has power on to most of his house while everyone else is suffering & waiting for Centerpoint to restore power.  I now have an Emergency Generator on my "To Buy" list for myself!      

6/28/06 I'm in the process of making repairs to one house that was remodeled by a Handyman/Apartment maintenance man, jack of all trades, master of none.  Everything I get my hands on has to be rewired.  It is very frustrating for me & for the Home owners.  No grounds were properly connected, mixture of 15 & 20 amp wire on 20 amp breakers, open splices all over the attic and hidden behind walls, no connectors used for entering fixtures or junction boxes.  I can go on & on but I hope you get the point.  Again, it is critical you hire a licensed professional.  If you do it right the first time, you only complain once.

5/13/06 Well it looks like last week a good percentage of my calls were to repair items that were done wrong by unlicensed electricians or just handy men.  Please be careful who you hire!

5/4/06    A good friend from high school just called. He has his own locksmith business and was at a customer’s house today re-keying their locks, as they had just moved in.  The HO (homeowner) had ARS (American residential services) doing some minor repairs.  He witnessed the ARS Electricians touching the hot wires to the box & shorting out the circuit to the garage.  Then telling the HO that the wiring to the garage was shot & it had to be repaired at a cost of $1000.  He knew what they were doing was wrong & kept quiet, so as not to interfere.  He mentioned me to the HO, and suggested them calling me.  But the HO was so scared by the sales pitch & the mentioning of the "Fire Hazard" & "Safety Concern" that the ARS, commissioned, service techs gave them, that the HO just went ahead & gave the OK to do the work.   Everything was perfectly working before ARS got there!

Any spelling errors are intentional.  Check back L8R.   Thanks....Jeff