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Where Do I need Smoke/ CO Detectors In My House?

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Many people simply do not realize where they need to place a smoke detector to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their home.  So, here is what the City of Syracuse adopts and recommends.

For an existing single family home, they may be battery operated and not interconnected. One in each bedroom, one outside each sleeping area, one in any area that could be used as a sleeping area, and one on each level of the home.

You need not place one in the kitchen, this might be a ‘nuisance’ tripping constantly whenever your cook.  Though not required, it might still be a good idea if you can get it to work without nuisance tripping.

One other note, for the one required in the basement, the City recommends to place it on the ceiling close to where the air might draft up the staircase.  I placed one there in my fathers house about 15 years ago, and when he accidentally knocked his pipe ashes in the trash can instead of the ashtray, the detector alerted him and he was able to exit the house before the Fire Department showed up.

In NYS, following the passing of Amber’s Law, all homes and apartments must have at least one working Carbon Monoxide detector.  For single family homes, apartments, and townhouses with a forced air furnace, one CO detector is required, on the lowest level of the house having a bedroom.  This may be a battery operated or hardwired, or combination smoke/co detector with both ac and battery backup.

Upgrades, Upgrades and Upgrades

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150a 001

During the last month and a half, we have done quite a few service upgrades. Must be the season. Call for your own job and get a free estimate!

We installed a new service on West Florence Ave. in the City, fairly typical 100 amps with all new entrance cable, panel, and exterior meter. The Customer called because he lost power in half the house. Turned out water  got into his panel in the basement and destroyed the main breaker (more properly called the service disconnect breaker in this case). Permit and inspection included.

Had the pleasure of doing a job for a very nice Fort Drum soldier on Warner Ave in the City. Guy had just bought the house, and got in over his head trying to change out the panel himself.
No problem! Had him up and running in no time, and he was very pleased with the price. Permit and inspection.

Then over to Lakeview Ave in the city, where an owner had converted his 2 family house into a one family residence – his own. So we took out the old 2 services and installed just one. We kept it at 150 amps with a brand new backboard and Cutler Hammer panel, and new entrance cable and meter. All the interior cut-over work was done in the basement with junction boxes, and a current meter was used to verify that the lines in the old 3- wire circuits were on the right breakers. Then we connected to the National Grid lines before the inspection, as a member of the ‘National Grid Connects’ program. This reduced the off time to a couple of hours while waiting for the inspection.

Grumbach Ave on the Northside…we did meters and panels
for a 2 family rental house the owner just bought from the City. The house had been vacant and needed not only to be converted to two meters but extensive upgrades.   Customer was very pleased with the job.. appearance, and quality and timeliness and all done for the reasonable price quoted ahead of time.

The pizza was great at a well known big pizza parlor, but the wiring had some clean up work to do. We fixed them up in a couple days, and the customer was very happy with the price we gave him . Oh, and he passed his city inspection, too.

Some Electrical Terms to be Familiar with – Electrician’s Vocabulary

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When hiring an electrician, some terms to be familiar with (we will continue to add to this page as more questions come in):

License- a legal right to perform electrical work within a geographical location. The authority in Syracuse granting licenses is the Code Enforcement department. Only a license holder may install electrical work within the City. This information is available to the public.

Certified – Carries no legal weight in the City. The term ‘certified’ is used by many agencies such as employers, the State, the Electrical Unions to describe some level of competency as granted only within that organization (such as certified apprentice or journeyman).

Permit – Permits to perform electric work are granted, where necessary, by the authority having geographical jurisdiction. In the City of Syracuse only a license holder may be issued a Permit. In the surrounding communities and suburbs, sometimes a permit is not issued, nor are you required to be licensed to perform the electrical work. However, an inspection by an electrical inspector agency, approved to inspect in that community, is always required.

Inspection – Electric work other than the simple replacement of light fixtures, receptacles and switches, always requires an inspection, regardless of whether it’s performed in the city, county, state. Check with your local building department on the procedure for obtaining an inspection from an agency approved by them. If no permit fee was collected you can be sure there is a fee for the inspection and usually for a re-inspection, should it not pass.

Electrical Code : The ‘National Electrical Code’ is adopted into law nationally. Any smaller municipality may require more stringent adaptations. The Inspector has the authority to determine whether something complies with the Code, and the approved inspector is also usually called the ‘authority having jurisdiction’ when it comes to electrical installations.

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Electrician

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1) Are you Licensed?

Not all municipalities require a person installing electrical wiring to be licensed..(see the ‘Electrical Terms to be Familiar with‘ post). However, having a valid license is a sign the electrician knows what he is doing, and is absolutely required by law in the City in most instances.  If you are unsure if you need a licensed electrician, call us under no obligation and ask us.   We won’t steer you wrong and will give you the facts.  You may find out you can do it yourself.  Licenses can be verified by calling the City Codes department.

2) Are you Insured ?

Insurance is a good idea for any contractor to have and certainly, electrical work is on that list. If something should go wrong on your job that the electrician is at fault for, you might be financially reimbursed for your loss.  Proof of insurance is maintained on file with the City for license holders.

3) How would you go about estimating my job?

The contractor should be prepared to give you a price for the job, even if that means an hourly rate. At Kelley Electrical Services we will either give you a firm price or an estimate of the time it will take.

4) What experiences do you have with projects similar to mine?

Experience and references are the best indication of future performance.

5) What can you tell me about my project that I may not have considered?

Having an in depth knowledge of the kind of project you are considering shows the competency and experience of the contractor.

Major Restoration in Sedgewick Completed

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Recently a 7,500 square foot mansion in the historic Sedgewick district in Syracuse was completely rewired by Kelley Electrical Services. Built in 1905 as the wedding home of a then prominent Syracuse lawyer, it featured 3 stories, 8 bedrooms, 5 baths, 5 fireplaces, a grand ball room, parlor, dining, 2 kitchens, butlers quarters, a flawlessly executed poured basement, and detached garage. This project was done with the owner and contractor on her schedule. Vast amounts of every wiring method ever invented had to be removed from the basement and elsewhere, then a completely new overhead 200A service and sub-panels were installed. Receptacle outlets were added per new construction code specs in all of the rooms, lighting and switching updated, and a jacuzzi and hot tub installed. The owner and her husband now enjoy the grand splendor of its original beauty ..with the conveniences of modern electric!