Friday, March 21, 2014

March Maddness/2011code is Coming

March madness is here and boy has it been a long winter.  I for one cant wait till summer. Speaking of summer, wanted to get the word out about some of the changes coming up in Virginia.  It looks like the state will adopt the 2011 NEC code. The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code is slated to go in effect July 2014. There have been a lot of changes in the 2011 NEC from the 2008 NEC. We have not been on the 2008 NEC very long, but it seemed like we were on the 2005 NEC for a long time. The process takes many meetings for the boards to approve all the changes in Richmond, they listen to a lot of input from people like you and I. So if you like; you can get involved.  Your input does count.
One of the big changes is that the continuing education is still required for renewing your tradesman license. The requirements remain at 3 hours forElectrical, HVAC/Mechanical, and Plumbing.  Fuel/Gas requires only one hour. Many of you I have heard; get upset that the state requires you to be up to date on the new codes. Codes are updated to meet technology changes and new equipment types that continually come out on the market. Well, as we all know the codes are not an instruction manual on how to be a tradesman, but they are there to insure a safe installation for those that use HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing and Gas systems. Keeping up with the codes not only keeps you as a tradesman abreast of the changes it also allows you to provide the safest and most up to date installation to your customers. Face it, there are many people who claim to be a qualified tradesman, but then we hear of the damage that is done to people’s homes, and in many cases lives.  The so called qualified tradesman take dangerous short cuts to make it work and charge high dollar for shoddy work.
You should be advertizing your license showing your qualifications, giving your customers piece of mind. Face it most people have no idea of how their systems work in their home. They go to the local big box store and read a book for 15 minutes and think they are an expert. Now I am not saying that licensed tradesman never do shoddy work but most understand the true dangers to life safety and would not risk putting their customers lives at risk doing work that is directly against code.
Many States require 8-20 hours of education every two years. The real question is, do we get enough education to stay ahead of the curve. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes; do you think they would rather have a qualified person. Though the non-license tradesman is cheaper and asks the homeowner to pull a permit because he can’t or he sends in helpers he hired off the street, when they collect the money and the gas leak causes their home to explode, how much did they really save? Would you want a person that stayed at a motel overnight and read about heart surgery perform surgery on you? I think not; so let’s put quality and respect back in all the trades as we keep Surging Forward.
Well bye for now and remember Stay Safe and Keep Surging Forward.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Where Do I Go From Here?

Hello fellow Tradesman,
As I write this post I am really seeking on the next steps of helping fellow tradesman and men from all career walks. Yes I know there are many women out there and they actually make some of the best skilled workers in the construction industry. But this post is focused on the men of the trade. As I talk with many out there today, there seems to be a fight between giving up and pushing forward. It is getting harder and harder for men to keep pushing because we have created a culture in which men feel that they have to handle issues alone. If one seeks help he is considered a failure. This is so far from the truth. Men have always come together in groups, bands of brothers, the gang, the football game, even during war. Men fight and tackle the tough issues as a team. Have you ever seen a one man football team? I dont think so. The best way to grow and survive is through being mentored by other men. None of us can say we learned the skills of the trade entirely on our own. Someone had to teach us and mentor us , even if it was only for a short time. We can all think of people in our lives that have had a positive and a negative impact on us. Do you know where you are going in life? Do you have any goals in your life? Are you on the career path you want?, Do you know how to even get on the career path you want?, Do you have the relationship you want with your girlfriend or spouse?, Do you even know how to have a relationship? These are hard questions that you may not even want to ask yourself but if you don't, you will be heading in the wrong direction of even just burying your self in a video game hoping that none of these real issues will ever effect me. For this post I am just really pushing you to think on some real issues that effect all men whether you believe it or not. You see it does not matter if you believe it or not it can and will keep you from succeeding and having that positive life if you do not address these and many other issues about life. . If you are in the Hampton Roads area drop by our website and send us an email. Visit our Mens Fraternity page and try come by one of the free teachings held a YNOT Pizza where we as men get together and talk.
Our website is  Take charge today one way or another, read a book on leadership, challenge yourself. Make a change move forward. Never quit. Stand firm.No what you believe and why. Many men have done this and even created Nations, That will you do
Well by for now
Stay safe and keep Surging Forward

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What does 2014 Hold for Electricians?

As we draw close to the end of another year, we tend to look back on the past and try and hope for a better future. 2013 was a tough time for many electricians I have talked to over the past year. At the same time many had a very good year an were able to recover from past losses. if I can share or pass on anything to my fellow tradesman it is to never give up. Those who were able to do better and have a good year continue to grow in knowledge and responsibility. Many tradesman work long hours for very little pay and easily fall into the group that is tired, complains and always looking for ways to ... well put it bluntly to get one over the rich boss or owner. This negativity is a very dangerous down hill spiral. The path down this road will lead to destruction for you and those around you. Though keeping the positive attitude is not easy, tell me who ever said success was. Look at Football teams, a team can have a loosing season yet still continue to play the best they can even with no hope of going to the play offs. Let alone the Super Bowl. The goal for 2014 should be to turn around that negative attitude and instead of condemning your boss or the company you work for strive to make your strife invaluable. Yes that means looking for ways to make the company mire profitable. Just think when you stressed out boss sees that you are making him look good to his boss, guess what he will be less likely to let you go. That is what I call sacrificial giving. You see it is not about what you do for you because you have no control over whether you keep your job or not. But when you do for others and make your self an asset than you create a valuable asset that it would not be wise for the boss to get rid of. The idea of it is better to give than receive is a concept that is hard to grasp yet when you help others succeed than they will be compelled to take you with them. So by staying positive in a negative world allows you as a person to continue to Surge Forward even though times are tough. Have a great 2014 and may God bless you all. Remember stay safe and keep surging forward.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What Electrical Code is Virginia Under?

While Teaching Code update courses I often get the question: What code are we under in Virginia? As of today The 2009 Uniform State Wide building Code is the reference that Virginia enforces the building codes. The newest 2012 Uniform State Wide building Code is still in process of being reviewed. The cycle is done by the legislation in Richmond. Also to keep in mind Richmond is pretty much the Authority have Jurisdiction and covers the Virginia cities regarding Electrical licensing and such.The 2009 USWBC provides the electrical industry to refer to the 2008 NEC for the guidelines to follow regarding the safe installations of electrical systems in Virginia. Base on some research I have done the 2012 USWBC may go into effect around march of 2014 this would refer electrical installations to the 2011 NEC. While many states adopt the codes much quicker Virginia is sometimes a cycle behind because of the time it takes to review the many changes in the code and to make sure they are in line with the Building codes already in place. So when you are faced with the choice of do I take a the 2008 or the 2011 code update course I would recommend the 2011 as we will be under this code soon. Both will count for your education requirements for your license renewal. Well thats all for now my fellow tradesman.
Remember Stay safe and keep Surging Forward  Have a great Holiday

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hello fellow electricians:
I hope everyone has been staying busy I ( working and making Money I hope ) It has already been a busy holiday season for me . The house is decorated with all the lights and 14 Christmas trees. And yes all my lights are on a GFCI outside. Speaking of Holidays I ran across some older articles that I had written about electrical fires,seems we have a lot more around the holidays. Please feel free to use the articles for you website all I ask is that you create a link back for me. Remember Stay Safe and keep Surging Forward.
and Remember for all your  Virginia code update needs see us at
enjoy the article:

Electrical Fires
What Is an Electrical Fire and How to Deal With It
What is an Electrical Fire?

Any fire that is caused by electrical short circuits, overloaded circuits or faulty electrical equipment can be defined as an electrical fire. Anything that causes excessive current flow has the ability to create fire, including lightning - the number one cause of overloaded circuits. Make sure you don't have an outdated circuit breaker box by
finding an electrician to come check it for you.
How do you Prevent an Electrical Fire?

The first thing you can do as a homeowner to prevent an electrical fire is to keep from overloading your circuits.

Follow these tips to prevent your circuit breaker from overloading:

* Identify the circuits in the breaker box. The breaker box usually tells the amperage of each circuit as well as the outlets serviced by the circuit.
* Maintain wires, appliances & electrical fixtures. Another thing to put on your list of things to do as a homeowner is to maintain your appliances and make sure the wiring in your home is updated. This may require the services of a qualified electrician.
* Appliances that malfunction may cause an electrical fire, so make sure your appliances are working properly. If you have an electrical appliance that you know is overheating or short-circuiting, shut off the breaker before you unplug the appliance. Electricity takes all paths to the ground, even if that means through you.
Ask an electrician about installing ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in your home. GFCIs quickly shut off power when problems occur, minimizing electrical shock hazards.

What do you do in the Case of an Electrical Fire?

In the case of an electrical fire, make sure you do not use water to try to put out the fire. If the fire is small and confined, such as the case of an extension cord that you see is starting to smoke and catch on fire, turn off the circuit at the breaker, then unplug the cord and use an ABC fire extinguisher to put out any flames. If no appropriate fire extinguisher is available, you can also use baking soda to extinguish an electrical fire. Typically an overloaded circuit will flip a breaker. If you know a circuit is being overloaded but the breaker didn't trip AND YOU CAN SAFELY DO SO, you should turn off the breaker yourself - or flip the main breaker to the whole house. If you have had a fire, make sure you
find an electrician to come evaluate what you'll need to replace and do to prevent another fire.

In general, don't mess around in the case of an electrical fire. Make sure everyone leaves the building and call the fire department or 9-1-1 right away.

written by:
David Ballentine
of Surging Forward

PS if you would like to submit an article about the trades email the article to:
And we will provide a link to your business on our website.
Stay safe and keep Surging Forward