Author Archives: Best Units

South Carolina LLR Involved In Sting Operation

I was going through my email and just got this today from the South Carolina LLR.
It is nice to see our state getting proactive to help stop these unlicensed contractors.
This will go a long way in stopping illegal businesses as well as protecting the consumers in our state.

Sting Nets 73 Cases of Unlicensed Builders/Contractors in State
Investigators for the S.C. Residential Builders Commission (RBC) and S.C. Contractor’s Licensing Board (CLB) found 73 cases of unlicensed activity when they participated in a national sting operation during the week of June 16, 2015, with NASCLA, the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies.

Six investigators from the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Office of Investigations and Enforcement and three staff members reviewed internet listings and physically monitored home improvement store parking lots across the state to look for people who were advertising plumbing, electrical, carpentry, HVAC, roofing, home inspecting and other building services requiring licensure by LLR.

“The goal of the sting was to work together with NASCLA and other boards across the country to protect consumers and deter illegal construction activity,” Residential Builders Administrator Janet Baumberger said. “This is the second time we have participated in the sting, and each time we have discovered at least 70 cases. We look forward to participating again to further protect consumers.”

In addition to South Carolina, eight states participated in the sting: Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and Washington.

“LLR is committed to its mission of protecting the health and safety of South Carolina citizens,” LLR Director Richele Taylor said. “Operations like these help us educate the public on how to protect themselves from unlicensed contractors and highlights the steps individuals must take to become licensed.”

Contractor’s Licensing Board Administrator Roger Lowe added: “Persons holding themselves out to be a general or mechanical contractor while not licensed presents a threat to the general public. By participating in this operation, it is clear that unlicensed practice presents a very real problem in South Carolina.”

To review copies of Cease and Desist orders issued as a result of the sting, visit:
http://www.llronline.com/POL/NASCLA_Orders/

Orders are posted to this site as the Boards receive notice the orders have been served on the individuals.

boards across the country to protect consumers and deter illegal construction activity,” Residential Builders Administrator Janet Baumberger said. “This is the second time we have participated in the sting, and each time we have discovered at least 70 cases. We look forward to participating again to further protect consumers.”

In addition to South Carolina, eight states participated in the sting: Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and Washington.

“LLR is committed to its mission of protecting the health and safety of South Carolina citizens,” LLR Director Richele Taylor said. “Operations like these help us educate the public on how to protect themselves from unlicensed contractors and highlights the steps individuals must take to become licensed.”

Contractor’s Licensing Board Administrator Roger Lowe added: “Persons holding themselves out to be a general or mechanical contractor while not licensed presents a threat to the general public. By participating in this operation, it is clear that unlicensed practice presents a very real problem in South Carolina.”

To review copies of Cease and Desist orders issued as a result of the sting, visit:
http://www.llronline.com/POL/NASCLA_Orders/

Orders are posted to this site as the Boards receive notice the orders have been served on the individuals.

 

The person that has taken over the SC LLR Department is really doing a great job in turning things around and taking care of the contractors as well as the people of South Carolina

State License

State License

While you will hear some people say that a state license is not needed to do HVAC (Mechanical Work), Electrical, Plumbing, and many other trades that are required to obtain a license with the local state boards to be able to run a company. The truth is that this is false.

I can’t speak for other states, but in the state of South Carolina you have to have a license to practice in any industry regulated by their governing body. Anyone not obtaining a license to operate their business is working illegally as you can see by the email they sent out to all legally
licensed businesses and people who will be operating in the State of South Carolina.
You can lookup anyone that is legally allowed to operate a regulated business in South Carolina at https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/LookupMain.aspx

[Begin Email]

TO ALL RESIDENTIAL ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING, HVAC, SPECIALTY REGISTRANTS AND COA’S LICENSED IN SOUTH CAROLINA:

You are required to renew your South Carolina license/registration before midnight on June 30, 2015, in order to continue practicing in this state.  Online renewal is now available at https://eservice.llr.sc.gov/SecurePortal/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fOnlineRenewals%2f .  You should have received renewal instructions in the mail that included your USERID and password for renewing online.

The Residential Builders Commission changed to biennial licensure periods for individuals.  This means when you renew your license, it will be valid until June 30, 2017.

Bond On File, Limited and Unlimited will no longer print on the pocketcard, your bond expiration date or “no bond on file” will be listed on Licensee Lookup.

IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO RENEW YOUR LICENSE, please contact the Board by e-mail at contact.rbc@llr.sc.gov and indicate in the subject line, “Do not wish to renew Residential license”.  Please include your name and license number.  If you later wish to renew, you may do so until June 30, 2015, upon payment of the renewal fee.  If you do not renew your license before June 30, 2018, you will be required to file a new application and take and pass the examination again (no exam required for COA or Specialty Registrant RBS).

If you cannot renew online, please go to the Board web site http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/ResidentialBuilders/index.asp?file=pub.htm and download the blank renewal form.  The Board will not be able to accept requests for forms by phone, fax or e-mail.

It is critical that the board has your current e-mail and mailing addresses because the pocket card will be mailed to you.  Please send mailing address and e-mail changes to contact.rbc@llr.sc.gov prior to renewing online.

[/End Of Email]

 

Laws and Legal Help

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[su_tab title=”State Law”]

Here is the law regarding the SC LLR:
SECTION 40-1-30. Authorization to practice.

It is unlawful for a person to engage in a profession or occupation regulated by a board or commission administered by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation without holding a valid authorization to practice as required by statute or regulation.

An authorization to practice issued pursuant to this title is valid for up to two years and is renewable on renewal dates as established by the Director of Labor, Licensing and Regulation with the consent of each applicable regulatory board.

HISTORY: 1996 Act No. 453, Section 2.
[/su_tab]
[su_tab title=”Regulated Fields”]

Board of Accountancy

Board of Architectural Examiners

Athletic Commission

Auctioneers Commission

Board of Barber Examiners

Accessibility Committee of the Building Codes Council

Building Code Council

Board of Chiropractic Examiners

Contractors’ Licensing Board

Board of Cosmetology

Board of Dentistry

Engineers and Land Surveyors Board

Environmental Certification Board

Board of Registration for Foresters

Board of Funeral Service

Board of Registration for Geologists

Manufactured Housing Board

Board of Medical Examiners

Modular Buildings Board of Appeals

Board of Nursing

Long Term Health Care Administrators Board

Board of Occupational Therapy

Board of Examiners in Opticianry

Board of Examiners in Optometry

Board of Pharmacy

Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

Pilotage Commission

Board of Podiatry Examiners

Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors and Marital and Family Therapists

Board of Examiners in Psychology

Board of Pyrotechnic Safety

Real Estate Appraisers Board

Real Estate Commission

Residential Builders Commission

Board of Social Work Examiners

Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

[/su_tab]
[su_tab title=”Report Unlicensed Workers”]

Here is the link to help you file your complaint:
https://eservice.llr.sc.gov/OnlineComplaint/

[/su_tab]
[/su_tabs]

Summer 2015

Summer 2015

Well we are now starting to get to the summer of 2015.

Starting on Calendar Week 25 and they are predicting some very hot weather for the Upstate of South Carolina. Temperature ranges are supposed to be between low 90’s to about 95° at the highest and wrapping up at 89° towards the end of the week.

Some people think that we are very elated when we hear about high temperatures that reach
the danger zone above 85°, but in actuality we dread it just as bad. As the heat begins keep in mind to be very cautious.

Here is some helpful advice from the CDC:

The best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

  • Photo of athlete drinking water.Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
    • Infants and young children
    • People aged 65 or older
    • People who have a mental illness
    • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:

  • Photo of woman relaxing in the shade.Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.  A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

If you have to work in this heat like we do then please keep in mind this information from OSHA:

To prevent heat related illness and fatalities:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Rest in the shade to cool down.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
  • Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on fellow workers.
  • “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.

You can read more about OSHA guidelines to heat related illness prevention at:
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html

Dependable Service

Dependable Heating Company

We got a call that a customer’s unit had went down, they called us because they know we are dependable.
It was late at night, but we don’t let that stop us from being a dependable heating and air conditioning company.
We got as much information from the customer as possible about what was going on
then we took what parts we thought might be an issue.

We arrived on the call found the customer had a bad combustion fan. We fixed it got them going again and wrapped everything up. Customer was ecstatic about having their heat on this very cold night and staying warm, and that they could depend on us to keep them comfortable.

HVAC Contractors Must Be Licensed with the SC LLR

Every two years everyone that practices in a field that is regulated by the South Carolina LLR must register with the state every two years and pay their fee for registration. Some people try to lie and say that it is just a suggestion and that you don’t really need a license to operate a regulated business in the state of South Carolina, but as you can see in this letter they sent out to everyone that is a legal business in the state of South Carolina you can see that you must have a license to operate any business that they regulate that includes anyone doing Heating and Cooling, Electrical, Plumbing, and a whole lot of other regulated businesses out there.

Below is the exact email the state sent out to every legal business:

TO ALL RESIDENTIAL ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING, HVAC, SPECIALTY REGISTRANTS AND COA’S LICENSED IN SOUTH CAROLINA:

You are required to renew your South Carolina license/registration before midnight on June 30, 2015, in order to continue practicing in this state.  Online renewal is now available at https://eservice.llr.sc.gov/SecurePortal/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fOnlineRenewals%2f .  You should have received renewal instructions in the mail that included your USERID and password for renewing online. 

The Residential Builders Commission changed to biennial licensure periods for individuals.  This means when you renew your license, it will be valid until June 30, 2017.

Bond On File, Limited and Unlimited will no longer print on the pocketcard, your bond expiration date or “no bond on file” will be listed on Licensee Lookup.

IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO RENEW YOUR LICENSE, please contact the Board by e-mail at contact.rbc@llr.sc.gov and indicate in the subject line, “Do not wish to renew Residential license”.  Please include your name and license number.  If you later wish to renew, you may do so until June 30, 2015, upon payment of the renewal fee.  If you do not renew your license before June 30, 2018, you will be required to file a new application and take and pass the examination again (no exam required for COA or Specialty Registrant RBS).

If you cannot renew online, please go to the Board web site http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/ResidentialBuilders/index.asp?file=pub.htm and download the blank renewal form.  The Board will not be able to accept requests for forms by phone, fax or e-mail.

It is critical that the board has your current e-mail and mailing addresses because the pocket card will be mailed to you.  Please send mailing address and e-mail changes to contact.rbc@llr.sc.gov prior to renewing online. 

Electrical Fire Danger

Hello,

I get very sad when I hear every year about someone, or a family of people dying, or being seriously injured in an electrical fire. The best time to raise awareness is when something unfortunate has happened however. This is nothing uncommon in reality since you will see a mention of calling the local fire department for smoke detectors and mention of checking your smoke detectors in the home.

For more information and help with your electrical needs
Call America’s Service Repair @ 864-354-9108 or (864) 648-9113

People tend to put things off especially spending money until a later time it is human nature. That however can often prove to be fatal with electricity.

One of the problems we see often is from portable heaters. People try to use them to supplement a central heating and air system either because their primary system has failed, or because they think it will save them money.

As you can see by this table that the continuous load is different than the amperage rating of a wire:

Nominal Rated Circuit Capacity Continuous Rated Circuit Capacity
5 amps 4 amps
10 amps 8 amps
15 amps 12 amps
20 amps 16 amps
30 amps 24 amps
50 amps 40 amps
100 amps 80 amps
200 amps 160 amps

We recently got a call from a customer that had a heating system that was broken down.
While there I noticed they were using portable electric heaters as a heating source.
The last thing I told the customer before I left was to watch out for those portable electric heaters since they can be dangerous.

The next day we got a call that the customer had plugged in one more portable electric heater to try and stay warm. This was enough to overload the circuit and cause it to blow a fuse and catch fire. Lucky the customer was there to be able to deal with it.  More often the customer is away from the home when the fire starts, or they are sleeping when it starts and don’t get a chance to put it out.

Here are some pictures of the fuse box and the damage to give you a first hand look at what happens.

2014-12-19_00040 2014-12-19_00039 2014-12-19_00038 2014-12-19_00037 2014-12-19_00036 2014-12-07_00023 2014-12-07_00022 2014-12-07_00021 2014-12-06_00018 2014-12-19_00045 2014-12-19_00043 2014-12-19_00042 2014-12-19_00041

For more information and help with your electrical needs
Call America’s Service Repair @ 864-354-9108 or (864) 648-9113

Radio Ad

Sorry it has been so long since the last post.

Life gets busy and with all the events going on in our country
I just plum forgot to post.

We have a great ad running that has been on a little while.
If you are in the Upstate of South Carolina about 25 mile radius of Seneca
you can listen to our ad on WGOG 96.3FM it starts about 12:40PM right before
the Flea Market program.

South Carolina Cracking Down On Unlicensed Workers

I know that we all need to work and make a living and support our families that is why we all put up with what we do to make ends meet.
But we have laws in this state and many others to protect the trades and help ensure that people get a good job when they hire someone.

 

South Carolina started a long time ago when I was just a young man South Carolina started doing just that.

As I recall it was somewhere around the early 90’s they started out by requiring you to get a specialty card. This was just a first stage in the years to come.

I had one for years before they required you to have a license. So everyone lost their specialty cards since they were no longer doing that (with many of the jobs out there that is).

Many people were required then to get an actual license it was hard on many I am sure but it was for the best for all of us.

Now they are going and cracking down even further. The law has always read that you had to be registered with the SC LLR to engage in many trades.

But now they are going and cracking down on the workers out there that have no license and are engaging in the trades anyway.

Our family was doing some work for a assistant to the 13th Solicitor and they got around to talking about work and licensing.

The assistant let him know that not only were they aware, but had actually recently sent several people to prison for violating the laws of the state of South Carolina.

I feel sorry for the people that they ended up in prison, but at the same time everyone has had equal opportunity to get ready and get legally able to engage in whatever field they wished to do.

We spend lots of money abiding by the laws to engage in our trades and it is not fair to legit trades people to have to compete with those that do not care to follow the laws and regulations of our industry or our State.

I hope that as a home owner you will ensure that you choose licensed contractors to do your work; and I hope that the people out there that wish to engage in whatever trade will get the license and engage in good professional practices.

Whatever money you save by trying to get around the law will not be worth it when you end up in prison.

Spotting an unlicensed contractor

How to verify a licensed contractor

 Avoid Unlicensed Contractor

Original publish date by America’s Service Repair  Saturday, 04 June 2011

Many people on Craigslist are saying they are licensed contractors in fact they are actually an Unlicensed Contractor.
Sad to say almost all of them are lying about it.
As a licensed contractor in the state of South Carolina
I will attempt to help you learn to spot the Unlicensed Contractor.

The easiest way first is that most of them list no license information at all.
As a licensed contractor I am proud of my license and don’t mind boasting about it.
I run a great business and am proud of it. So why would they hide it?
Easy enough answer is they really are not licensed.
The next thing to look for is; those that say they are licensed but only hold a EPA license
for freon. This is in no way at all a valid license to practice in the field of HVAC in this state.
This is a card that anyone must hold to handle freon that is it, IT IS NOT certification
that they know how to install or repair HVAC equipment.
They know this but, they are preying on the fact that you don’t know this. Shame on them.

There is only one true way to check to see if you have a REAL licensed contractor or a fraud:
https://verify.llronline.com/LicLookup/LookupMain.aspx

This works not just for checking HVAC and other professionals but Electricians, Plumbers
and many other professions as well. Be fair with the contractors they might be listed with either
the Residential Builders board or the Commercial Contractors board.
Here is the South Carolina Laws regarding the right to practice in any field that is regulated by the LLR

SECTION 40-1-30. Authorization to practice. It is unlawful for a person to engage in a profession or occupation regulated by a board or commission administered by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation without holding a valid authorization to practice as required by statute or regulation. An authorization to practice issued pursuant to this title is valid for up to two years and is renewable on renewal dates as established by the Director of Labor, Licensing and Regulation with the consent of each applicable regulatory board.

SECTION 40-1-200. Unlawful practice. A person who practices or offers to practice a regulated profession or occupation in this State in violation of this article or who knowingly submits false information for the purpose of obtaining a license is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than fifty thousand dollars.

Don’t hire an Unlicensed Contractor not only is it illegal, it is also what is killing the trade. Every time you hire an Unlicensed Contractor you are taking away work from someone that does deserve it, and you are creating a situation where the honest, and good contractors won’t be around due to not having enough work to stay in business. Be honest, and do the right thing, and make sure you hire only State Licensed Contractors.