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Electrical detective

image Bryan Long, owner of Fusion Electric

AUSTIN - Bryan Long is one of the fortunate ones who found his life’s career path early on. Soon after graduating from high school, his mother’s boyfriend asked him to come to work with him at Mercury Electric. The first job he worked on was doing the electrical infrastructure for a new elementary school.

 

 

 

    “And I’ve been doing electrical ever since,” he said. “It seemed to fit me, and I understood it.”
    Long’s electrical career path had him work there for several years, but he did quit Mercury when he asked to go to their residential division to learn that aspect of the trade, but they said no. Long first got his taste of the residential side when he was asked to handle a job closer to where he lived, which he did.
    “I wanted to learn how to do residential so I could be a more well-rounded electrician,” Long said. He discovered that commercial and residential have different nuances and he wanted to learn all that he could.
    Long went to work for a few other companies, and eventually started Fusion Electric around 2001. He called his company “Fusion” for a fairly simple reason: he worked for a particular company whose name began with a “G.” It didn’t go well, and this company was the only one in his life to ever fire him. “Fusion” begins with an “F,” which put it before the “G” company in the phone book. So there, take that.
    “I really didn’t have a clientele because I had been working for other people,” Long said, of his early days, “and I didn’t feel like that was right, to be taking other people’s clients. I started out as a general handyman at first.” That meant that Long would fix doors and mow yards, and when he discovered his folks needed electrical work, he’d mention he did that too. Eventually, Long was able to drop all the other stuff and just do electrical work.
    Fusion Electric does mainly service calls, repairs and remodels, also boat docks and marinas. Long does not do any new construction. He did do more custom homes in the past but not as much anymore.
    What Long enjoys most is being an electrical detective. “I love trouble-shooting,” he said. “That’s where the fun’s at.” The problem could be a nick in the wiring, or even certain appliances causing the problem.
    Long tells one trouble-shooting story that involved one person’s new television set turning off randomly. Turned out the problem was an old garage door opener whose frequency interfered with the TV when someone opened the garage. Mystery solved.
    “Chasing down a problem is always interesting,” Long said. It gives him satisfaction knowing he has solved a client’s situation.
    A lot has changed since Long first started in the electrical trade. “You name it - I’ve seen it,” he said.
    He mentioned that a big change has been in the residential area. “A lot more safety devices have come out for the residential sector,” he said.
    Also, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth being so prevalent, the need for hard wiring a home all together to produce a “smart home” has been reduced. Everything works through the air as opposed to physical wiring, controlled by an app on a phone or tablet or car.
    Even with the new electrical code book coming out every three years, different jurisdictions can amend or supplement the code with their own rules, providing their supplement is more, not less, than the code book.
    Long keeps his employees up to speed on everything electrical, emphasizing continuing education. He has four folks in the field, one in the shop and one in the office. When he takes a new person on, Long is quick to see if he has the aptitude for electricity, not just the ability to physically connect two wires. He has to understand electricity.
    What Long understands is when your new TV doesn’t work, you might want to check your garage door opener.
    Fusion Electric is an electrical contractor in Marble Falls. -dsz


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Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net