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Secure Your Network with Data Communications Firewalls

One of the best steps you can take to secure your home or business network is to beef up your firewalls.

A firewall is a type of software or firmware that offers an additional layer of protection to your network against potential outside attackers, preventing unauthorized access. It monitors and inspects all incoming and outgoing traffic, and can be configured to your specifications to block potential threats. Without a data firewall in Alexandria, VA, you would likely have many more issues with your network security that could quickly become problematic.

Here’s an overview of why you should use firewalls to protect your network:

  • Preventing unwanted system access: This is the biggest reason to use a firewall—it will protect you against any unauthorized access from remote locations. Hackers who are able to take over your network remotely will be able to cause a lot of damage to your systems, or at the very least steal a lot of your data. So long as you have correctly configured your firewall, you will be able to disable remote desktop access to prevent hackers from getting at your computer.
  • Securing old PCs: If, for any reason, you’re still using old PCs or other devices that are running on old, unsupported systems like Windows 7 or Windows XP, you’ll need plenty of firewall protection to guard against outside attacks. Because these operating systems are no longer supported, it means their security features are outdated. But firewalls will only give you so much protection—for many reasons, it’s important to upgrade your operating system if you’re using an outdated one.
  • Blocking content: If you want to take greater control over the content you’ll allow to be accessed on your network (ideal for business networks, school networks or home networks where you have children browsing the internet), then you can use firewalls to block any unsuitable content. This is similar to the kind of content filtering you’d find in parental control applications.
  • Safer online gaming: If you intend to play any games online, you can use protected network firewalls in Alexandria, VA to guard against malware that was developed specifically to target gamers on unsecured or compromised servers. Generally speaking, your firewalls will configure themselves based on the game’s requirements during installation and setup.

While there are plenty of ways in which a firewall can be beneficial for your network security, it’s also important to note that a firewall will not offer you full, complete protection against malware. Firewalls are not able to tackle certain types of viruses, keyloggers and other malware. It’s in your best interest to use firewalls as just one tool in your network protection arsenal, along with antivirus tools.

We understand that network security can be a complicated topic for the average person to digest, so if you have any questions about how to set up a data firewall or the benefits of a protected network firewall in Alexandria, VA, we encourage you to contact Walsh Electric today. We’d be happy to provide you with further information.

The Importance of Circuit Breaker Maintenance

Your circuit panel is one of the most important parts of your home’s electrical system. Like any other important piece of infrastructure in your home, it is important that you take proper care of it and engage in ongoing maintenance to ensure it lasts as long as possible. By performing regular circuit breaker maintenance in Alexandria, VA, you’ll be able to protect your electrical system against short circuits, overcurrents and potential fire hazards.

To be able to truly care for your circuit panel, you must have at least a basic understanding of its components and how it works.

Components of a circuit breaker

Most circuit breakers have five primary components, which are as follows:

  • The frame, which contains all of the below components and offers insulation to contain electrical arc
  • The operating mechanism, which is tasked with opening and closing contacts
  • The trip unit, which tracks current flow, senses any abnormalities in the system and causes the operating mechanism to open up the contacts as needed
  • The interrupting structure, which features the arc chutes and all parts that carry currents except for the trip unit
  • The terminal connections, which offer a connection from the breaker to the conductor

How circuit breakers work

The service panel you see when you open up your circuit breaker is essentially the central control station for your home’s electricity. The breaker is an alternative to the fuse boxes found in older homes, which are now outdated.

The purpose of the circuit breaker is to evenly distribute electricity throughout your home via circuits, and to prevent any individual circuit you have on the system from drawing too much power. In cases where there is too much power, the wires would overheat and potentially cause a fire. Each of the circuits at the panel is connected by a circuit breaker, which protects the system from overcurrents. If overcurrent occurs, the corresponding breaker will switch off to prevent any further overheating from occurring.

The good news is that there isn’t a whole lot you need to do to maintain your circuit breakers—any significant electrical work should be handled by a trained and certified professional. This includes repairs or upgrades.

However, there are a few things you can do on occasion just to make sure everything is looking good and functioning properly. First, you can check the physical condition of the service panel, and look for any signs of moisture or rust. If you notice any damage, rust or moisture, be sure to get an electrician out to your property as soon as possible.

Once a year, you should also go through and trip and reset all of your circuit breakers. This will help you make sure they’re still working, and prevent corrosion from setting in. Otherwise, a corroded breaker might not properly trip when you need it to work and protect you from overcurrent.

For more information about the steps you can take for proper circuit breaker maintenance in Alexandria, VA, we encourage you to contact the team at Walsh Electric today.

The Importance of Your Circuit Breaker

Every home has a circuit breaker. When the lights go out or a fuse trips, it’s the spot you head toward to turn everything back on. Your circuit breaker is the metallic box that sits in your garage or some other utility space in your home. It’s got two vertical rows of switches that control the flow of electricity to every room in your home, plus one big, shiny switch that can shut down the power to your entire house.

You probably already knew all that. What you may not realize, though, is the critical importance of your circuit breaker in Alexandria, VA.

Why does my circuit breaker trip?

In essence, your circuit breaker is an essential safety device in your home. Each of the switches on a circuit board is capable of channeling a certain amount of energy. When a switch is in the ON position, electricity is allowed to flow freely through your circuits.

Each of the switches on your circuit board is attached to an electromagnet that gains charge depending on the amount of energy flowing through it. The more energy, the stronger the electromagnet. If that flow of electricity gets powerful enough, the electromagnet gains enough power to force a switch on your circuit breaker to the OFF position, and voila! You get an outage.

What causes my breaker to trip?

There are several reasons that a circuit breaker can trip. The most common (and perhaps the most obvious) is that too much electricity is flowing through the circuit. This could happen as a result of a power surge from the grid, or it could happen if you have too many devices plugged into a specific circuit in your home.

When components in your home malfunction, either by fusing together or because of a disruption to the power lines in your home, you may also experience a circuit trip.

Label, label, label

Ideally, your circuit breaker in Alexandria, VA is clearly labeled, letting you know which switches control which parts of your home. If you discover that your circuit breaker is inaccurate or isn’t marked, you must label it as soon as possible.

A properly-labeled circuit breaker is essential for spotting problem areas quickly and accurately.

How to handle circuit breaker issues

More often than not, fixing a tripped circuit is as simple as locating your circuit breaker and flipping the tripped switch back in the right direction. If your main circuit trips, be sure to turn all of the circuits off before flipping the primary circuit back on. Then, you can turn on each switch one by one.

If your circuit breaker trips continuously, it’s time to call a professional.

Your trusted electrician

If you have questions about the benefits of your circuit breaker in Alexandria, VA, make the call to Walsh Electric. We have 35 years of experience in the installation, maintenance and upgrading of electrical components for residential and commercial clients alike. Get the best electrical service in the area. Call Walsh Electric today!

Benefits of Thermal Imaging

In every home in America, regardless of how big or small, there are dozens of feet of electrical wire running behind the walls. On an average day, you might not give these wires much thought. However, when something goes wrong in your house’s electrical infrastructure, suddenly, all those feet of wire start to look like real culprits.

Fortunately, when you are looking for the source of an electrical problem, help is available. It’s called thermal imaging, and it’s been rescuing homeowners and business owners alike for years. There are several thermal imaging benefits in Alexandria, VA. Here are some of the most important.

What is thermal imaging?

If you’ve seen an action movie or a science fiction epic in the last 20 years, the odds are good that you’ve witnessed thermal imaging in action. A thermal imaging device translates heat into the visible spectrum. This allows users to see the spots throughout your home where heat is coming from. In terms of commercial and residential electrical work, thermal imaging provides several bonuses.

The home inspection aid

When you’re seeing problems in your home, you may not immediately understand what the issue is or where it’s coming from. A professional electrician can use thermal imaging to inspect every corner of your home. This evaluation will allow any pros to pinpoint problems like leaks, air loss and heat loss throughout your home.

Identify electrical problems

Thermal imaging benefits in Alexandria, VA extend to electrical issues, as well. When your home’s electrical components are giving you problems, an electrician can use thermal imaging to identify electrical faults. Issues with overheating circuits or a failed motor could pose severe threats to the health and safety of your family. Thermal imaging can pinpoint these problems and eliminate them before they do serious damage.

Identify problems quickly

When your power is continually flickering, or you’re not getting energy to a critical appliance, every second counts. With thermal imaging, an electrician can enter your home and highlight the problem in no time, saving you valuable days of struggling meeting your electrical needs.

Save money, save stress

If you’re having problems with your electricity, your top priority is to get it fixed quickly without draining your bank account. Thermal imaging can help identify your issue much faster than conventional methods. This type of money-saving maintenance in Alexandria, VA saves you stress in the short term as well as the long term.

Your electrical ally

Explore thermal imaging benefits in Alexandria, VA with help from a trusted team of electricians. In our corner of Virginia, that means placing a call to Walsh Electric. Since we opened our doors in 1985, Walsh Electric has offered a massive selection of electrical services. From installation to repair to upgrades to maintenance and everything in between, you can count on us.
Throughout the greater Washington, DC area, customers sing the praises of our courteous, highly-skilled team members. When you need top-notch electrical work, call on Walsh Electric—you won’t regret it. Give us a call or visit us online today to schedule your estimate.

Evaluating Your Electrical Contractor: Which Questions to Ask

Choosing commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA is a big decision for any business. There are many different qualified companies to choose from, but we like to think that our team at Walsh Electric offers a level of service and affordability that other firms simply can’t match.
However, it’s still important to do your research and evaluate all of your options before picking an electrical contractor that you’re comfortable with. Read on for some questions you can ask when you’re beginning this process—when it’s all said and done, you’ll be glad you did the legwork to pick a contractor that’s the perfect fit for you and your business.

What guarantees do they offer?

When you’re looking for commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA, you want to be sure it’s not a process you’ll have to repeat in a year or two. You want to be certain you’re going with a firm that not only does quality work, but is also willing and prepared to make anything right that goes wrong.
Let’s say you’ve talked to a contractor about a lighting question pertaining to your business. They’ve proposed a plan that sounds great, and you’re both happy with the price that’s been agreed upon. The trick at this point is to make sure they have guarantees to stand behind this work if anything goes wrong down the road. Don’t be scared to ask electricians about these policies—a good contractor will offer guarantees for their work and will be perfectly willing to discuss them.

What are their qualifications and experience?

The world of commercial electrical work is quite a bit different than residential electrical work. If you had an electrician work on your home and you were happy with the results, don’t make the mistake of automatically assuming they’ll be a good fit for commercial work as well. Some firms can handle both types of projects with ease, of course, but you want to ask the right questions to ensure that this is indeed the case.
Commercial electrical work has its own host of codes and regulations to follow that don’t necessarily correspond to residential work. A good firm will not only have the knowledge of all of these, but will also participate in frequent training with its technicians to make sure they’re up to date on any changes.

How does payment work?

The scope of services is not the only thing to go over with a commercial electrical contractor in Alexandria, VA—you also want to have a clear understanding of the payment schedule. Find out how soon you can receive a bid, and make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for and what the payment schedule is slated to be.
Picking a qualified electrical contractor is a big decision, but it’s one you can make with peace of mind if you go into it knowing you’ve done the appropriate research and asked the right questions. Don’t be shy about asking as many follow-up questions as you need to—a good electrical contractor will willingly answer anything with detail to make sure a potential client is comfortable.
For more information about how Walsh Electric is poised to tackle any commercial electrical project you might have in mind, get in touch with us today.