Category Archives: Articles

View articles published by Walsh Electric. Click to learn more or give us a call with any questions or comments.

How Switchgear Maintenance Helps to Avoid Failure

If your switchgear malfunctions, the results can be dangerous. Damaging a switchgear on its own is liable to be very expensive. It also can be a potential hazard to people. That’s why it’s critical to implement regular switchgear inspection, testing and maintenance. Even if your switchgear says it doesn’t require maintenance, it’s still a smart practice to perform regular checks.

To keep your switchgear and the whole electrical system functioning, bringing in the experts at Walsh Electric is the way to go. We’re the leaders in switchgear preventative maintenance in Alexandria, VA, and our emergency services are available to help you 24/7. Read on to find out the fundamentals in avoiding switchgear failure.

Different approaches

There are several ways to perform switchgear maintenance. Some include those recommended by the National Fire Protection Association and the International Electrical Testing Association. Many involve replacing indicator lights after they’ve failed. Preventative maintenance such as cleaning and lubricating disconnect switches is another common task. Visually inspecting bus connections and breakers is predictive maintenance that can also pay off.

The airline industry has developed an approach that many others now use, known as reliability centered maintenance. This method involves additional maintenance inspection depending on how important system operation is. It also includes analyzing component failure modes and system criticality, then determining what the most effective and appropriate method is for maintaining all components. This can reduce repair costs and shorten outages.

Maintenance outage recommendations

Scheduling electrical system outages to perform maintenance can be inconvenient. Taking the following steps will help ensure things go smoothly:

• Check history of the equipment and note where failures occurred.
• Consider what you believe needs to be repaired or refurbished.
• Consult drawings and other documentation to ensure they’re current.
• Collect all relevant instruction manuals and ensure they are correct.
• Perform a visual inspection as well as partial discharge testing and thermal scanning. This allows you to solve problems whenever they occur.
• Order all parts and materials you’ll need for the outage before it happens.
• Stick to a work plan schedule that is communicated to all staff.

When the outage occurs, it’s important to shut down the switchgear and follow procedures. Go over any drawing inconsistencies and issues with connections, then perform all inspections and cleaning. This way you can begin testing and perform needed maintenance.

The reality is that the business of switchgear maintenance in Alexandria, VA is complex and best left to the professionals. Walsh Electric has built a reputation over the course of more than 35 years in the business. Our team has extensive experience in residential, commercial and government fields and has worked throughout Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland.

Our customers keep coming back to us because of the high level of service we provide. We’re a licensed, bonded and insured company that always responds quickly to service calls. Day or night, our emergency electrical services are available. Give us a call today to learn more or schedule an appointment—we look forward to assisting you soon!

Signs of Electrical Problems in the Home

Homeowners depend on electricity to operate kitchen and laundry appliances, power HVAC systems, charge electronic devices and light the home. Unfortunately, home electrical systems don’t always work the way they’re supposed to. Electrical problems in your home in Alexandria, VA can cause lots of issues, from appliance failure to increased fire risk. Identifying the signs of electrical problems in the home is important when it comes to keeping your home safe and avoiding electrical issues.

Most common signs of electrical problems

There are a lot of possible signs of electrical problems in your home in Alexandria, VA. Learning more about some of these common signs can help you identify issues sooner and handle repairs proactively. Here are some of the most common symptoms of electrical problems that require professional maintenance or repair:

  • Frequent circuit breaker problems: While it’s not uncommon for circuits to trip occasionally, frequent circuit breaker problems indicate a bigger electrical issue. If you’re constantly dealing with blown fuses and circuit breaker shorts, your home might not have the electrical capacity necessary to handle all your appliances, lighting and electronic devices. Thankfully, an electrician can upgrade your system to prevent these problems from continuing to occur in the future.
  • Flickering lights: Another common electrical issue is flickering lights. Sometimes, light flickering is caused by a defective bulb. However, if you’ve noticed that multiple lights are flickering and the issue isn’t solved by replacing the bulb, it’s likely there’s a bigger electrical problem to address. The problem might be caused by damaged electrical wiring or a circuit breaker issue. A professional electrician can inspect your electrical system to figure out why your lights are flickering and provide the necessary maintenance and repair services to get them working properly again.
  • Hot light fixtures: If you feel excessive heat around your light fixtures, it’s likely that they aren’t insulated properly. This issue might also be caused by using the wrong lightbulb wattage for your fixture. No matter the cause of the problem, it can contribute to increased fire risk. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to get the fixtures inspected right away to minimize risks.
  • Electrical shocks: There’s nothing pleasant about electrical shocks, even minor ones, but this is a common electrical problem for homeowners. If you’ve noticed a slight shock or tingle when touching appliances or electrical fixtures in your home, there’s likely an issue with your electrical wiring. Since these problems can get worse over time, it’s important to call an electrician right away for wiring inspections and repairs.

Do you have electrical problems in your home in Alexandria, VA?

If you’ve noticed some signs of electrical problems in your home, reach out to the team at Walsh Electric for help with inspections and repairs. Whether you’re dealing with flickering lights or blown fuses, our team is here to provide the repair solutions you need. In addition to our regular repair and maintenance services, we also offer 24/7 emergency services so our customers can get the help they need right away. Give us a call to find out more about everything we have to offer!

Make Sure Your Building Is Well Lit

Lighting is very important when it comes to aesthetic appeal and functionality in commercial buildings, but a lot of business owners don’t keep their buildings well lit. While adding lighting to a commercial building can be a big investment, there are lots of benefits of a well-lit commercial building in Alexandria, VA that can significantly outweigh the costs. Keep reading to learn more about why it’s so important to keep commercial buildings well lit.

Benefits of well-lit commercial buildings

Lighting upgrades can be expensive, but there are lots of benefits that make this project well worth the investment. Here are some of the most significant benefits of having a well-lit commercial building in Alexandria, VA:

  • Safer environment: One of the main ways that improved lighting benefits business owners is by improving safety in their commercial buildings in Alexandria, VA. A building that’s well lit is much safer for employees, customers and visitors alike. When a space is properly illuminated, it’s much easier for people to see where they’re going and avoid obstacles that might be in the way, including furniture, cords and debris. This is especially important for employees and customers who have poor eyesight.
  • Productivity boost: Another one of the great benefits of a well-lit commercial building in Alexandria, VA is that it can boost productivity. When people are in a well-lit space, they are more focused and more productive. Good lighting can stave off fatigue and keep workers engaged in their tasks throughout the day.
  • Reduced eye strain: Attempting to read and write in a poorly lit space can cause eye strain and increase fatigue during the workday. Improving lighting can reduce eye strain and make it easier for employees to read, write and handle other tasks at work. Not only does this minimize eye stress and tiredness, it also allows employees to get work done more quickly and efficiently.
  • Better mood: Staring at a bright computer screen while sitting in a dim room can contribute to mood problems and even depression. Keeping lighting bright can have lots of positive effects on employee mood throughout the day. This is especially important during the winter months, when the days are shorter and there is less natural light coming into the space.
  • Improved aesthetic appeal: Lighting can make a big difference when it comes to the way your building looks. Having good lighting in a commercial building can make the environment appear more professional and more inviting. This helps make customers feel more welcome in a space, but it also benefits employees. Employees who work in environments that are aesthetically appealing often have better morale and feel happier while at work.

Get commercial lighting upgrades

Improve safety and enjoy the other benefits of a well-lit commercial building in Alexandria, VA with help from the team at Walsh Electric. We specialize in comprehensive electrical services for home and business owners alike. No matter your vision for your lighting, our team is here to make it a reality with quality commercial lighting products and services. Find out more about what we have to offer by giving our team a call today.

Intrusion Detection Systems

When it comes to your computer network, you can never be too careful. You probably already have firewalls and spam filters in place, among other tools to prevent unauthorized access—but do you have an IDS, or intrusion detection system in Alexandria, VA? If you haven’t added this layer of security in your commercial network, you may be missing out on detecting malicious activity before it can harm your system.

Here’s the scoop on intrusion detection systems and why you should consider installing one.

What is an IDS?

An IDS inspects the network traffic and alerts the administrator if something appears to be amiss. Whereas firewalls inspect external traffic that wants to enter the system, these systems inspect all of the internal traffic to ensure nothing untoward has slipped past the firewall. (They can also protect against occasional attacks that originate inside the network.)

Intrusion detection systems do this in two ways. First, they’re programmed to “know” what normal traffic looks like, so they can detect any anomalies present. Second, they compare the traffic against their own database of what attacks look like, including attack techniques and historical data about previous known attacks. This allows the system to evaluate all of the data entering and exiting the network in the blink of an eye, and alert the administrator if there’s something wrong.

Why do I need protection systems in Alexandria, VA?

When it comes to network security, there’s no shortage of hackers and scammers trying to exploit whatever they can. If your network is vulnerable, they can do significant damage before you realize it.

It’s also important to remember that in addition to the malware and viruses that firewalls can detect and ward off, hackers are constantly developing new software and ways to get past existing firewalls. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that you could have some of the best firewall and anti-malware software in the world, only to find that a new virus slipped through. That’s often because the current protection doesn’t know how to detect the issue.

An IDS makes it possible to evaluate all that traffic even after your firewall has done its job. If there’s something strange afoot, administrators will get an alert so they can investigate the issue. Sometimes they catch harmless traffic, but other times, it’s the early alert you need to protect your network from further harm.

Intrusion detection systems monitor both inbound and outbound traffic in an effort to catch any sort of attack, even if it originates from inside the system. In a world where stealing private data makes for valuable currency, it’s smart to put up as many safeguards as you can.

The best thing you can do for your network is to install an IDS and work with savvy network administrators, who can tell the difference between false positives or negatives and the real thing.

If you’re considering installing your own intrusion detection system in Alexandria, VA, Walsh Electric can help. Call us today to learn more about our commercial network installation services.

Nine Reasons to Install and Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans might be considered out of style when it comes to design, but their efficiency and space-saving location makes them a classic. Even though most interior designers eschew including ceiling fans, they’re a smart way to keep your home cooler and keep air circulating.
If you’re thinking about installing home ceiling fans in Alexandria, VA, there are plenty of beautiful, modern options available. Here are some of the best reasons to install ceiling fans in your house:
• Keep your home cooler: First and foremost, installing ceiling fans in your home will keep it cooler in the summer, especially if you use it in conjunction with an air conditioning unit. The constant breeze makes the air feel cooler, which is great in the sweltering, humid Alexandria summers.
• Enjoy efficient circulation: Just as fans keep your home cooler, they also help with circulation and ventilation. Whether paired with an air conditioner or operating on their own, they’ll keep your home’s indoor air quality from feeling stagnant or stifling.
• Winter and summer settings: It’s too chilly in the winter to use your ceiling fan for circulation—or is it? Since hot air rises, your rooms can feel chilly, especially if you have vaulted ceilings. A ceiling fan fixes this problem. You can easily reverse the fan blades’ direction to help distribute warm air back down toward the ground.
• Better lighting: The wide-angle lighting that ceiling fans offer is flattering and bright enough to illuminate even the biggest rooms. They also save you from needing to install other kinds of hanging or recessed lighting.
• Modern designs: The ceiling fans we grew up with in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s are ugly—there’s no getting around it. However, today’s fan designers recognize that and offer modern, customizable blades and lighting that will fit right into your décor. With hundreds of color, design and lighting options available, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.
• Easy to operate: Fans are even easier to operate now. All you need to do is press a button on a remote or flip a switch, and you’ll enjoy freshly circulated air and good lighting.
• Save some space: If you live in a small home, you probably know that the key to good design is to use as much vertical space as possible. Ceiling fans eliminate the need for you to find a place for a floor or tabletop fan when space is at a premium.
• Keep pests at bay: Circulating your air makes it harder for flying insects to bother you, effectively deterring them from hanging around.
• Enjoy quieter operation: Finally, modern ceiling fans are designed to operate virtually soundlessly, unlike past models. You’ll get fresh air, great lighting and peace and quiet.
Ready to install home ceiling fans in your Alexandria, VA rooms? Believe it or not, this can be a pretty challenging project for even a seasoned DIY enthusiast. Fortunately, Walsh Electric can help you install them flawlessly. Get in touch with us today to book an appointment.