Category Archives: Articles

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

Optimize Your Office with Network Cabling

Offices these days are using a wider range of devices that use wireless network connectivity, but that doesn’t mean structured cabling systems have become outdated. Though wireless has become standard for convenience, there is no denying that structured cable networks still provide a significantly more reliable connection and greater security than wireless.

Here are just a few of the reasons why you should focus on optimizing your office with network cabling with the help of our commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA:

  • Structured cabling systems are simpler: The vast majority of businesses use a variety of devices and equipment all at the same time. Single cabling systems significantly cut down on the complexity associated with the use of multiple wiring infrastructure in a single location. This means that if a problem occurs and you’re using structured cabling, you will have a much easier time pinpointing the problem that you need to solve. The result is greater efficiency and ease of use for everyone in your office, and an easier job for your IT professionals.
  • Less downtime: We already noted that structured cabling makes for better organization. This means it becomes easier to solve connectivity problems, and your business won’t suffer from as much downtime. Considering downtime can lead to lost sales opportunities, this is an important benefit. In this way, structured cabling can help save your business some money.
  • Network Cable

  • Flexibility: Structured cabling is a highly flexible type of network system. It can easily accommodate new additions and moves to new locations. This means if you ever relocate, you won’t need to worry about having to start from scratch with your cabling, which can be a big source of relief for companies that have invested a significant amount of time in it already.
  • Adaptability: Structured cabling systems provide very high bandwidth to those who use it. This means you’ll be able to support a wider variety of applications that might require more bandwidth, such as video conferencing, streaming and various other forms of multimedia, all without interrupting your connection and the system in general. This also helps you future-proof your system—with greater bandwidth and a wider range of capabilities, you’ll be prepared for new technologies and features as they get introduced, which, given the speed of technological innovation we’ve seen in our modern world, is a crucial benefit to be able to take advantage of.
  • Simple management: A structured cable system allows you to keep better track of which cable is connected to which location, meaning you don’t have to constantly get in touch with a network support team to deal with cable management. Again, this also makes it much easier to find problems when they do occur within your system.
  • If you’re interested in learning more about structured cable networks and the various benefits associated with them, we encourage you to contact the commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA at Walsh Electric today. We’d be happy to answer any of your questions and tell you more about your options.

Use Occupancy Sensors to Automate Your Lighting

Are you looking for a way to save some money on your utility bills at your office?
We encourage you to look into using occupancy sensors to benefit from greater automation of your lighting throughout your facility. Studies show that lighting can account for 20 percent of energy use in an office building. The use of lighting controls like occupancy sensors can reduce that amount by 25 percent, which, over a number of years, can add up to some significant savings.

Occupancy sensors are not a particularly new feature for electrical lighting installation in Alexandria, VA, though the technology has certainly become more sophisticated over the decades. If you have been under the assumption that occupancy sensors don’t work well or can be an inconvenience, you are likely basing that off of the outdated, inferior sensor technology. Today’s sensors will almost completely eliminate issues of lights turning off while occupants are in the room but sitting still, which had previously been the most common complaint associated with these sensors.

Here’s a quick sampling of some of the types of technology used in today’s occupancy sensors.

Ultrasonic motion detection
Ultrasonic technology is ideal for locations in which there are small movements that occur over extended periods of time, such as a person typing at a computer. The technology involves the release of a pulse into space, and that pulse bouncing back. If there is movement in the space, the bounce-back comes with a different reading, and the sensor will then know there is movement. The sensor is also capable of reading these pulses around corners. This technology does have slightly higher power requirements, but it is highly effective at reading what might otherwise be considered minute movements.

Passive infrared motion detection
Passive infrared (PIR) sensors are ideal for detecting major sources of motion, such as a person walking through space. It works by tracking heat sources and their movement when in direct range of view of the sensor. These sensors are less expensive and have lower power requirements.

Dual-tech motion detection
This type of sensor comes at a higher price, but also gives you greater flexibility, as it detects both major and minor movements as described above. Occupancy sensors will not turn on the lighting until both PIR and ultrasonic elements in the system have been triggered.

The most holistic occupancy sensor setups will make use of each type of technology as much as possible. There might, for example, be hallways in your building where PIR sensors are more than sufficient for your needs. Rarely will you have a person just sitting in the hallway for long periods of time, so it makes sense to use PIR technology there.
Office spaces that are actively used throughout the day, however, are better served by ultrasonic or dual-tech motion detection to track those smaller movements.

For more information about how you can make effective use of motion detection and occupancy sensors, contact Walsh Electric to discuss your electrical lighting installation in Alexandria, VA.

The Importance of Regular Commercial Electrical Equipment Maintenance

When you’re a commercial property owner, you have a big responsibility to keep your employees or commercial tenants safe. Part of that responsibility is scheduling regular maintenance and upkeep at a time that won’t interfere with your business or your employees’ lives. Although scheduling routine maintenance with commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA can disrupt productivity, it’s a necessary procedure that can save money and lives.

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to keep your property and equipment safe for your employees, customers or tenants. Electrical problems can destroy a building or business, so it’s crucial to stay on top of the work. Plus, there are other benefits:

  • Reduce energy costs: When you take care of your electrically-powered equipment, including HVAC units and other major building systems, you’re prolonging their lifespan and significantly reducing the likelihood of a fire. Faulty electricity can contribute to fire hazards or even create fires on its own, so you’re best off scheduling an inspection as often as necessary. Plus, when you take the time to schedule an electrical inspection, you’re also taking the opportunity to find out where you might be wasting electricity or diverting precious resources.
  • Save lives: If a fire breaks out in your building, people could suffer unthinkable consequences—and not just loss of data or records. Electrical problems are one of the leading causes of residential and commercial fires. If you schedule a simple consultation with your electrician, you could get rid of potential hazards. This is especially important if you’ve noticed problems such as breakers tripping—that could be a big sign that your building’s electricity is no longer safe for its inhabitants. Your commercial electrical contractor in Alexandria, VA should be able to tell you whether your business and employees or tenants are safe.
  • Get on a schedule: Establishing a routine maintenance schedule isn’t just good for your building and its occupants—it’s also great for your peace of mind. No matter how up-to-date your current equipment is, it’s important to make sure it’s functioning properly. The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is never more applicable than when it comes to protecting human lives and property! Plus, you’ll have the benefit of knowing that you’ve crossed all your Ts and dotted all your Is—which is important if anything should happen to your building.

Most electrical systems are designed to last about 50 years, and regular maintenance and inspections go a long way toward keeping systems functioning at their best. Is it time to schedule your building’s next electrical inspection?

Commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA

Walsh Electric is your premier source when you need commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA. We offer an unparalleled level of service for all our clients’ electrical needs, whether commercial or residential. We have licensed technicians on call 24/7 to serve all of your needs and provide support at any time of day. Call us today for a free estimate. We look forward to working with you soon!

How to Prepare Your Electrical Panel for the Winter

Getting ready for the winter season can involve more than you might have considered—for example, have you thought about making sure your electrical panel is in good working order? With the extra heating and holiday light needs, it is useful to make sure that everything is in good working order so that your holiday season goes smoothly. Read on for some tips from the residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA at Walsh Electric.

Proactive steps

  • Be efficient: Have you heard of “phantom loads”? That’s the measure of electricity that your appliances require when plugged in, even if you’re not using them. By keeping your appliances and other electrical items unplugged when not in use, you’re reducing your energy load.
  • Prepare a generator: If you live in an area prone to power outages, making sure your generator is charged and ready to go is key. This is especially important because having a power outage in the winter can mean frozen pipes.
  • Test your outlets and detectors: Use a multimeter to detect any electrical outlets that are underperforming or may be failing.
  • Close and cover your panel: Keeping your panel closed prevents it from acquiring moisture, which can seriously damage your electricity.

Sources of problems

  • Space heaters: Space heaters require a huge amount of electricity, and thus can create a heightened risk for house fires. When you use them during the cold and rainy weather, be sure to unplug them after use.
  • Static electricity: Static resulting from dry air can result in sparks and fire damage. To combat this, use a home humidifier to keep your air at the proper level of moisture.
  • Power outages: Power outages can be dangerous to your home—is your panel over- or underloaded? Getting your home’s electrical system inspected can help you prepare, as can getting a generator to compensate for additional outages.
  • Tripping breakers: When you have the furnace, space heaters, microwave and Christmas tree lights going, you’re almost certain to trip a breaker. Ask your electrician about how you can prevent fires or power outages.
  • Old equipment: When your appliances—especially space heaters—are outdated, you run the risk of creating an additional fire hazard. Many older appliances are simply not compatible with newer homes and today’s electrical loads. If an appliance is over five years old, it may need to be replaced, but check with an electrician to be sure.

If you’re in doubt, get a residential electrical inspection. Walsh Electric can come inspect your home and give you the peace of mind to get through the winter.

Residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA

Not sure if your electrical panel will survive the winter? When you need residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA, call Walsh Electric. We’ve served the community for over 30 years, offering a high level of expertise for all your electrical needs. From commercial and industrial clients to residential customers, we provide a range of services that can’t be matched. Best of all, we have licensed technicians on call 24/7 to provide support right when you need it. Contact us today and get a free estimate!

What Does It Take to Install a Computer Network in My Office?

When you’re running any type of business, maintaining efficiency is a must. Savvy small business owners realize that waste of any kind means potentially unhappy clients and lost revenue. While there are several means of achieving peak efficiency, one of the most surefire ways is to install a computer network.

Regardless of the kind of business you’re operating, the odds are good that it’s spread out across more than one machine. That’s why—no matter which industry you call your own in Virginia—it’s vital to contact some talented commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA and get to work installing a network.

What is a computer network?

This one’s easy: a computer network is a means of connecting all the computers in your small business to each other and the internet. In today’s internet-heavy world, networks are everywhere. The good news is, the ubiquity of the internet means that in the hands of experienced commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA, setting up a computer network in your small business is a breeze.

Here’s what you’ll need?

For a typical small office network, you’ll likely only need two distinct pieces of equipment:

  • A switch allows the various machines on your network—desktops, laptops, printers, etc.—to speak to one another.
  • A router connects all your devices to the internet. Routers, especially wireless routers, do have a cone of maximum effectiveness.

Depending on the size of your business, you may require more than one switch and router to achieve optimal effectiveness.

Wired or wireless?

You’ve likely encountered this very decision in your own home. A direct, wired connection to a router tends to be more reliable and stronger than a wireless connection. However, it lacks the portability of a wireless setup.

Most networks use a mixture of wired and wireless to get the job done, so that’s also an option.

Special considerations for your small business

Setting up a commercial network is different from setting up a home network. Here are some things to consider when having your office computer network installed:

  • Go with business-grade switches and routers, because they’re equipped to handle more users and a heavier traffic load.
  • Think about your network’s security considerations from day one.
  • Get a network that has room to grow alongside your business. There’s nothing more frustrating than having your business’ upward path stymied by a restrictive infrastructure.

Perhaps the most important consideration of all, however, is choosing the right team to handle the installation.

Walsh Electric is your commercial electrical solution

For more than 30 years, Walsh Electric has stayed on the cutting edge of electrical installation, maintenance and repair. No matter what you need, our team of NFPA and NETA certified professionals are poised and waiting to ensure that every electrical project is handled with care and expertise.

Add to that our reputation as one of the friendliest residential and commercial electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA, and you’ve got a great recipe for success. Find out what all the buzz is about—call Walsh Electric today to schedule an appointment.