Category Archives: Electrical Installation

What Do I need To Do to Wire My house To Work From Home?

What Do I Need to Wire My House to Work From Home?

Working from home became the norm for many people due to the pandemic. While some employees are moving back into offices, many are staying at home and fully adopting the remote work setup.

If you’ve been given the opportunity to continue your remote work setup, you may be wondering if your home is properly configured for it. Should I wire my home to work from home? That’s a valid question to ask.

A bad work from home setup can cause you to lag behind others in terms of productivity. Optimizing your remote work office would be ideal.

Included in this article are tips for optimizing your work from home setup. Stay tuned so you can learn more about implementing those important upgrades.

Install New Cables

When discussing potential upgrades that can turn a home office into a better workplace, you may start thinking about getting a new monitor, new peripherals and perhaps even a new desk. What we often gloss over is the need to improve connectivity.

If you’re looking for a way to significantly boost your home’s connectivity, investing in new cables makes a lot of sense. New cables can vastly improve the flow of information in and out of your home. You can also future-proof your home by installing those new cables.

So, which cables should you look to install?

We recommend looking for CAT-5e and RG6 cables. Those are the cables best suited to meet the data demands of today and tomorrow.

You may need some additional jacks to support your new cables. Installing a distribution box for your new connections is also a good idea.

Hire a residential electrical contractor to handle the installation and arrangement of your new cables. Leave this job up to them to ensure that it is done correctly.

Improve Your Home Wi-Fi

There’s nothing worse than having your internet connection drop out in the middle of a meeting. Having something like that happen is embarrassing. On top of that, the other people in the meeting may also have to wait for you to get back and that means you’re essentially wasting their time.

Losing your internet connection can also lead to missed deadlines and an overall drop in your working efficiency.

You cannot afford to have poor Wi-Fi if you are working from home. Ideally, the internet speed for your home office should be around 50 Mbps.

If your internet is well below that level, consider using Ethernet cables to remedy that issue. In situations where Ethernet cables may not suffice, you can set up mesh Wi-Fi networks instead. Those mesh Wi-Fi networks make it possible for you to get a strong connection in just about every corner of your home.

Switching to a new internet provider may also be necessary in some scenarios.

Utilize Multi-Port Hubs

Wires can end up all over the place if you’re working from home. To minimize the amount of clutter at your workstation, you should consider getting a multi-port hub.

A multi-port hub allows you to organize the cables and wires you’re using while working. It also makes connecting or disconnecting different peripherals way more convenient.

Don’t discount how much a multi-port hub can improve your home office setup. Dollar for dollar, it could end up being one of the best purchases you make.

Remote working can be a great option, but you need to prepare your home for that. By implementing the upgrades we detailed above, you can turn your home office into a more conducive space for productivity.

Will Homeowners Insurance Cover an Electrical Panel Fire?

The electrical panel, also referred to as a “breaker box, ” controls the electricity in your entire home. It comes with a range of controls that allow electricians to manipulate how electricity flows and ensure there’s balance in electricity flow throughout your home. It also allows you to turn off electricity in various parts of your home whenever you need to.

Your electrical panel may seem harmless, but it is one of the leading causes of fires in homes. In most cases, you may never know until it’s too late. In this article, we will discuss how you can care for your breaker box, prevent fires and protect yourself from financial ruin in case it happens.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Electrical Panel Fire?

Fortunately, yes. Home insurance covers fires caused by electrical panels. However, different insurance companies have different regulations that determine coverage eligibility. The type of panel, age and residential code in your area can affect your coverage eligibility. For instance, if your panel caused fire due to wear and tear, poor maintenance or age, your insurance company may not compensate you for the damages. You will only be compensated if the fire was purely accidental.

How Often Should You Have Your Electrical Panel Checked?

Your insurance company expects you to conduct regular panel maintenance to reduce the chances of filing a home insurance claim. How often you get your electrical system inspected depends on the age of the house, the number of appliances running and the number of people living in that home. Most electricians recommend having your panel checked at least every 3 to 5 years. If your panel is older than 30 years, you might need to get an electrical contractor to upgrade it to the latest safety standards.

What Are the Signs You Need to Upgrade or Replace Your Electric Panel?

You don’t have to wait until something bad happens to change your electrical panel. During an inspection, your electrician may recommend a breaker panel upgrade or individual circuit breaker replacement. For instance, if one of your circuit breakers trips even when it’s not overloaded, it might be faulty and may need to be replaced.

However, if you have more circuit breakers tripping for no apparent reason, you may need to change the entire box as this could mean either the panel is worn out or it can’t handle the current electricity needs in your home. Another sign is if lights are flickering or dimming, especially when you connect to another appliance. You also want to pay attention to burning smells around the panel. Check if the wires are warm to the touch, if there is fire residue in some parts of the panel or a plastic burning smell.

Keep Your Electric Panel in Great Condition With Walsh Electric

Now that we’ve established that your home insurance can only compensate you for a panel fire if it is purely accidental, why not take the initiative to have it inspected, replaced or upgraded? Walsh Electric can help you with any electrical service you need to keep your panel from causing fires. Call us at (703)-451-6622, and we will be happy to help.

Using Three-Wire Cords on Modern Four-Wire Appliances

Electrical appliances have come a long way in the past few decades. Because they’re higher powered than they once were, today’s dryers, ranges and other larger home appliances require updated appliance wiring.

Nowadays, appliances require a four-wire cord and plug instead of the traditional three-wire configuration.
This post will cover everything you need to know about four-wire cords.

The difference between the two

As the name suggests, a four-wire cord has a fourth wire that acts as a grounding conductor. This grounding conductor is missing in the traditional configuration, which only contains two hot wires and one neutral one. The two hot wires provided 180 degrees out of phase from one another to handle the electrical load, and the neutral wire was the return pathway for any 120-volt loads.

In a four-wire configuration, the equipment-grounding conductor is attached to the metal frame and housing on the appliance. It’s responsible for carrying back any fault current on the metal during a short to ground condition. Four-wire configurations are much safer than three-wire ones and are now required under the National Electrical Code (NEC).

Does my home need to be updated?

The main thing to consider when it comes to outdated appliance wiring is your home’s age and the age of the appliances in your home. If your home was built after 1996—when the NEC changed code requirements—everything should be safe and good to go. If you live in an older home, there’s a good chance your appliances are still running on a three-wire configuration, and your wiring is out of date.

If your house and all the appliances in it are on the older side, you don’t have to call an electrician to update your cords and plugs ASAP. Even though your house technically isn’t up to code, all of your older appliances are still safe running on three-wire configurations. The only time you will need to update your cords and plugs is if you buy new appliances—and, chances are, those old appliances will need to be replaced sooner rather than later!

Is updating a DIY project?

Despite what you may read online, updating to four-wire configurations isn’t a DIY job. You’ll need to hire a professional for these reasons:

● Injuries: The first step in updating these plugs is cutting the power to your home, but even though the power’s off when the work’s performed, you could shock yourself or others once the power’s back on if you try to take on this project by yourself.
● Fires: Faulty wiring is a leading cause of house fires across the country. Even a small mistake during the update can lead to a rogue spark when your new appliance is running. Hiring a pro is the best way to protect yourself and your family from a fire.

If it’s time to update your appliance wiring, be sure to call our team at Walsh Electric. There’s no job too big or too small for us to tackle. Schedule your appointment today, or find out what we can do for you and your home.

Do I Need a Permit to Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

One of the most common questions we get from customers is whether or not they need a permit for a breaker panel upgrade. Just like with many home improvement projects related to an electrical system, the answer is yes! A permit is required to ensure your proposed electrical upgrades will be safe for your home and won’t cause problems for the neighborhood.

There is one workaround for getting a permit: hire an electrical contractor. When you work with a pro, they’ll handle all of the heavy lifting, including getting a permit.

Other reasons to hire a pro

There are plenty of other good reasons to hire an electrician besides avoiding the permitting process. Here are a few other reasons to bring in a pro to update your breaker panel or perform any other electrical work:

● Safety: The main reason to hire a pro is to avoid injuring yourself while performing electrical work. Inexperienced homeowners may shock themselves while performing electrical work or even cause fires down the road due to a shoddy job.
● Guaranteed results: You can trust that a reputable electrician will do a good job upgrading your breaker panel, rewiring your home or making repairs. Your home will be problem free and out of harm’s way when it comes to electrical fires.
● Save your money: Hiring an electrician can actually save you money compared to upgrading a breaker panel by yourself. A variety of future electrical problems often arise when a homeowner tries to perform an update by themselves, many of which lead to sky-high repair bills.

Signs you need a breaker panel upgrade

Unless an electrician tells you so, you might not realize that your breaker panel is out of date. These are a few signs that you should hire a pro to make that upgrade:

● Burning smells: A distinct burning smell coming from your breaker panel is a leading indicator that it needs to be replaced. This often means that the panel is overworked and must be upgraded to meet your current electrical demands.
● Flickering lights: Whether it’s lights throughout your house or just one or two bulbs, flickering lights shouldn’t be ignored. Constant flickering indicates something’s loose with your breaker panel or that it needs to be updated. Call an electrician to see what the problem could be.
● You’re upgrading appliances: Today’s appliances require more amps than old ones. If you’re buying a new, high-powered appliance, like laundry machines or an electric range, you may need to update your panel. Consult with an electrician to see if that’s the case.
● You’re using power strips: If you’re using power strips throughout the house to accommodate for lack of outlets, there’s a good chance that your panel is being overworked. An electrician can update your panel and add some new outlets to meet your needs.

Call Walsh Electric today

Whether you need a breaker panel upgrade, emergency electrical repairs or something else entirely, be sure to hire our pros at Walsh Electric. We have over three decades of experience with residential electrical work, so you know you’re in good hands when you call our team.

Why Should I Hire an Electrician to Install a New Light Fixture?

If you’ve found the perfect light fixture for your home, you may be thinking about installing it yourself. While there are some DIY electrical projects that can easily be tackled by handy homeowners, electrical light installation generally isn’t one of them. Not only can one installation error make an otherwise affordable job much more expensive, it can also be dangerous. Here’s why you should rely on a professional electrician to install your new light fixture.

All electrical changes should be performed by a licensed professional

In many states, making any changes to existing electrical systems needs to be done by someone who holds a valid electrician’s license. Even though you may think that electrical light installation seems like a simple job, it’s actually categorized as a significant change to your home’s electrical system, so you need to hire a licensed electrician to handle it.

Improper connections can start a fire

Your new fixture won’t work without a steady source of electricity, which means it needs to be correctly integrated into your home’s electrical wiring. In some cases, new wires may need to be added to the system to carry energy to the fixture.

Unless you’re very familiar with electrical work, it can be confusing determining which wire should attach to the fixture. Your switch box may have several wires coming out of it, including hot, neutral and ground wires. Using the wrong wire could result in flickering lights, and improper connections can even start a fire. Don’t take the risk and have it installed by an expert.

Evaluating ceiling and wall support

Ceiling and wall fixtures can be very heavy, and the installation area needs to be able to support the weight of the fixture for your safety. A licensed electrician has the tools and experience to evaluate the structure around the installation area and ensure the walls or ceiling can bear the weight of the new fixture.

Determining whether your fixture requires extra insulation

Many homeowners don’t realize that new wall or ceiling light fixtures may require extra or specialized insulation, especially fixtures that include ceiling fans. These fixtures generate more heat, not just from the light itself, but also from the fan’s movement. A professional electrician can help you determine if your current insulation is enough and can install extra insulation whenever necessary.

Maintaining a warranty

Whether you’ve purchased a top-of-the-line fixture or not, most new lighting options come with product warranties. Look carefully at the information that came with your fixture—it usually will indicate that you can only maintain the warranty if you had the fixture installed by a professional.

Keep in mind that electricians offer warranties, too. Good electricians stand by their work, and a warranty protects you from incurring any additional expenses if a problem arises from the work they’ve done.

Even something as seemingly simple as electrical light installation requires attention from a professional electrician. Whether you’ve got a new sconce or a chandelier that needs to get up and running, contact Walsh Electric today and we’ll get you the service you need right away.