Category Archives: Electrical Maintenance

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Electrical Wiring?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Electrical Wiring?

Electrical service enables your home to be as modern and comfortable as any in the 21st century. And your homeowner’s insurance generally protects your electrical systems inside your home and the appliances they power.

Dwelling insurance coverage is what protects your home’s structure. If your home catches fire, dwelling insurance will pay to rebuild it. It even will protect against electrical fires, but there are exceptions.

Your home’s electrical wiring has to be modern and relatively safe. Some types of wiring are very outdated and potentially dangerous.

If you have outdated wiring, it would be a very good idea to replace it as soon as possible. Repeated residential electrical wire repair can help, but it also is a sign that your electrical wiring is outdated.

The cost to replace electrical wiring can be high, but not as high as the cost to buy a new one if an electrical fire burns down your home and your insurer refuses to compensate you for the extensive damage.

Some Types of Electrical Wiring Are Excluded

Alexandria, Virginia, has some of the oldest and grandest homes in the nation. That means many homes could have substandard wiring that home insurers will not protect.

Examples include old knob-and-tube electrical wiring that leaves wire connections exposed and prone to starting electrical fires. The old form of electrical copper wiring uses insulated copper components affixed to round ceramic knobs to create electrical connections.

The insulators often become brittle and cause the wiring to become exposed. And the ceramic knobs can crack and break over time. That further exposes electrical wiring. The result is a greater potential for an electrical fire.

Aluminum wiring also is outdated and dangerous due to its potential for shorts and suffering damage that could create shorts. Heavy electrical loads could overpower aluminum wiring and cause it to suffer damage. Exposed and damaged aluminum wiring is a fire hazard that homeowners insurance will not cover.

How Bad Wiring Causes House Fires

A short in electrical wiring means the insulator is missing, and the electrical charge is diverted to something else. That something else might be a flammable material that catches fire and destroys your home. If your insurer finds outdated wiring caused the short, then it likely would deny coverage for the electrical fire.

A home improvement loan could help you update your home’s electrical wiring. An experienced and qualified electrical contractor can identify faulty wiring and help you replace it.

Walsh Electric in Alexandria, Virginia, has more than 35 years of experience providing first-rate electrical contracting services in the greater Alexandria area. Call (703) 451-6622 to learn more.

Steps to Prepare Your Home for a Power Outage and Protect Your Appliances

Outfitting your home with the proper appliances is quite a considerable expense in both time and money. You first have to do the research to figure out what you even want, and then you have to explore all of your options to make sure that you find an appliance with the capabilities that you need. Finally, you need to make sure that everything you look into fits your budget, which is perhaps the most important question of all.

With all that groundwork laid, you want them to last as long as possible. Protecting your appliances from misuse and wear and tear is one thing, but protecting them from a power outage and/or surge is quite another. These surges tend to occur during electrical storms. They basically amount to a sudden increase in the voltage a device is receiving, which can be catastrophic, as it overloads the appliance’s sensitive components.

A quality residential electrical installation can help set you on the right path, but there are some other tips to keep in mind as well. Read on to find out:

● Get surge protectors: These devices can also be known as power strips, but you need to make sure you’re buying one that actually protects from electrical surges and isn’t just a glorified extension cord. Many surge protectors look like long and narrow boxes full of extra outlets, and they frequently have an orange power switch that lets you know whether or not they’re active. Anyone who specializes in residential electrical installation will tell you that this is one of the best investments you can make to protect your appliances from a sudden surge of power.

● Floodwater management: Any time a heavy storm is approaching, you want to make sure that you have a plan for dealing with any potential seepage or flooding. Water can easily spell death for any electrical appliance. If you have a sump pump, make sure that it has a backup battery, for example.

● Prevent frozen pipes: Your pipes freezing (and ultimately bursting) can also be a surefire way to invite water intrusion that can easily damage appliances. Make sure that you use methods like wrapping your pipes with insulating tape or keeping your cabinets open so that comfortable air from your home can get at pipes under sinks to warm them up.

● Unplug devices: If a storm is coming and lightning is expected, then it’s probably a good idea to unplug nonessential electrical devices, e.g., your television or the empty extra fridge in the basement. Lightning can enter your house through wiring—even if you’ve had residential electrical installation done—so you need to be ready for anything in that regard.

Protecting your appliances from damage, especially during a storm, mostly comes down to water management and good planning. Our team at Walsh Electric has helped countless customers improve their homes’ defenses through good maintenance and quality residential electrical installation. Reach out to us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about what we can do for you!

Taking Care of Your Home Office’s Electrical Needs

Your home office requires special treatment from the rest of your home when it comes to electricity. Most home offices feature several devices all running at the same time, which could include computers, printers, scanners and more. It’s important to be sure that your home office has the capability to run all these devices at the same time. Your home office should also feature an adequate number of outlets.

Ensure your home office is prepared for any situation by contacting a professional electrical contractor in Northern Virginia. Read on to learn about some of the ways you can improve your home office’s electrical infrastructure.

Add more outlets

Outlets may not be something you thought about much when buying your home. There are always power strips and extension cords, right? Well, plugging too many devices into one power strip can sometimes result in overheating, while extension cords running across the entire room are unsightly and may distract from your work. This is why it’s good to have multiple options when it comes to electrical outlets.

Even if your home office doesn’t have enough outlets, the right electrical contractor in Northern Virginia could install more of them quickly and at a fair price.

Consider surge protection for your entire home

While having a small surge protector in your office could help prevent some overheating, it’s sometimes best to invest in surge protection for your whole home. Any electrical surge could make the power go out in your entire home, leaving you unable to work—or do anything else—until it’s fixed. A whole home surge protector could help prevent this. These devices are easy to install and could help prevent expensive repairs down the line. Consider asking your electrical contractor about these devices today.

Invest in a generator

Surge protectors might not be enough, especially if there’s a large storm in your area. This is why it’s often a good idea to have a generator on hand. These amazing devices provide all the power you need when your home’s electrical system isn’t working. There’s a huge variety of generators on the market, so you can easily find one that fits your needs.

Since there are so many different types of generators, you’ll want to be sure you do plenty of research on each one. Ensure they have good product reviews and meet all your specifications. You don’t want to throw down a lot of money on a generator, only for it to not work correctly.

Circuit breakers specifically for your home office

Often called dedicated computer circuits, these are electrical systems you can have installed specifically for your home office. These systems supply you with your own circuit breaker and private energy source. They are quite popular with home office workers, as they help prevent power surges, loss of power and blown fuses. A local electrical contractor in Northern Virginia could quickly install your dedicated computer circuits and have you working at maximum efficiency in no time!

If you’re looking for quality electrical work with the option for 24/7 emergency service, contact Walsh Electric today.

Helpful Tips for Surge Protection at Commercial Facilities

If you own commercial property in Alexandria, VA, you need to protect your investment from all forms of accidents or damage. This includes being proactive about surge protection. Power surges cause equipment failure to electronics, which can be incredibly costly to replace. They can also damage your electrical outlets, and can even cause fires. To protect your commercial property and the contents inside, here’s what you need to know about commercial surge protection in Alexandria, VA.

Why is grounding important?

As a business owner, you need to be aware of your options for commercial surge protection in Alexandria, VA. One of the most important things you can do to protect your business is investing in a quality surge protection device. These handy components divert high-current surges to the ground, protecting your valuable equipment and your electrical system as a whole. You need a good low-resistance grounding system on your property that has a single reference point to connect all of your building’s systems. It’s helpful to have a skilled electrician make sure your system is grounded to code—it’s your best protection against a potentially damaging power surge.

What causes power surges?

You might think that lightning is the only cause of power surges. While most of the time this is true, there are also some other causes of surges that you should keep in mind. It could be an internal issue, where the equipment you use in your building, from air conditioners to elevators, can expose an electric circuit to large amounts of energy. Smart building owners install quality surge protectors to keep this equipment safe—it’s much cheaper than potentially replacing the equipment if it fails due to a surge.

What do I need to know about installing a surge protection device?

When your electrical technician comes to install your surge protection device, they’ll install it on all systems that could be susceptible to damage from surges. It’s best to install the devices as close as possible to the equipment you want to protect. Your technician will carefully consider cable length, since a short and straight route to the ground helps keep your equipment safe. Each surge protector should be equipped with an indicator to show you that it’s functioning properly.

In addition, you should install a surge protection device on systems you might not think are susceptible to surges. Electrical currents can travel through phone and fax lines, cable or satellite systems and even local area networks. Make sure not to overlook these features as you’re safeguarding your electrical system—it could make a huge difference in preventing costly damage if a surge occurs at your property.

Understanding the basics about commercial surge protection in Alexandria, VA is an important step in safeguarding your investment. An experienced electrician can help you make sure your electrical system is prepared to handle both internal and external causes of surges. Contact the team at Walsh Electric today to keep your electric system in good working order to protect your building and its contents.