Systems

 

 

Integrated electrical and low-voltage systems of all types—inside and outside a building—encompass the range of work that electrical contractors do. The articles in this section highlight different types of work, from security, fire and life safety, to traditional electrical power and distribution, to lighting, cabling and more. 

It is a sign of tight budgets when facility directors at most K–12 and higher education institutions receive mandates to defer maintenance on their existing building inventory to allow for budget dollar application elsewhere.

“Dark fiber” is a term often heard in conversations about fiber optic communications. Perhaps this is because it has a name that sounds evil or nefarious. But dark fiber is just fiber that has been installed and is not currently in use; instead, it is reserved for spares or future use.


If you’re going to do a job right, you need the right tools. Today, the definition of tool goes beyond wire crimpers and multimeters. It now includes smartphones and the apps that make them crucial to a contractor’s success. The following are some of the apps that contractors could consider using.


Last month, we looked into positive, negative and zero-sequence components, also known as symmetrical components, with virtually no math involved.

More on Systems

 
Further Reading Required
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Electrical contractors plunging deeper into the security market need to pay as close attention to the standards involved in security systems and attendant technologies as they do to the National Electrical Code (NEC).
 BICSI 005


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It's a Trap
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When I am performing construction administration services for my clients and ask contractors why they installed the fire alarm system the way they did, they often lament, “That’s all the code required!”

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Hold It Right There: Firestopping
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Fire is a building’s worst enemy, and time is a critical element. Each minute a fire’s progress can be slowed provides more time for occupants to get out of harm’s way and for firefighters to reach and extinguish a blaze.

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Gone In 60 Microseconds
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Last month, we started the Top 10 in the power quality phenomena category with the most common disturbance: the rms variation. In second place are usually transients, those fleeting waveform changes that are far too brief to be seen by the naked eye in lighting.

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Premises Cabling's Challengers
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My December column covered the development of copper cabling standards through the 1990s and the emergence of optical fiber as an alternative due to its higher bandwidth and distance capability.

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Sum Of Its Parts
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As a fire protection engineer who oversees the proposals to repair fire alarm systems, I often experience communication disconnects between the contractor, owner and authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). These disconnects manifest in the extent of changes each stakeholder requires.

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Forgotten But Not Gone: Abandoned Cable
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Electrical contractors (ECs) know that, first and foremost, the removal of abandoned cable is a National Electrical Code issue. But additional considerations make it even more crucial that unused, untagged cables be pulled out.


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