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. 

Along with solar power, wind turbines, electric vehicles and other alternative-energy technologies, microgrids are now playing a bigger role in the nation’s energy infrastructure. Recently, the state of New Jersey announced its own microgrid project.

Last Fall, a contractor working for Google Fiber in Nashville, Tenn., made headlines for breaking a 36-inch water main while doing directional boring. That was the second time that contractor had broken a water main in a week.

Reviewing data files from power quality (PQ) monitors to find evidence pointing to the cause of a customer’s problems may sound simple enough for someone who has worked in the industry for more than 35 years.

Many contractors work on building tenant fit-outs or reconfigurations of existing spaces where an existing fire alarm system requires updating. Often, a fire alarm equipment salesperson will lure the contractor into thinking it is OK to reuse the existing system’s wiring and cable.

More on Systems

Using the OTDR

Proper OTDR parameter setup eases interpretation: The Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) is an essential instrument for characterizing long outside plant fiber optic cables; it is the only instrument capable of verifying inline splices on concatenated fiber optic cables and locating faults.

Growth of Broadband Over Power Lines to Outpace Cable and DSL
by Staff |

The number of US households subscribing to broadband over power line (BPL) services will increase from 400,000 in 2007 to 2,500,000 by 2011, according to “FTTx and BPL: Analysis and Outlook.” This report from Parks Associates finds consumer and competitive demands will lead to a strong growth rate i

Going Green

Good for the environment; good for business: Concern about the environment and the future of our planet has become the focal point of everyday conversation, political debate and media coverage in the United States toda; in the past, this debate has been focused on the industrial, manufacturing and t

Understanding Impairments

The contractor’s responsibilities: Electrical contractors repair many different kinds of electrical systems; for most of these systems, if the repair takes longer than expected or is delayed to acquire the necessary parts, the customer understands and is willing to wait for the completion of the rep

Home Networking
by Staff |

Preparing for future cabling needs:

Picking and Choosing

Should my network use copper, fiber or wireless?

Make Security Your Business

Whether the economy is up or down, security is a sure thing: Integration and convergence are changing the face of the security industry; physical security continues to meet logical access control, and the results are good for both information technology (IT) and security end-users who are learning t