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. 

Energy consumer demand for distributed-energy resources (DER) is growing for a number of reasons—unexpected utility power outages, planned rolling blackouts, power quality problems, increases in power costs, etc.

The 2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor reveals how electrical contractors see the industry changing and how they intend to adapt. Change occurs in the fire alarm and communications world as well. As you know, keeping up with these changes can prove difficult. 

Evolution in action

Much has been said and written about analog video cameras and the move to internet protocol (IP) networked digital surveillance. Some predicted the demise of analog and takeover by IP devices would progress quickly, but clearly that hasn’t happened.

A while back, I wrote about a house with 14 kilowatts (kW) of solar panels installed on the southern exposure roof. Voltage and current monitoring at the breaker panel prior to the solar panel installation had shown 10–12-volt (V) deep sags occurring as frequently as every 22 minutes.

More on Systems

Big Winner in the Casino Market

Casino work involves the deployment of state-of-the-art systems and solutions. When a gambling cheat enters a casino, he or she should face a daunting array of security.

Equiping a Fiber Optic Installation Crew

Nowhere does the adage “the right tool for the job” make more sense than in fiber optic installation. The right tools can make installation easier, quicker, better and less expensive.

When Do You Need OTDRs?

In outside plant fiber optic installations, every cable installed will be tested for end-to-end loss with a source and power meter and an OTDR trace will be taken of each fiber. Yet OTDRs—optical time domain reflectometers—are rarely used in premises applications. Why is that?

Manufactured Wiring Systems, Receptacle Locations and More

Article 210 Branch Circuits Article 215 Feeders Article 240 Overcurrent Protection Article 300 Wiring Methods Article 320 Armored Cable Article 352 Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit Article 404 Switches Article 604 Manufactured Wiring Systems Article 680 Swimming Pools, Fountains and Similar Installations A

Retrofitting Fire Alarm Systems

Anyone planning to retrofit anything electrical in a building faces a difficult task at best. Only a true craftsman can successfully install something as a retrofit that looks like the original installation had included it.

The Importance of Systems Testing

When electrical contractors talk about (or are asked about) testing, one is usually not referring to the stress-inducing kind associated with obtaining the latest certification in the industry.

Conductors Connected in Parallel
by Staff |

Parallel conductors are often installed where large ampacity feeders or services are used. Total understanding of the paralleling requirements permitted in the National Electrical Code is necessary before attempting to design a large electrical system or install these conductors.