The Electrical Blog

Top 10 Questions on Commercial Electrical Installations in Colorado Springs

Posted by James Rockhill on Fri, Jul 31, 2015

Top-10-Questions-on-Commercial-Electrical-Installations-in-Colorado-SpringsWhether you're renovating an entire business or simply updating part of your building, you've got concerns in common with every other business owner in Colorado Springs when you contract for electrical installations.

Keeping your electrical system running is crucial for any business, but you've got to pay attention to the bottom line, as well. Here's what other business owners are concerned about: 


#1: What is Safety Lighting?

Darkness is the criminal's friend. The brighter you make it around your business building the less likely it is that burglars will break in. Safety lighting can take the form of automatic motion-sensor floodlights, walkway lights to prevent customers from tripping in the dark, and even brighter lights in your parking lots to keep your employees safe. 

#2: Why are LED Lights Better?

LED or Light Emitting Diode lights are the newest in a line of light bulb improvements that save your business power and money. They run cooler so they reduce fire hazards and air conditioning use, use less power so they're cheaper to run, and last years instead of months like common incandescent bulbs do. 

#3: What is Lightning Protection?

Today's lightning protection comes in the form of air terminals, which are short sticks mounted on the roof of a building. These sticks are attached to wires that lead electricity to the ground if your building is hit by a lightning strike. 

#4: How Can I Save Money on My Electrical Bill?

  • Replace older bulbs with LED varieties
  • Set up task lighting and eliminate general lighting areas 

#5: What Size Generator Do I Need?

Keeping your power on during an outage is important, but businesses have individual needs during an electrical emergency. If you've got a retail outlet you only need a smaller generator that powers lights and a cash register or two. Restaurants have to have refrigeration going round the clock, however, and nursing homes can't exist without full power at all times. Work with your contractor to find out what size you need. 

#6: Why Use a Maintenance Agreement?

By replacing small parts and doing basic maintenance on your equipment, you’ll prevent most of the unexpected breakdowns that happen with almost every type of electrical equipment. Emergencies are expensive, and emergency repairs even more so. 

#7: Why Use Surge Protection?

When power surges through your business due to weather or utility problems, it can overload your business systems and damage your equipment. Surge protection will all but eliminate the danger to computers, POS cash registers, medical equipment and other electrical systems you need in your business. 

#8: What are Smart LED Solutions?

Replacing light bulbs with LED bulbs is a great way to save money, but smart LED solutions is a way to connect all your electrical equipment into one system that works together to create the most frugal way to use power. It's using high tech to find out the cheapest way to run the lighting in your business. 

#9: How to Finance My Installations

Check with the Department of Energy for funding relating to clean power installations. PACE is a governmental program designed to encourage green power solutions through financing. Some utility companies even offer on-bill financing for efficient upgrades. Check with your governmental entities for details. 

#10: What Standby Generator Maintenance Should I Do?

Change the oil regularly, inspect the air filter and keep it clean, inspect the generator and read the owner's manual for any other recommendations, and – of course – check your fuel level.

New Call-to-action

Topics: commercial electrical, Colorado Springs electrician, electrical questions

6 Reasons Why Electrical Safety is Vital in Your Colorado Springs Business

Posted by James Rockhill on Thu, Jul 30, 2015

6-Reasons-Why-Electrical-Safety-is-Vital-in-Your-Colorado-Springs-Business_Keeping up with rules and regulations, scheduling regular maintenance, and constantly upgrading old equipment may take a lot of time and money, but they're crucial if you want to make electrical safety a priority in your business. Without safe electrical systems no business can survive today. It's not just about keeping the lights on.

 #1: Working Conditions

You want your employees to have a safe working environment, free from dangers that can cause injury or worse. It's important to make sure all devices are grounded and safe to use, and there is no chance of anyone accidentally getting shocked while on the job. 

#2: Data Loss

Leaving your datacomm devices unprotected will subject them to surges in the system, which can wipe data from your network and damage system equipment. Installing the correct safety systems will prevent you from losing company records, client information, and the ability to run your business on a day-to-day basis. 

#3: Business Loss

It's the rare business today that can operate without electricity in Colorado Springs. Electrical safety involves making sure the power keeps going to your business and your equipment still keeps running, not just physical safety to your employees. A constant power supply is crucial and upping your safety standards will help to ensure that it happens. 

#4: Maintenance

Keeping a commercial electrician on call for a scheduled maintenance visit monthly will always save you money in the long run. Keeping your electrical equipment up to date and in good working order will help to keep everyone safe, plus it reduces the amount of hours you'll spend in downtime from broken equipment. You'll prevent problems before they happen, which saves time and money. 

#5: Rules and Regulations

Every community has rules and regulations about electrical equipment, wiring, and use. Looking out for electrical safety issues is one important way to make sure you're following community guidelines. Straying from these guidelines can cost you fines, subject you to a shutdown until the problem is fixed, or worse. 

#6: Insurance

Insurance companies all have rules about what kind of businesses they will cover, and part of every policy is a section on following local laws and safety regulations. In order to keep your insurance policy intact, you must avoid any electrical safety violations from ever happening. Insurance inspectors will come to your business to make sure everything is in line before writing your policy, and your company may have a policy of further regular inspections.

New Call-to-action

Topics: Colorado Springs electrician, electrical safety

Using Surge Protection to Keep DataComms Stable at Your Colorado Springs Company

Posted by James Rockhill on Mon, Jul 27, 2015

Using-Surge-Protection-to-Keep-DataComms-Stable-at-Your-Colorado-Springs-CompanyElectrical surges can be crippling to data communications networks. The problem doesn't even have to be related to lightning storms or municipal blackouts. Tiny internal glitches within the electrical lines can knock out an entire system in a fraction of a second. The physical cost to your company is nothing compared to how much you can lose in data, or in future business because you can't service your customers. Prevention is the key, and taking a rugged approach makes total sense considering what you've got to lose.

Make the Problem Smaller

The best way to minimize damage is to firewall sections away from each other, creating electrical zones throughout your network. Run lines in separate, enclosed systems when installing your datacomm equipment. If there's a problem with section 1, for example, sections 2 and 3 shouldn't be affected, saving most of your system from damage. 


Problems with fluctuating power supply can occur from many different causes. While they all create problems with your datacomm network, each one may have to be treated differently. Some of the more common causes are:

  • Power outages: Whether because of weather, civic overuse, or sabotage, communities sometimes suffer from a general loss of power. While this won't damage a network, it can shut your business down and affect further operations once the power is restored.
  • Surges: While a surge, or spike in electrical power, lasts only a microsecond it can cause severe damage if you don't have protection in place.  Surges can cause data loss, down time, and even equipment damage. Install surge protection to both data and voice lines to ensure your entire network is covered.
  • Lightning: Unlike naturally occurring surges in the power line, lightning can cause a surge that's many times more powerful. Not only can it knock out the power to an entire system, it can burn out any equipment that's not protected, resulting in partial or complete data loss. 

Protection Methods

While each method of protection is crucial, you'll need to install all three to create a complete safety zone around your datacomm network. Each type of protection shields against a different type of menace to your system; combined, they'll provide complete protection against electrical surges. 

  1. Lightning protection:   Air terminals, which used to be called lightning rods, are your business's best protection again surges caused by lightning. The small rods connected to the roof and to your largest landscaping trees direct any close lightning strikes away from your building and into a grounding pad outdoors. This renders the electricity harmless, keeping it away from your business.
  2. Surge protection devices:  Otherwise known as surge suppressors, these devices act as a shield between the electrical system in your building and your datacomm equipment. Check with your commercial electrician to determine what kind and how many surge protection devices you'll need.
  3. Alternate power supplies:  Uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and backup generators are your last defense against the worst power outages. Each computer terminal should have its own UPS to shield against sudden outages that ravage data. In addition, a backup generator keeps your business going when backups last longer than just a few minutes.

 3 Signs Your Data Comm System Needs An Upgrade


Topics: commercial electrician, Colorado Springs electrician

Common Electrical Challenges in Colorado Springs Apartment Complexes

Posted by James Rockhill on Wed, Jul 22, 2015

Common-Electrical-Challenges-in-Colorado-Springs-Apartment-ComplexesApartment complex owners face many more electrical challenges than other business owners, simply because the size of their business and the number of people interacting with them is larger. Even more complicated than a mall, the electrical system in an apartment complex affects people's lives as well as your business. In Colorado Springs, this means being aware of coming trends in electrical usage as well as keeping up on basic maintenance. 


Plugin electric vehicles, or PEVs, are increasing in usage in all parts of the country. Apartment dwellers in Colorado Springs are looking for complexes with charging stations for easily topping off their vehicles while they sleep. In the near future you'll be making decisions on methods of payment for those who use the charging stations, safety features for those who want to charge vehicles through their own home outlets, increased insurance payments for installing charging stations, and other concerns you haven't even considered today. 

Power Overuse

Short of inspecting every unit in your buildings there is no way to ensure every tenant is complying with electrical usage rules. Tenants who set their air conditioning at extremely low temperatures, those who plug multiple items into one outlet using power strips, and those who add multiple chest freezers into their units all put undue strain on the power supply. Track electrical usage from each unit, and be prepared to intervene if one unit's usage goes off the charts. 


Even the best-behaved child in the world starts to explore and breaks something once in a while. Children unscrew outlet plates, pour soda into air conditioning ducts, and break light bulbs with toys. Take the damage they will do into account when budgeting for repairs each month. 

Power Outages

Power outages in Colorado Springs aren't as common as in some parts of the country, but they do happen. Depending on the majority of tenants you have in an apartment complex, you may want to install backup generators as an alternate power supply. If the power goes out in the winter and your units use forced air furnaces, the heat won't get to your tenants. Small children and senior citizens are especially vulnerable during outages, and having an alternate power supply can be a bonus feature justifying higher rents. 

Electrical Maintenance

Live-in maintenance personnel aren't usually up-to-date on modern electrical systems and the need for elaborate monthly maintenance. A commercial electrical contractor will come out on a regular basis and inspect your system, update anything that's fraying or worn, change bulbs and small parts to prevent outages, and put off most small electrical problems before they start.

New Call-to-action


Topics: commercial electrical challenges, Colorado Springs electrician

4 Ways Your Colorado Springs Employees Waste Electricity During the Summer

Posted by James Rockhill on Wed, Jul 22, 2015

4-Ways-Your-Colorado-Springs-Employees-Waste-Electricity-During-the-SummerIt's summertime. Clothes are thinner, food is healthier, and it feels like everything else should be lighter and thinner, as well. If your electric bill isn't following the summer trend, it may not be the increased air conditioning you're running. You may have employees who are wasting electricity while they're working in your business. 

Air Conditioning

This is the most obvious way to waste energy during the summer months, and yet employees are guilty of it every year. Customers really don't enjoy having to wear a sweater when they come into your business. If a jacket is part of everyone's work wardrobe, you know you've got a problem. Invest in a locking thermostat that won't allow workers to change the temperature. Simple boxes that screw onto the wall over the thermostat work well for very little cost. Allow employees to wear lighter clothing, or design a summer uniform, to avoid complaints about the interior being too hot during the workday. 


Doors are meant to stay shut most of the time, and yet many people prop them open for long periods of time during the workday. It may be necessary to prop open a door during a food or inventory delivery, but the door should be shut immediately after. Leaving the doors open causes the cool air to escape, and that means an air conditioning unit that has to run longer and harder, wasting power for hours. You may also want to consider a Building Management System. 


Computers and POS register units use a lot of power. It doesn't make much sense to turn them off and on all day long, but when the business is closed the machines should be off. Also included are:

  • Monitors
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Scanners

These items take a few minutes to boot up, so it makes sense for them to remain on during the day, but leaving them on after closing wastes power.


The sunlight is strong during a Colorado Springs summer, and its light is more than powerful enough to illuminate some business interiors. If you can see well in your lobby or front office, your employees should leave the lights off until dusk. One fourth of all electricity used nationwide is for lighting, so every bit your employees can save will greatly affect your bottom line. Even when the sun begins to sink in the afternoon, look into using task lighting over desks and work areas instead of more expensive general lighting systems, and encourage your employees to use it.

New Call-to-action


Topics: Colorado springs energy efficiency, Colorado Springs electrician

Keeping Your Colorado Springs Electrical Power Systems Operational During Peak Summer Months

Posted by James Rockhill on Mon, Jul 13, 2015

Keeping-Your-Colorado-Springs-Electrical-Power-Systems-Operational-During-Peak-Summer-MonthsElectrical usage rises in most Colorado Springs businesses in the summer, despite the fact that the sun is shining for many more hours in the day. Longer business hours and heat that requires air conditioning are just two of the many reasons your electric bill will be rising in the coming months. Rising usage means more wear and tear on your electrical power system, and a greater likelihood that you'll need an electrical repair sometime in the next few months. Avoid that problem before it starts by doing all you can to keep your power system working at peak efficiency

Regular Maintenance

When it comes to keeping the power on, prevention is the key for your business. Meet with your local commercial electrician to create a maintenance schedule that covers every aspect of your business. He'll include maintenance on any electrical machinery you have working in your building, as well as checking wiring, replacing light bulbs, and advising on ways to reduce power usage during peak hours of the day. 

Shut it Down

Some pieces of electrical equipment, such as walk-in freezers and medical machinery, have to be left on at all times. Other items can and should be shut down during evening and weekend hours, as well as holidays and other times when you're not open. These items include:

  • Computers
  • POS register systems
  • Air conditioning
  • Fans
  • Coffee machines
  • Phone chargers

Every item you turn off or unplug reduces the stress you put on the system, which will increase the lifespan of the major electrical systems you have running. 

Lightning Protection

Add lightning protection to your building and larger landscaping plants to prevent damage from being done during electrical storms this summer. Power surges and sudden shutdowns from lightning strikes can play havoc with your building's systems. When electrical surges are diverted to grounding pads outside, work goes on as normal inside and you'll bypass any dangerous effects to your power system

Backup Generators

No matter how you prepare, if there's a citywide blackout your business is going to lose power. Install alternative power sources before this happens to keep your power systems operational during even the longest blackout. The size generator you need will depend on the size and type of your business, but preventing the power from being interrupted in the first place can save delicate computer systems and restaurant freezers.

 New Call-to-action


Topics: Colorado Springs electrician, electrical power systems