Upgraded Wiring for The Home Office
Do you enjoy working from home, but find your bandwidth connection too slow to send a simple email? Is your office overrun with a maze of extension cords and surge protectors? If you answered yes to either of these questions, it might be time for a home office wiring upgrade. Here, we’ll talk about some challenges you may be facing with your current wiring. Then, we’ll explore some home office wiring upgrades to take your home office to the next level.
Challenges With Existing Wiring
Smart devices are the new norm. They provide access to information on-demand, allow for streaming of music and television, make it possible to play games over the internet and they are vital to whole-home automation. Unfortunately, these new devices have outpaced existing electrical systems in terms of compatibility. While current electrical systems can handle these devices, many homes are starting to experience electrical overload. Electrical overload is just one of many problems associated with the existing wiring in your office.
Older outlets often hide a serious wire deterioration problem. As the wires deteriorate, they are susceptible to sparking and fires. On the surface, you can spot outdated outlets by a few key symptoms:
- Scorched Outlets – When wires deteriorate and burn, you’ll notice burn marks on the outlet.
- Cracked Covers – Wear and tear on an outlet can cause unsightly cracks. These cracks allow dust and debris to settle on the wires, which can also be a fire hazard.
- Smoke – Smoke coming from the outlet indicates a wiring problem or an overload at the outlet.
- Dimming Lights – Do your lights dim when you turn on appliances such as the microwave or vacuum cleaner? If so, you’ll want to have your system inspected, as this is also an indicator of system overload.
- Flickering Lights – If the lights connected to an outlet flicker, the issue probably isn’t the light. Chances are, the outlet can’t keep up with the demand.
Too Few Outlets
If your office is a maze of extension cords and surge protectors, you are definitely due for a home office wiring upgrade. While this solution may solve the problem temporarily, it is not a suitable permanent fix. You run the risk of overloading the outlet, which is a fire hazard.
No Surge Protection
Electrical spikes and surges can wreak havoc on your computers, printers and other office equipment. Most homes do not have built-in surge protection. Unless you utilize an external surge protector, your equipment is vulnerable to electrical damage.
No GFCIs Installed
A GFCI, also known as a ground fault circuit interrupter, is an important mechanism to prevent electrical shock. A GFCI outlet has three prongs instead of two. GFCI outlets stop the flow of electricity to an outlet if it detects an imbalance in the electrical current. These types of outlets are particularly crucial for outlets near water, such as the kitchen or the bathroom. However, they are critical for all areas of the home.
Benefits Of a Home Office Wiring Upgrade
When you upgrade the wiring in your home office, you can plan for future growth by adding extra outlets. That way, you won’t need to rely on extension cords to power all of your equipment. With upgraded wiring, there will be an outlet available for each device.
Meet Current Building Code Standards.
Building code standards change regularly. These changes are meant to address safety issues. When you upgrade your wiring, you’ll bring your electrical system up to current building codes,
As we mentioned, outdated wiring poses a fire hazard. A licensed electrician can inspect the entire electrical system and make wiring upgrades to make the system safer.
Meet Power Requirements
All those computers, electronic devices and office equipment pose quite a load on an electrical system. When you upgrade the wiring in your home office, you can be sure that each piece of equipment will get the necessary power to work correctly.
Upgrade to Take Your Home Office to The Next Level
Are you frustrated by slow internet connections? Sluggish internet performance is becoming more of a problem as we add more and more devices to our home networks. Music and tv streaming, online gaming, smart devices, tablets and more all compete for precious internet bandwidth. When there isn’t enough bandwidth to keep up, things can come to a grinding halt. The solution to that problem is structured wiring. Structured wiring lightens the network burden significantly by reducing the amount of WiFi traffic.
The core of a structured wiring system is a panel that serves as the single point of entry for all incoming communication signals. Those signals include cable television, satellite television and telecommunications. The panel distributes those signals throughout the home over cabling specially installed to support the structured wiring system.
A structured wiring system consists of several types of cabling designed to provide significantly more bandwidth than a WiFi network.
- CAT 5e/CAT-6 Cables – CAT 5e cabling connects telephones, telephones, audio/video and home automation networking equipment. It is the most common type of wiring found in a home.
- Coaxial Cables – When it comes to distributing television signals throughout the home, coaxial cables are the standard. Coaxial cables also distribute cable-based broadband throughout the house.
It is common to run both of these types of cables through the house to accommodate devices with varying bandwidth requirements.
The outlets in a structured wiring system contain ports for each type of cabling that has been installed. So you’ll find CAT5e/CAT6 ports and Coaxial cable ports at each outlet. With structured wiring in place, devices can connect to the internet via a wall outlet vs. the WiFi network.
Standard Office Wiring Upgrades You Shouldn’t Forget
Structured wiring is a wonderful upgrade. However, don’t think you need to install such a sophisticated system to see benefits. There are a few home office wiring upgrades that are definitely worth noting.
Newer outlets have USB ports to support charging USB-type devices such as smartphones and tablets. Installing USB outlets frees up receptacles that you would typically use for charging your devices.
Whole House Surge Protection
Protect your office and equipment and devices from electrical spikes by installing a whole-house surge protector. This type of surge protector is installed at the electrical panel and requires a licensed electrician to ensure it is installed correctly.
You can install CAT5e/CAT6 cabling without a centralized structured wiring panel. Running CAT5e/CAT6 cabling throughout the home, particularly in your office, allows you more flexibility in where you place your networking equipment in the house.
Your home office should support your productivity, not hinder it. With a few wiring upgrades, you will have an office that can safely support all of your devices, provide increased bandwidth and allow room for future growth.