What Are Commercial Electricians?

You might have seen the inside of your home’s wiring and think it’s the same for every building. However, commercial electrical wiring is much different—which is why commercial electricians have a very different job than residential electricians. Since commercial buildings command a much heavier electrical load, they require special infrastructure. Here are the main differences between commercial and residential electricians in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, TX.

Wiring

Residential homes have thin, color-coded electrical wires that are enclosed in a plastic sheath. The color coding helps electricians identify which type of wires they’re dealing with, while the plastic sheath protects them and protects homeowners from accidentally making contact with the electrical current. Some residential wiring includes metal pass-throughs, or conduits, which allow the wires to travel through areas where they might be vulnerable to construction. For example, they’ll protect the wires from being compromised by hammering nails through drywall. Although in many states it’s legal for homeowners to wire their own homes, it’s inadvisable. However, this type of wiring is much simpler than commercial electricity.

Commercial wiring is designed to deliver much larger currents throughout bigger buildings. Since commercial current is often lethal to humans, more precautions must be taken to ensure safety. That’s why commercial electrical wiring is enclosed in thick tubes, which pass through ceilings and subfloors instead of walls. The systems are designed so that if a commercial electrician in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, TX has to service the building, they can easily access the wiring.

Commercial electrical wiring is also of a thicker gauge, and uses terminals, junction boxes and other wiring components that make it possible to deliver high volumes of current throughout the building.

Power requirements

The voltage is much different, too. Residential homes use single-phase power, which is a 120-volt AC current. Most household devices like lights, computers and other small appliances work with 120-volt power. However, larger appliances like dishwashers and washing machines need 240-volt circuits. These are delivered by two-phase circuits.

Commercial electricity, on the other hand, uses three-phase electrical wiring. They have two smaller 120-volt circuits, plus a third, 208-volt current. This gives the building an opportunity to run appliances on a lower load, but allows it tap into a larger one when necessary. This tends to be more efficient and will extend the overall lifespan of a building’s electrical equipment.

Since commercial wiring carries a much higher current, there’s more danger if it’s breached. It’s often encased in thick heat-resistant nylon, which protects the wires from liquids, corrosion, gas and more. There may be additional local and state safety measures that apply in your area.

As you can see, it’s important that you hire a commercial electrician to wire your new or existing commercial building. There’s a significantly different skillset involved, as well as different hazards and challenges. Working with a skilled commercial electrician in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, TX is the key to getting the job done right.

For all your commercial electrical needs, call C&F Electrical today.