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What Does Commercial Mean in Electrical?

Commercial Electrical Services | Electricians Service Team

For any electrical concern you have, it is not a surprise to call in a licensed electrician to handle the issue. Certified electricians also have the correct equipment to safely conduct your electrical repair, just like how the Electricians Service Team near your area provides thorough commercial electrical services for both residential and commercial establishments. However, you may think that residential and commercial electricians have similar jobs, but there are differences in their types of electrical work.

A commercial electrical technician often deals with large-scale projects because of the size of commercial property compared to a residential home. Sometimes, a commercial electrical appointment may require a team to ensure the project is completed on schedule. On the other hand, commercial electrical wiring installations may also have different types of wiring and cables, usually more complicated than the ones used in residential communities. Specialization is important to ensure that the commercial property is sticking to the national standards for electrical wiring installations.

Buildings that are considered commercial in an electrical project include:

  • Office Buildings
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Factories
  • Warehouses

Most of these buildings have higher power consumption than your local residential property. Some buildings also house heavy machinery that will need specific wiring to compensate for the electrical load. If the wrong electrical installation is used, you may risk electrical hazards in your home. It is important for commercial building owners to ensure the safety of their employees and also the occupants of the building. Other than that, there should be electricity for certain emergencies, such as the ones in the factory and hospital. 

What are examples of commercial electrical installation?

Commercial Electrical Installation Services | Electricians Service Team

If you are a commercial property contractor or owner, you might also be wondering what type of electrical wiring your establishment would need. Commercial properties have different and more complex electrical requirements than residential houses. Various types of electrical wiring and fixtures should be considered for different applications.

For example, office buildings and electronics may require various types of wiring and a different cable organization process than establishments with heavy machinery or warehouses. Another consideration that a team of electricians should take for commercial property is the safety of both the electrical manager of the building and its occupants. Inconsistencies of the wiring may be an electrical hazard and can hinder certain business operations. There are three main types of commercial electrical wiring.

Conductors and Raceways

Requirements for protection according to the National Electrical Code for this type of commercial electrical wiring include securing and supporting the installation, proper cover for underground installations, and other types of protection against physical damage.

The raceway and conductor method is also one of the most popular types of electrical wiring installation in commercial establishments. It involves a metallic or nonmetallic conduit or tubing with various insulating phases. It can also consist of an equipment conductor. However, that device will depend on the type of purpose the commercial building has and the corresponding NEC requirements. Regardless, you can refer to the electrical plan to see the property’s specifications for the electrical wiring installation.

If you want to learn about the types of raceways commonly used in commercial applications, here is a list:

  • RMC – This type stands for the rigid metal conduit. It is a galvanized steel conduit with a zinc exterior coating and a thick wall for applications where maximum physical damage protection is required.
  • IMC – This type stands for the intermediate metal conduit. Although it’s a thin-walled version of the RMC, it features more corrosion-resistant exteriors than its counterpart.
  • FMC – This is a flexible metal conduit type with multiple types of metal and wall thickness.
  • EMT – This type stands for electrical metal tubing and is the most common type of raceway installation in commercial establishments. It has a galvanized exterior and a corrosion-resistant exterior.
  • PVC – This type stands for rigid polyvinyl chloride conduit, used in buried or concrete-encased electrical wiring installations.

Busways

This type of electrical wiring installation is also commonly called the bus duct. A busway is enclosed in metal with bus bars that are neatly factory-mounted. The two types of busways are feeder-style and plug-in-style.

Here are the three main advantages of using busways as a wiring method:

  • Large ampere rating, anywhere between 60 and 4,000 amps
  • Offers flexibility to add and change electrical load with plug-in busways
  • Bus duct applications have less impact on total voltage drop

There are also disadvantages when it comes to using the busway type of electrical wiring installation:

  • It cannot be used for locations that need maximum protection against physical damage
  • Has a chance to fail when the building has water leaks
  • Cost may be quite high if many elbows and offsets are required

Cable Assemblies

Multiple conductors, insulated and neutral, can all be manufactured to the commercial property’s specifications. These standard assemblies usually come with THHN/THWN or XHHW-2 conductors. Here are the most common types used in commercial buildings:

  • Armored cable – The set is commonly used for branch circuit connections between luminaires and power receptacles.
  • Metal-clad cable – This type of cable is used for burial or wet locations. The cable is usually installed with an outer PVC jacket for extra protection.
  • Mineral-insulated, metal-sheathed cable – This conductor set is used for specialized applications, especially emergency systems.
  • Nonmetallic sheathed cable – It is also known as Romex, a set of conductors usually assembled with a bare copper grounding conductor.
  • Service-entrance cable – A set of conductors assembled with a cable reinforcement. It is usually used as a distribution feeder to a branch circuit panelboard but can also be used for service drops to a meter pedestal.
  • Underground feeder and branch-circuit cable – They are used for outdoor direct burial feeders, but some are also seen in detached garages. 

Are you still unsure what commercial electrical wiring entails? If you’re wondering what type of commercial wiring you should get for commercial property, consult your local hired electrician crew or our licensed group from Electricians Service Team. Reading our other articles, you may also learn more about commercial wiring installation.