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What does a commercial electrician do?

commercial electricianA commercial electrician looks after the maintenance and installation of electrical devices for businesses, and for organisations such as schools and hospitals. The main differences between commercial and residential electrical installation are:

  • Commercial applications often use 3 phase power. Residential applications generally use single phase power. 3 phase allows more power to be provided.
  • Due to the higher power requirements of commercial electrics different levels of insulation and different types of outlets and switches are needed.
  • Commercial applications are often more complex and can include the installation and repair of machinery, UPS systems, pumps and engines.
  • Compared to residential electrics, commercial electrical systems usually require more detailed schematics, testing and commissioning.


Commercial and Industrial Electrical Work

Some people make the distinction between commercial and industrial electrical work. Industrial work tends to be more focussed on the plant and machinery used on production lines in factories and similar environments. Industrial electricians working on plant and machinery will often be involved in maintenance and troubleshooting, as well as installations, to make sure that production lines can run smoothly.

A commercial electrician is more likely to be working in an office block, car showroom, hospital or shop. They will likely cover the installation and maintenance of lighting, air conditioning systems, security systems and similar electrical equipment. Increasingly commercial electricians are also involved in designing and installing structured cabling systems for businesses. This would include the installation of data and network cables to run IT and phone systems.

The basic qualifications for a commercial electrician overlap with the qualifications needed by residential electricians. It is the higher levels qualifications and years of experience that really distinguishes commercial electricians. They will know how to handle the extra power requirements for commercial applications and how to structure your electrical systems so that they work reliably and efficiently. After all, doing the wiring to power an entire office block full of computers, printers, air conditioning and lights and other is quite different from providing adequate wiring for the average family home. Not least because in an office environment all of the electrical equipment is likely to be switched on at the same time whereas in most homes electrical power is only usually used in a few rooms for a small part of the day.

At GW Electrical Services we do a lot of work as commercial electricians. Although we are based in Bristol we get asked to work on commercial electrical contracts all over the UK where a specialist commercial electrician is needed. Our background is in industrial and plant work and in working as assessors for apprentice electricians. We can handle a full range of commercial electrical work. If you are looking for a commercial electrician why not give us a call on 01275 331742