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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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What Are Some of the Differences Between Commercial and Residential Electrical Installation?

The flow of electricity is a bit like a Class 5 river: it is powerful and strong, it tumbles around, and if not channeled correctly into your property, it can cause a great deal of damage. How is this stream of power controlled when it comes into your property? By your electrical panel. Your electrical panel doesn’t just distribute electricity to your property; it controls the flow of the electricity to ensure that your electrical system is neither overloaded nor under-powered. Different building types require different electrical loads to operate as needed, so when it comes to commercial electrical installation, there are some key differences between residential and commercial buildings of which to take note.

Types of Wiring Used

One of the first differences between residential and commercial electrical installation has to do with the type of wiring used for each type of building. In residential homes, the main type of wiring used has a plastic sheathing around the thin, narrow wires. This sheathing is necessary to protect the wiring and any surround materials because residential wiring is often placed in locations like attic space and crawl space. In commercial buildings, the electrical wiring is run in open spaces to allow access, but the wiring is contained in a tube-like conduits for protection.

Phases of Power

As you can imagine, commercial buildings draw much more power than residential buildings. To help ensure that all types of buildings get the power they need without overloading a property, the utility companies categorize the electrical load by phase: residential properties use single-phase power and commercial buildings use three-phase power.

Single-phase power consists of a total of 240 volts; the power is delivered in two “legs” of 120 volts each. Three-phase power delivers a total of 448 volts: two legs of 120 volts and a third “wild leg” that carries 208 volts.

A lot of other factors go into designing and installing any kind of electrical system, which is why it’s important to work with an expert trained for your property type.

If you need commercial electrical installation in the Puget Sound area, call the specialists with the training and experience you need: Sunset Air.

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