3 Reasons To Hire Commercial Electrical Contractors For Your Panel Upgrade
February 1, 2021 | Cristina Dinulescu
Whether your business has grown or you’ve just replaced old equipment with new one, chances are that you have outgrown your current commercial panel. When looking to upgrade, you should make sure to search for experienced commercial electrical contractors in your area. If your building was built in the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s, it’s very likely that your commercial panel might be using outdated technology.
This can be dangerous and also frustrating, especially if you are not receiving reliable power supply from your panel. Some businesses, due to the nature of their operations, use a large variety of electronic equipment and many of them need specialty outlets or dedicated circuits to ensure safe and efficient operation. The solution to your problems would clearly be installing a new electrical panel – one that not only guarantees a smooth operation, but also safety code compliance.
It really doesn’t matter how well your building’s electrical system was designed because there comes a time when an electrical upgrade is necessary. By investing in your electrical system, both the safety and utility of your business will be improved. However, if you do decide to upgrade the electrical system, it’s important to understand that this can be a complex process. You need to contact commercial electrical contractors and here is why.
1. Commercial Electrical Contractors Properly Diagnose
Simply because your panel is old or your business has grown, it doesn’t automatically mean that you need to upgrade your panel immediately. However, when working with experienced commercial electrical contractors, they will know to recognize key warning signs like:
- the panel looks old, the wiring seems worn out and there is no way you can make out the labeling on the breakers – in this case, perhaps it’s time to upgrade your panel.
- there are visible burns, scorches, or signs of corrosion inside the cabinet, which means your panel may no longer be safe to use. A serious, detailed inspection might be necessary and chances are you will be upgrading it pretty soon.
- humming or fizzing sounds coming from your electric panel, which are definitely a big red flag.
- excessive heat – a sure sign that something is wrong. It’s also one of the signs that DIY-ers most frequently miss.
Apart from the physical signs on the panel, you might have also noticed fuses that blow, flickering lights, and perhaps more frequent than normal circuit breaker trips. These are obvious signs and anyone can notice them, but an experienced electrical contractor will know what questions to ask to identify those less obvious signs like:
- electronic devices that do not operate at full power;
- the use of multiple extension cords;
- computers that are not on a dedicated circuit;
- the need for additional outlets or two-pronged (non-grounded) outlets;
- renovations to your business;
- the need for a 240-volt circuit;
- the addition of a sub-panel;
- crackling sounds.
2. Commercial Electrical Contractors Identify Needs
Commercial contractors will take the necessary time to evaluate the needs of your business. They will make a list of all the appliances and equipment you are currently using and the ones you are planning to add. And that includes lighting. Working efficiently is very important, so if the current lighting in your office isn’t of much help, the electrical contractors might take into consideration adding lights or upgrading to higher-voltage lighting.
They should also be able to help you identify areas that could use more electrical outlets, like those where you are currently using extension cords. Talking about future plans which may include building additions that require electrical supply might also be a good idea.
Your electrician will take into account the information you provide them when inspecting your building and calculate the total electrical load. In the end, after the walk-through is completed, if the only upgrade you need to your system is simply adding a circuit, then your electrician could easily accomplish that by installing a subpanel.
However, know that this is possible only when your main electrical panel is already supplying sufficient power for the entire building and the wiring is in good condition. If this is not the case, then the main electrical panel may require an upgrade to provide 200 amps, 400 amps, or even more.
3. Commercial Electricians Perform Work That’s Up To Code
Plus, they’re bonded and insured, which is a huge advantage when it comes to upgrading the panel for your business, commercial property, or real estate. Installing and maintaining your new electrical panel is a complex task and it should only be performed by a licensed electrician, this way ensuring that:
- local approvals and planning are received;
- the correct size service panel to meet your needs is installed;
- wiring is installed to current federal and local codes, which are prone to frequent change;
- before installation, the power company provides you with a different power supply or meter;
- appropriate materials, including safe and proper grounding with copper are used;
- existing wires are repaired and replaced, performed properly, meeting the current codes;
- knowledge of the new system, including a graphic of your new panel, the wiring, and all functions and switches exists.
Certified commercial electrical contractors perform thorough inspections of circuit and electrical panel systems. Once the inspection is completed they can provide you with expert recommendations on upgrade solutions, which are appropriate for your building and comply with the NEC.
Always make sure that commercial panel upgrades are done by licensed and experienced electrical contractors. This will help you avoid issues with your insurance or in a future sale of your building.
The Bottom Line
Your business may be using a large variety of electronic equipment. These may require dedicated circuits or specialty outlets to ensure a safe and efficient operation. Installing a new electrical panel ensures both safety code compliance and smooth operation.
Contact commercial electrical contractors if you are worried that your electrical business needs aren’t safely met. They will protect your employees and building, as well as prevent electrical issues and emergencies. Plus, you can work with the electrical contractors to schedule the work efficiently, so your business operations can continue with minimum disruption.