Common Electrical Problems in Commercial Buildings

Whether you own a commercial building or just rent one, common electrical problems can lead to serious situations that risk human lives, as well as extensive property damages. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical problems were the second leading cause of house fires between 2012 and 2016. This same association also found that 739 employees died from electrical exposure during that same time period. (That means 3 employees died every week over a 5-year period from injuries relating to electrical issues at work!) As an employer, it is your job to ensure your employees are as safe as possible while in your commercial building. Understanding some of the most common commercial building electrical problems can help to make sure you do just that. Below, the experts with Action Services Group identify and explain the 4 most common electrical problems for commercial buildings today and explain how they may impact you.

4 Most Common Commercial Building Electrical Problems

Electrical wiring for commercial buildings can often be complex. However, a skilled and experienced electrician can help to identify and reduce, if not eliminate, the most common electrical problems within your commercial building.

Faulty Electrical Wiring

If you detect a burning smell when you turn on your lighting, this is likely caused by faulty wiring. Faulty wiring is a blanket term used in reference to an electrical wire that is outdated, damaged, poorly installed or inadequately maintained. For many commercial buildings, the most common signs of faulty wiring are dimming and flickering of lights and fuses that frequently break. Outdated wiring is a danger in and of itself. However, it can become even more apparent when new lighting fixtures are installed. This is because new lighting typically operates at hotter temperatures than older models do. This can exceed what your older wiring can handle, creating a serious risk of fire. (In fact, for commercial buildings built prior to 1987, most experts recommend a rewiring overhaul to help prevent potential fires relating to faulty, outdated wiring.)


If your commercial building also happens to be a distribution center, there are a few other common electrical problems you may need to consider. Distribution centers have massive amounts of equipment, and this can cause its own set of electrical problems. If you think your distribution center might have electrical problems, try reading Emergency Electrical Services for Distribution Centers.


Grounding Problems

The most common type of grounding problem with electrical wiring for commercial buildings is known as “ground loops”. Ground loops occur when electrical systems are connected to the ground wire through multiple ways. Often an unintended consequence, this typically happens when electrical equipment is interconnected, resulting in several different paths leading to the ground wire. Properly grounding your wires helps to ensure any excess energy is relayed through the ground. This helps to reduce damages to electrical appliances, as well as fire and electrocution. (Short circuits, for example, will create excessive energy surges. Grounding helps to reduce the likelihood of serious complications that may result when this energy surges.) Because multiple interconnections attribute to improper grounding, it is important to identify and correct each instance.


You came here to learn about the most common electrical problems in commercial buildings, and chances are its because you suspect you have an electrical problem. This article can help you spot electrical fire hazards in your workplace.


Disorganized Electrical Panels

If your electrical panel is messy and disorganized, it can create a problem in and of itself. An organized electrical panel ensures you can cut power to specific areas or appliances quickly. For example, if there is an electrical fire caused by faulty wires in one wing of your commercial building, getting to your electrical panel to cut power to that section immediately is essential. If you are having light fixtures in another portion of your building retrofitted, the power will also need to be turned off for that region while the installer is disconnecting and connecting wires.

Overcrowded Electrical Wiring

Overcrowding is one of the most common electrical problems in commercial buildings. But what does this really mean? Most wires are run behind drywall. However, they still come through openings in the wall to connect to fixtures, outlets, and other important things. When too many wires are pulled through a single opening, they rub against each other and become more prone to damage. As this damage worsens, the copper wiring can become exposed and lead to fires.


If you are having electrical problems in your commercial building, finding an electrical service provider is probably on your to-do-list. This can cause its own set of problems. How do you make this very large, potentially expensive decision, when you don’t know anything about electrical work? In our eBook: How to Choose the Best Electrical Service Provider. We walk wall you through the different levels of electrical certification, what level of experience you likely need, and what questions to ask when vetting an electrical service provider. Website Button - Download Now


Action Services Group Helps with Electrical Wiring for Commercial Buildings

The safety of those who occupy your building should be your number one concern when it comes to identifying potential electrical hazards. However, eliminating these problems can also help to reduce your average utility bills as well. (After all, when your electricity runs properly, it is more efficient and significantly less wasteful!) If you believe you may have commercial building electrical problems, please contact Action Services Group today, by calling 610-558-9773, email [email protected] or schedule a call.

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