Common Types of Commercial Electrical Repairs

When it comes to the day-to-day operations of businesses, few things are as crucial as a reliable electrical system. From powering computers and machinery to providing lighting and climate control, commercial spaces depend on electricity for nearly every aspect of their operations. However, electrical systems, like any other part of a building, are subject to wear and tear over time, which can lead to various problems and malfunctions.

In this blog, we will delve into the world of commercial electrical repairs, shedding light on the most common issues that businesses encounter.

Understanding these issues and their warning signs can help business owners and facility managers take proactive steps to ensure their electrical systems remain in good working condition.

Electrical System Basics

Electrical Panel

To effectively navigate the world of commercial electrical repairs, it’s essential to start with a solid understanding of the foundational components of a typical commercial electrical system. Commercial spaces are diverse, ranging from offices and retail stores to factories and warehouses, but they all share some fundamental electrical needs.

Components of a Commercial Electrical System

  1. Electrical Panels: These serve as the command center of your electrical system. Electrical panels distribute electricity to various circuits throughout your facility and are equipped with circuit breakers or fuses to protect against overloads and short circuits.

  2. Wiring: The wiring within your building carries electricity from the electrical panel to outlets, switches, and appliances. It’s crucial that wiring is properly installed, maintained, and insulated to prevent electrical issues.

  3. Outlets and Switches: These are the access points for electrical devices in your commercial space. Outlets provide power to equipment and devices, while switches control the flow of electricity to lights and other fixtures.

  4. Lighting Systems: Proper lighting is essential for both safety and productivity in commercial spaces. Lighting systems can vary from traditional fluorescent fixtures to energy-efficient LED setups.

  5. Appliances and Equipment: Depending on your business, you may have specialized electrical appliances and equipment, such as ovens in a restaurant, machinery in a manufacturing facility, or servers in a data center.

  6. Backup Power Systems: Many commercial spaces employ backup power systems, such as generators or uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), to ensure continuity of operations during power outages.

The Role of Electrical Systems

Commercial electrical systems play a vital role in ensuring the functionality and safety of your workspace:

  1. Safety: Properly designed and maintained electrical systems prevent electrical accidents, including electrical shocks, fires, and other hazards.

  2. Reliability: Businesses rely heavily on a consistent and uninterrupted power supply. Electrical systems must be reliable to prevent costly downtime.

  3. Efficiency: Well-designed systems ensure that electricity is distributed efficiently, minimizing energy waste and reducing operational costs.

  4. Compliance: Commercial buildings must adhere to electrical codes and regulations to ensure the safety of occupants and comply with the law.

Understanding these fundamental components and their roles is the first step in recognizing when something is amiss in your commercial electrical system.

Signs of Electrical Problems

Electrical Panel

In the world of commercial electrical systems, recognizing the warning signs of potential problems is a skill that can save you time, money, and headaches. Electrical issues, if left unattended, can escalate into major disruptions for your business.

Here, we’ll explore the common signs that should prompt you to investigate further and take action:

  1. Flickering Lights
  2. Frequent Circuit Breaker Trips
  3. Burnt Outlets or Switches
  4. Electrical Shocks or Sparks
  5. Power Surges
  6. Warm Outlets or Switches
  7. Burning Odors
  8. Tripped Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
  9. Inconsistent Power
  10. High Energy Bills

Understanding and promptly addressing these warning signs is crucial for maintaining the safety and functionality of your commercial electrical system.

Types of Common Commercial Electrical Repairs

Electrician fixing wiring in a electrical panel

Now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with the signs of potential electrical problems in commercial settings, let’s delve into the most common types of electrical repairs you might encounter. Identifying the issue correctly is key to ensuring the necessary repairs are made promptly.

Here are the common types of commercial electrical repairs:

  1. Electrical Panel Upgrades: Electrical panels are the heart of your electrical system. Over time, they may need upgrading to handle increased power demands. Signs that an upgrade is necessary include frequent breaker trips and outdated panels.

  2. Wiring Repairs and Replacement: Wiring issues can pose serious safety hazards. Repairs may involve fixing damaged wiring, addressing loose connections, or even rewiring sections of your commercial space if the wiring is outdated or inadequate.

  3. Lighting System Repairs: Proper lighting is essential for safety and productivity. Repairs can range from replacing faulty bulbs and ballasts to troubleshooting and fixing complex lighting system issues.

  4. Outlet and Switch Repairs: Malfunctioning outlets and switches can disrupt daily operations. Repairs involve fixing or replacing damaged outlets, switches, or their internal components.

  5. Generator and Backup Power System Maintenance: In areas prone to power outages, backup power systems are crucial. Regular maintenance ensures that generators and UPS systems are ready to provide power when needed.

These common repairs address a wide range of issues that businesses may encounter. Understanding the symptoms and underlying causes of electrical problems is essential in determining which type of repair is necessary.

Preventative Measures

NOOTER electrician working on electrical panel

Prevention is often the best strategy when it comes to managing electrical issues in commercial spaces. By taking proactive measures, you can minimize the likelihood of electrical problems and reduce the risk of costly repairs and downtime.

Here are some key preventative measures to consider:

  1. Regular Electrical Inspections
  2. Employee Education
  3. Scheduled Maintenance
  4. Load Balancing
  5. Upgrading Outdated Systems
  6. Emergency Preparedness
  7. Electrical Maintenance Contracts
  8. Surge Protection
  9. Fire Prevention

By implementing these preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of electrical problems in your commercial space.

Regular maintenance and proactive safety practices not only enhance the reliability of your electrical system but also contribute to a safer and more efficient working environment.


Commercial office building

In summary, this blog has provided valuable insights into the world of common commercial electrical repairs and preventative measures.

Here’s a concise list of key takeaways:

  1. Recognize Warning Signs: Be vigilant for signs of electrical issues such as flickering lights, circuit breaker trips, and burnt outlets.

  2. Prompt Action is Crucial: Address electrical problems promptly to prevent safety hazards and costly downtime.

  3. Electrical System Basics: Understand the components of your commercial electrical system, including panels, wiring, outlets, and switches.

  4. Common Repairs: Familiarize yourself with common repair types such as panel upgrades, wiring repairs, lighting system fixes, and outlet repairs.

  5. Preventative Measures: Take proactive steps like regular inspections, employee education, and scheduled maintenance to avoid electrical issues.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safety, reliability, and efficiency of your commercial electrical system, ultimately contributing to the smooth operation of your business.

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Members of NOOTER's St. Louis Electrical team

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