Commercial vs. Residential Electrical Contractors: What’s the Difference?

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Blogs, Electrical Contractors, Electrical Maintenance, Energy Savings | Comments Off on Commercial vs. Residential Electrical Contractors: What’s the Difference?

Commercial vs. Residential Electrical Contractors: What’s the Difference?

In theory, electrical contractors are pretty much all alike, and it is true that given enough time and a good instruction manual, a residential electrical contractor could do a commercial contractor’s job, and vice versa. However, that’s the same as saying that a mechanic who works on compact cars and one who works on semis are the same: while they share a lot of the same traits, there are some noticeable differences. Here’s what you need to know.

Wiring and Phases

One of the major differences between a commercial electrical and a residential electrical contract is the actual wiring that is used, and the number of phases your contractor has to install your electrical to cope with. Commercial electrical typically requires heavier duty wiring to cope with more, higher power demands, and there may be more than one type of phase at play. For instance, an office may use single phase power, while a workshop or factory will almost certainly require commercial three phase power.

Installation Methods

Residential electrical installations are usually done before drywall, with all of the ugly bits hidden behind the walls of a home. It is rare that electrical maintenance will be required on the wiring that is correctly installed in a home. In a commercial setting, however, it’s expected that there will be regular changes and repairs required to the electrical, which is why it’s often installed in ducting or conduit where it will be easily accessible for repairs, replacement or alterations.

Different Codes and Standards

The other major difference between residential electric and commercial electric is that there are very different codes and standards involved in the design and installation of the two different types of electrical. The best practices for the design, installation and material selection for the two kinds of electrical are worlds apart, and it’s here that working with a company that has a team specializing in the kind of electrical you need will make all the difference.

Pricing Differences

Another major factor differentiating commercial electrical from residential electrical companies is how they price their projects. Since commercial electrical contractors work to different standards, under very different conditions and with different equipment to residential contractors, their pricing structure is likely to be very different to a company that specializes in residential electrical. In fact, if you got a quote on the same work from the two different kinds of contractor, you’re likely to notice a vast difference.

Energy Saving Methods for Residential Electrical

If you’re building a new home, or renovating an existing one, and you’re looking for energy savings in South Florida, then a local company who specialize in residential electrical (or have departments specializing in both commercial and residential) will be able to advise you on steps you can take to reduce power consumption in your home. They will be able to provide information on going partially off grid, and backup generators and power, all tailored to suit homeowner needs and budgets.

As a rule of thumb, remember that residential and commercial electrical are not interchangeable, and that most electrical companies specialize in one or the other (or have clear divisions for each.) Make sure that you contact the right kind of company for your project, so that you get the right work, to the right standards, at the right price.