Differences Between a Commercial Electrician and a Residential Electrician
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5 Key Differences Between a Commercial Electrician and a Residential Electrician

Contrary to what many people believe, the electrician is not a one-size-fits-all profession. Some electricians specialise in a different focus area and sector than the other and work in an entirely distinct environment. Therefore, homeowners and business owners should check the electrician’s specific expertise before hiring one to ensure they get the right electrician that fits their project’s needs.

Two of the common types of electricians are the electrician for commercial and the one for residential sectors. Here are the five primary differences between a commercial electrician and a residential electrician.

Licenses and scope of work

The way a commercial electrician obtains their license differs from a residential electrician. An electrician for commercials needs to get a license and at the same time, are required to undergo an apprenticeship program to obtain a certification. Residential electricians, on the other hand, only need a license and are usually not required to go through any certification training.

When it comes to the scope of work, commercial electricians are more involved with architects, designers, and contractors. They are required to view a project from a different angle and execute their role on a big scale. They may also need to give detailed installations’ drawings and plans.

The residential electricians’ work scope, in contrast, is typically restricted to homeowners and their application. Unlike commercial electricians, they do not have to perform detailed planning on their projects or jobs.

Types of wiring

The wiring types utilised on a particular building are different. In commercial buildings where commercial electricians work, the wiring comes with tube-like conduits as protection. These wires are attached in open spaces for easy access.

On the other hand, in residential homes where residential electricians work, conduits are rarely used. Moreover, a plastic sheathing, which is important to protect anyone from getting injured from touching naked wires, will be wound around the narrow and thin cables that are placed in the attic or crawl spaces.

Wiring accessibility

Wiring in commercial buildings is well-positioned for easy access and repair. Since there will be too much going on every day within these buildings, which can take a toll on the wiring much faster than the residential settings, the commercial electricians must take this factor into account during installation and when doing repairs.

In contrast, wiring in residential buildings is hidden behind the drywall, so the wiring is not accessible by children and pets in the house. Also, positioning the wiring behind the walls helps protect away the unsightly electrical cables.

Power phases

Commercial buildings need more power compared to residential buildings. Commercial buildings utilise three-phase power, which comprises a 208V leg, a neutral wire, and a 120V leg. In contrast, residential buildings use single-phase power which comes with a 120V leg and a neutral wire.

Grade of electrical materials

Compared to residential buildings, commercial buildings require materials that can withstand more heat, chemical exposure, and corrosion. They also have to adhere to different standards. Additionally, commercial settings like the hospitals require a backup power source to accommodate more demanding power usage. 

Residential electricians offer services to residential buildings and homes. On the other hand, commercial electricians work with a more complex building setup, such as government buildings, hospitals, and restaurants. The different electricity levels and accessibility demands in these two types of buildings make up for differences in the way the wiring is installed or repaired.

Author Bio: Hannah Gilbert is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting, and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.

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