What type of electrical wiring is appropriate for buildings? What's the difference between residential wiring and commercial building wiring? Find out here.

If you’re neither a building contractor nor a electrician and you’re asked what kind of wiring your house (or office) has, it might be a somewhat uphill task providing an answer. Not that it’s your fault. Many folks don’t bother themselves with such information, so long as the lights come on when you need them to. Nevertheless, knowing how your house is wired can go a long way in helping you manage your electrical needs accordingly. 

At a first glance, the way your home is wired may look very similar to the way your employer’s block of offices is wired. But if you were to take a much deeper look, you’d discover that there are some marked differences between residential and commercial building wiring. 

These differences are the reason why certain buildings built for residential purposes cannot be converted overnight to commercial buildings (even if they are large enough to be used for such purposes). The wiring of a building - whether residential or commercial - is considered to be the lifeblood of that building and proper installation is important to ensure the safety of lives and property.

This is why in today’s article, we will be examining the differences between residential wiring and commercial building wiring as outlined below

Type Of Wiring Material Used

This is perhaps one difference you wouldn’t need a degree in electrical engineering to notice because it is easily observable. When it comes to residential homes, the wires are usually covered in polyvinyl chloride (commonly known as PVC). This is to prevent folks from accidentally getting electrocuted when they come across wires used in wiring. It is even more important when you consider the fact that children are naturally inquisitive, and as such need to be sufficiently protected from whatever unpleasant accidents that may occur as a result of their curiosity - including playing with naked wires when nobody is watching. Most of the wiring for residential homes is concentrated in the attic or crawl space.

For commercial building wiring, the process is a bit different. Instead of being encased in PVC, the wires (which are usually thicker) are fixed into protective tubes and are strategically placed such that they are easily visible. More often than not, the type of insulation used for covering wires in commercial buildings is built to withstand extreme heat temperatures and weather conditions so they are highly thermoplastic.

Electric Load Capacity & Power Phases

Another significant difference between residential and commercial building wiring has to do with how much electric current each wiring setup can conveniently handle. The average home doesn't consume much power. Most times, all you'd need to comfortably power your home is a single-phase wiring system. If you have heavy-duty electronics and large appliances that use up a lot of electricity, your home's wiring could be upgraded to a dual-phase system to handle the load.

Because of their extremely high electricity demand, the wiring for commercial buildings is usually in a three-phase design. This is a synergistic method of supplying electricity and it ensures that office equipment is kept in good working condition for as long as possible. An inefficient supply of electricity to commercial buildings can lead to power outages (or worse, fire outbreaks). The three-phase design, with its higher electricity output and better efficiency, is well suited for effectively supplying electricity to commercial buildings that use a lot of it.

How Easily Can Electric Fittings Be Accessed

Another area where commercial building wiring differs from that of residential buildings is the relative ease of accessibility of the wiring setups to electricians and building inspectors.

For many homeowners, much of the emphasis is placed - first - on safety, and then on aesthetics. How safe the house is for the little kids running around is of extreme importance to folks looking to rent or buy their own homes. This is the reason why the electrical wiring for many residential homes is hidden out of sight in the basement, attics, or crawl spaces to prevent unwanted electrical accidents from happening. The "out-of-sight" electrical wiring setup of residential homes also contributes to making the house look aesthetically pleasing to the eye, even though it may prove somewhat challenging for electricians to access in the event of an emergency.

For commercial buildings, on the other hand, the wiring is done in such a way as to grant easy access for repairs, upgrades, and maintenance work to be carried out. The emphasis for such buildings is not so much on aesthetics as it is on functionality. These buildings house a lot of businesses and whenever there is an electrical failure that disrupts normal business operations, every hour spent out of operation for these businesses is money being lost. And no company goes into business to make losses, certainly not.


Type Of Outlet Fixed 

For commercial buildings, the type of electrical outlet installed has to be strong enough to handle high voltage current flowing through it. So it's not unusual to see high-grade electrical sockets and fittings installed in factories and hospitals to adequately supply the electricity that the huge machines and equipment housed in them need.

Residential homes, on the other hand, would not need all that heavy-duty electricity outlet installations. So long as the sockets can handle the basic electrical needs of the house's electrical appliances, you may not need to ever request additional electrical outlets.


Commercial Building And Residential Home Wiring In Adelaide's South

Now that you know the basic differences between commercial building wiring and residential wiring, you have a good understanding of what (and what not) to do when it comes to planning your home or office's electricity requirements.

Nevertheless, to ensure the safety of you and your buildings, it's always advisable to employ the services of a reputable electrician in Adelaide South. And with Cozco Electrical Contractors your safety - and that of your family and property - is always guaranteed.