7 Common Electrical Problems in Commercial Buildings

Every time you flip a light switch, use a computer, or turn on a machine in your business, you’re relying on the electricity of the building to sustain operations, productivity, and comfort. Unfortunately, electrical issues can often occur, disrupting business operations and posing safety risks. Here are 7 common electrical problems in commercial buildings and how to address them.

Warning Signs of Commercial Electrical Issues 

Various warning signs of issues help you know when it might be time to call in an electrician. These signs of electrical issues in commercial buildings include:

  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Frequent circuit breaker trips
  • Outlets or switches are warm when touched
  • Burning smells and sparks
  • Frequent blown fuses
  • Discolored or charred outlets and switches
  • Electric shocks when using appliances, outlets, or switches
  • Unusual sounds like buzzing, crackling, or sizzling
  • Over-reliance on extension cords

7 Common Commercial Electrical Issues 

Several things can cause these warning signs and electrical issues. A professional commercial electrician, like Current Solutions Electric, can help you get to the root cause of your issues. Listed below are the most common electrical problems found in commercial buildings.

1. Circuit Overloads

Your circuit breakers are like a safety switch responsible for interrupting the flow of electricity in your electrical panel when something is wrong. With many devices and equipment in commercial buildings, circuits can become overloaded, leading to tripped breakers or blown fuses. This can cause power outages in parts of the building and potentially damage sensitive equipment. Regular electrical maintenance can help identify circuits at risk of overload and redistribute power loads as needed. If your building’s electrical needs have outgrown the original electrical panel, it may be time to install a new one.

2. Disorganized Electrical Panels 

A disorganized or mislabeled electrical panel can be annoying at best and dangerous at worst. When replacing an outlet or light switch, the last thing you want to do is spend time trying to find the right circuit to turn off. Outlets and fixtures in the same room can be connected to different circuits. If they aren’t labeled clearly in your electrical panel, it can be impossible to know if the power to everything is turned off and safe to handle.

7 Common Electrical Problems in Commercial Buildings

3. Inadequate or Faulty Wiring

Inadequate, outdated, or faulty wiring is common in many older commercial buildings. If the wiring isn’t suitable for the building’s power demands, it can lead to various problems. Wiring installed incorrectly, not correctly grounded, or insufficiently spaced poses a danger and can cause electrical fires. A professional electrician can assess the wiring and recommend upgrades if needed.

4. Insufficient Outlets

Commercial buildings house a multitude of electrical devices. Staff may use extension cords or power strips if there aren’t enough outlets; however, extension cords are not meant to replace outlets. Extension cords can overheat, causing circuit overloads and fire risks. Installing more outlets in a commercial building is quick and easy for an electrician and they help accommodate the building’s needs safely.

5. Grounding Problems 

Proper grounding protects anything hardwired into your building’s electrical system or plugged into an outlet from surges. Ground loops are the most common grounding problems in commercial buildings. They typically occur when an electrical system is connected to the ground wire at more than one point, closing the loop instead allowing the energy to be safely shed.

7 Common Electrical Problems in Commercial Buildings

6. Improper Installation of Hardwired Machinery or Appliances 

Anytime your building needs an appliance installed that doesn’t just plug into an outlet, you should call an electrician. An improperly installed, hardwired appliance, such as a dishwasher, overhead fan, or electric vehicle charging station, can result in many issues, from poor performance to fire or electrocution.

7. Aging Electrical Systems 

Electrical systems in older buildings may not meet current codes and could struggle to support modern, power-hungry devices. An aging system may exhibit problems like inconsistent power supply, frequent outages, or electrical shocks. Aging components may need to be updated or replaced.

Commercial Electrical Services with Current Solutions Electric

Building managers can better identify potential problems and seek professional solutions when they understand these common issues. Through regular maintenance and timely repairs, you can keep your commercial building powered safely and effectively, supporting your business’s ongoing success. At Current Solutions Electric, our team of professional electricians can repair and resolve your commercial electrical issues after establishing where they stem from. Call us at (816) 551-2889, or click here for a quote!

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