What is the difference between a domestic and a commercial electrician?

20th June 2019 Joshua Gardner - Founder

An electrician is an electrician, right? Well, that depends. All electricians need industry-recognised qualifications and must know their way around a fuse board. However, did you know that domestic electricians and commercial electricians specialise in different areas? So, before you hire someone for your project, it’s good to be clear about what you’re looking for.

What is a commercial electrician?

A commercial electrician is a qualified professional who works in commercial settings and workplaces. These may include offices, schools, retail outlets, restaurants and data centres. Commercial electricians must ensure that these areas are safe and compliant with all the relevant electrical standards and approved codes of practice, some of which are different from those covering domestic premises.

Specialist expertise

Commercial and domestic electrical contractors will have different responsibilities, knowledge and experience. For example, commercial and domestic settings have different wiring setups. Residential homes tend to use a single-phase power supply of 230 volts a.c with the majority of the cabling used being standard PVC sheath cabling. Commercial electrical installations generally comprise of a three-phase power supply of 400 volts a.c and the cabling used is extremely variable. From fire proof cable, to steel wired armoured cable, mineral insulated cable, ‘low smoke zero halogen’ (LSZH) and many more different types.

Different legislation applies for commercial electricians, due to carrying out electrical installation and maintenance in workplaces. They are legally obliged to comply with The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 which governs the maintenance of electrical systems in the workplace. Electrical standards and approved codes of practice may be different too, depending on the appliances or machinery involved. Therefore, electricians must be well-informed in the appropriate standards for the setting they are working in.

Point Electrical staff working on site

The work itself

The types of job you would call an electrician for in your home may include; to upgrade your fuse box, searching for faults after an RCD device or fuse has tripped, or to carry out an electrical inspection report to ensure everything in your home is safe.

Commercial electricians, on the other hand, will typically be responsible for larger-scale projects, dealing with systems not found in residential settings. This could include; server rooms, backup generators, UPS systems and industrial control panels. Although they are well qualified in their own sphere, domestic electricians may not always have the right qualifications or expertise to carry out commercial project work.

How a commercial electrical contractor can help your business

The commercial electricians at Point Electrical are all skilled, positive people who are willing to help. If you are responsible for commercial premises, whether that be an office, shop, medical centre or restaurant, you can count on us to carry out the work needed in a safe and timely manner. Here are some of the commercial services we can offer to your business or workplace:

• Carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) to confirm that your electrics are safe and compliant with the IET Wiring Regulations.
• Reactive call-outs to get the supply back online. (?)
• Installation of new LED lighting systems, helping to reduce energy bills and your carbon footprint.
• Install and maintain emergency lighting, data centres, backup generators, UPS systems, lighting control systems, heat recovery systems and ventilation systems.
• Carry out electrical installation for a new build.
• Offer specialist advice on how you can save electrical energy in the workplace with more sustainable options.
• Fault-finding to get to the root of any problems you are having with your electrics.
• Networking.
• Switchgear installation and maintenance.
• Bespoke lighting designs, created specifically to meet your needs.
• Portable appliance testing (PAT), to ensure that your equipment is maintained in a safe condition.

Want to know more? Find out about our commercial and industrial electrical services.

Joshua Gardner - Founder

Founder of Point Electrical