The electrical needs of a commercial space can vary significantly from the electrical needs of residential buildings. Construction design differences between commercial and residential structures can limit the way that an electrical system is installed in a commercial setting.
Many commercial buildings are framed using metal components instead of wood. This can pose a challenge when it comes to running wiring throughout the space. Electricians must rely on some unique products to ensure that a commercial building has access to safe and reliable electricity over time.
One of the unique products available to commercial electricians is conduit. Conduit is essentially protective tubing that can be mounted to the metal frame of a commercial building. Delicate wiring and electrical components are then threaded through the tube in order to provide electrical access throughout the commercial space.
The type of conduit used will depend on the environment the electrical system will be exposed to in the future. Moisture, chemicals, and other environmental contaminants can cause corrosion.
In commercial buildings where these contaminants will be present, aluminum conduit is used. Aluminum can resist corrosion to better protect electrical wiring. Conduit can also be made from steel or PVC.
Rigid conduit is used in outdoor applications and for long wire runs. Flexible conduit is capable of snaking through walls, making it the perfect choice for short-run applications. Commercial electricians will typically use several different types of conduit in coordination with one another to complete any major wiring project.
Another product that commercial electricians rely heavily on is cabling. Cables used in electrical applications are classified as armored cables. This means that the wiring within is protected by a specialized jacketing, a flexible aluminum layer, and a weather-resistant outer jacketing.
Multiple layers of protection allow armored cabling to be installed both indoors and outdoors without worrying about corrosion or degradation. Armored cabling can be utilized in hazardous commercial environments if it has been treated with an explosive-proof coating. This versatility helps drive the popularity of cables in commercial settings.
Electricians like to use cables when possible because it reduces the amount of work they must complete. The cabling can be run directly, rather than having to be threaded through a pre-installed conduit.
Commercial electrical systems are complex. They must be capable of withstanding harsh environments and adapting to the metal frames that are used in many commercial construction applications. Conduit and cables are two products that commercial electricians can rely on to create safe and functional electrical systems in any setting. Reach out to a company like Gosling Electrical Service for more information.