Planning ahead for your upgrade
No matter how well your building’s electrical system was designed, there comes a time when an electrical upgrade is necessary. Upgrading your electrical system improves both the safety and utility of your building. If you find your electrical system no longer meets your needs, there are a few things to consider before contacting an electrician.
Signs You’re Due for an Electrical Upgrade
Many older buildings were designed when demand for electricity was lower. They were typically built with 60 or 120 amps and a few circuits for an entire commercial building. This was enough decades ago, but it isn’t enough to power the amount of electronics and machinery in use today. Nowadays, even small workshops require at least 200 amps. One of the biggest signs you need an electrical upgrade is that there doesn’t seem to be enough power for everything. Your lights flicker or go out entirely when a large appliance or machine is turned on. Your equipment shuts itself off for no obvious reason. You might also notice the breakers frequently trip when you try to run all the electrical equipment you need at once. You may find yourself carefully planning which equipment to use at what time in attempt to avoid tripping your breakers. Worse yet, your breakers fail and don’t trip when they should, allowing your equipment to overheat.
What to expect
First, evaluate the electrical needs of your business. Make a list of the electrical appliances and equipment you currently use and any you’re planning to add, including lighting. If you’re existing lighting doesn’t allow you to work efficiently, consider upgrading to higher-voltage lighting or adding lights. Note any areas where you’d like to have more electrical outlets, such as those where you’re currently relying on extension cords. Also consider whether you’ll be building any additions that will also need an electrical supply. Your electrician will need to open up sections of your walls to access your wiring, which means some noise and mess is unavoidable. Schedule your upgrade for a time when it won’t interfere with your ability to do business.