What is the difference in commercial, residential, and industrial electricians?

An electrician is not a “one size fits all” profession because there are many differences among commercial, residential, and industrial electricians. For each type of job, an electrician will use different wiring techniques due to energy needs, equipment used, and load demands. Also, commercial, residential, and industrial electricians abide by different procedures and different materials. That is why it is so important to make sure you are hiring the right type of electrician to get the job done for you.

Residential Electricians
Obviously, residential electricians work in homes. They differ from industrial and commercial electricians because they use single phase power supplies (120-240 volts). Residential electricians run romex cables and keep the wiring hidden from view by wrapping their wiring in sheathed insulation. This approach minimizes exposure and damage to the wires, and, most importantly, protects homeowners from electrical shock.

Commercial Electricians
Stores and offices are where you will find a commercial electrician installing power outlets and lighting. By using a three-phase approach, their wiring has two smaller “legs” running one voltage and a larger “leg” running a higher voltage. Thus, the three-wire systems allows an overall lighter workload. The wiring done by commercial electricians remain exposed; however, it is typically run along the exposed sides of ceilings and walls.

Industrial Electricians
Basically, an industrial electrician is the same as a commercial electrician but works in factories, chemical plants, and mines. Industrial electricians also use a three-phase power set up. The main difference is that they mostly work with RMC conduit that powers control circuitry as opposed to running MTC or MC cables.

Here at Schaffhouser Electric we have quality industrial and commercial electricians for all of your wiring needs. Whether it is a store, office, factory, or plant, we will get the job done right!

What are the qualities of a good industrial or commercial electrician?

Schaffhouser Electric employs many quality industrial and commercial electricians. For our current customers and prospective customers, we want to explain the qualities that all of our industrial and commercial electricians possess to perform the jobs and repairs you need accomplished at your business or plant.

The tasks conducted by our industrial and commercial electricians range from testing and maintaining current electrical equipment to understanding new technologies, such as robotics and other newly developed equipment to perform the job needed to be accomplished.

So, what are the qualities of an excellent industrial or commercial electrician?

• Most importantly, an electrician working in industrial and commercial sites is always well educated and studies to increase his or her skill set in specialized electrical machinery, including robotics. Due to their relentless effort during apprenticeships and other educational processes, electricians tend to specialize in one or two specific areas to excel in the industrial or commercial field.

• Quality industrial and commercial engineers are clear thinkers who can work in cramped, difficult conditions where large pieces of equipment require them to climb to great heights to get the job done right.

• Even though quality industrial and commercial electricians are highly specialized in their respective areas, they are still team players. Being a part of team is critical because it is crucial that these electricians are great communicators to not only their supervisors but also their customers. Without proper communication skills, a productive, harmonious workplace will not be maintained. A huge component of this team is a quality industrial or commercial electrician.

• Industrial or commercial electricians are required to be flexible with their work hours because they are often required to work on problems that may arise outside of normal business hours in order to keep the business or plant running efficiently. Machinery does not always choose the most ideal time to be repaired, but a quality industrial or commercial electrician will always be ready to make that repair to ensure equipment continues to run at its full potential.

To hire a quality industrial or commercial electrician, we are only a phone call away at 615-325-8001.

UL Certified Builder of Industrial Control Panels

Schaffhouser Electric is pleased to announce that we have become a UL certified builder of industrial control panels. By seeing a UL mark on a panel, regulators, specifiers, and end-product certifiers will be confident that the panel meets all certification requirements. Additionally, in North America, UL Safety Marks are the most credible and pursued marks.

UL Certified

There are many benefits in choosing UL for your industrial control panel needs. Your competitive advantage will rise by providing your customers with UL certified general use, industrial machinery, elevator control, service equipment, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, fountain control, irrigation equipment, crane and flame control, and marine use panels. Also, your competitive advantage will rise by having the ability to bid on jobs that specify UL certified ICPs. When you choose UL for you industrial control panel needs, you will have greater efficiency because red-tagged panels at the job site will be eliminated, including the subsequent delays and extra cost. Another benefit in choosing UL is that regulatory authorities in every jurisdiction in the United States and Canada accept the UL Mark because it covers all requirements. All of these requirements include the following: proper component usage, enclosure environmental ratings, wiring and motor protection, safety markings, and conformance to the National Electrical Code (NEC) and Canadian Electrical Code (CEC).

To become UL certified, a company must acquire credits through UL Knowledge Solutions. They offer online course, private workshops, and public workshops all of which have been approved by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

How Static Electricity Affects Business

Static electricity is a type of electricity that you probably only associate with memories of school science experiments involving a balloon and hair raising. Or perhaps, you associate static electricity with the unexpected shock you sometimes get when you touch a metal object. You may be wondering what static electricity has to do with your business, and why you should care about this shock inducing energy. Well, static electricity can greatly affect your business in more ways than one.

In the drier seasons of the year, late fall and winter, static electricity is much more prevalent due to the lack of moisture in the air. This can be extremely dangerous if you work in a place where there is gasoline or another airborne flammable material in the air. In these situations, static electricity can ignite the airborne gas causing a potentially dangerous explosion.

Although most workplaces may not have flammable material in the air, the majority of workplaces do house electronics including computers and other office machinery that could be damage by static discharge. Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is basically a miniature version of lightning and can be extremely destructive on the micro level of circuit boards. This happens when the energy of the shock travels through the circuitry of the electronics and destroys critical elements along the way. One could compare this event to an electric storm in teacup that causes catastrophic damage to your equipment. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent this “tiny storm” from destroying your electronics in your workplace:

• Keep humidity levels regulated
• Treat carpets to prevent static buildup or invest in static proof mats
• Use non-static forming sprays on electronics
• Refrain from using compressed air to clean circuit boards
• Avoid placing plastic or polystyrene or other synthetic materials near electronics because these materials commonly cause static discharge
• Eliminate charge from circuitry by requiring technicians to wear an ESD wrist strap when working on electronic equipment

Static charge can most definitely destroy electronic equipment, so it is crucial to take the above precautions seriously to prevent damage. These precautions are particularly important for larger electronic equipment, like a server where critical data is stored. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to static electricity and your electronic equipment.

Pros and Cons of a Backup Generator

Having a power outage at your business or plant is definitely a worrisome thought for any business owner, especially if that outage could last longer than a half hour. That is why many owners decide to invest in an industrial backup generator. However, many would argue that the low frequency of power outages does not warrant investing in an industrial backup generator. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of purchasing a backup generator for your business so that you can make an informed decision.

Pros
Unfortunately, it seems that natural disasters are occurring more frequently, and as we have witnessed, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and severe storms can cause catastrophic damage to property. Since these devastations cannot be controlled, many owners will invest in an industrial backup generator in case of unforeseen power outages due to catastrophic events.

Risk Management

• Power outages that lasts for an hour or more can be detrimental for a business, so being prepared with an industrial backup generator will give any business an advantage over competitors during times of power outages.

• There will be no complaints from customers and no loss of revenue if your company can continue production with the use of an industrial backup generator.
More Revenue

• Obviously, many companies will lose revenue during power outages because they will not be capable of producing for their customers.

• Your company will gain new customers because your company will be in production due to your preparation of having an industrial backup generator, which gives you a competitive advantage.

Cons
Since catastrophic events are not predetermined, some may never need to rely on an industrial backup generator to keep production going at their business. Also, some routine maintenance is involved with an industrial backup generator. Therefore, the cons will outweigh the pros in deciding whether to invest in an industrial backup generator.

Expensive
• Small businesses may not have the budget to purchase an industrial backup generator on the front end.
• Industrial backup generator’s price tags range from $17,000 to $27,000.

Fueling Is Pricey
• Although you will not need to fuel a generator all the time, when you do you will have to use an alternative power source.
• Three fueling options for industrial backup generators are diesel, natural gas, or liquid propane.
• Of the three options, natural gas is the better option because it is renewable and cheap; whereas, diesel is the most expensive and not always the best.