How to Troubleshoot Commonly Overlooked Electrical Issues in Commercial Buildings

Working in commercial buildings often means dealing with complex electrical systems. While major outages are usually obvious, subtle issues can be easy to miss. Knowing how to spot and diagnose common electrical problems can help prevent disruptions and even fires. In this comprehensive guide, I'll share techniques for troubleshooting some of the most overlooked electrical issues in commercial spaces.

Checking for Faulty Wiring

Faulty or outdated wiring is a leading cause of electrical fires in commercial buildings. Here are some signs of wiring problems and how to track them down:

Indications of Faulty Wiring

Inspecting the Electrical Panel

Checking Wiring Condition

Finding Neutral-Ground Faults

Mixing up neutral and ground wires creates dangerous stray voltage. Here's how to find neutral-ground faults:

Using a Voltmeter

Using a GFCI Outlet

Listening for Noise

Checking for Loose Connections

Loose wire connections can increase resistance and cause dangerous overheating. Here's how to find them:

Wiggle Testing

Thermal Imaging

Voltage Drop Testing

Inspecting Conduit and Raceways

Damaged or overloaded conduits can overheat wires and lead to breakdowns.

Checking for Damage

Assessing Wire Fill

Verifying Separations

Testing Grounding and Bonding

Proper grounding and bonding protects against shocks and stray voltage.

Using a Multimeter

Conducting a Formal 3-Point Test

Checking Equipotential

Following these troubleshooting steps can help catch overlooked electrical issues before they cause disruptions. Pay special attention to signs of overheating and loose connections which are common precursors to failure. Thermal scans and voltage drop testing also provide objective data to assesscondition and catch problems early. Properly grounding and bonding all conductive systems is critical to prevent shock hazards. Staying vigilant with electrical inspections and testing reduces risk and provides peace of mind.