Home Business Insights & Advice The importance of hiring a licensed electrician for your commercial rewire

The importance of hiring a licensed electrician for your commercial rewire

by Sarah Dunsby
13th Mar 23 1:22 pm

Commercial premises are not like domestic residences and will often require a very different electrical installation. Certainly, any business premises that have a high level of energy consumption will do. This could range from factories producing consumer goods to professional kitchens and cover many more sorts of light industrial units, too. More often than not, a commercial building that’s got a high electrical demand will have a three-phase wiring system and not – as is often the case in offices and residential addresses – a single-phase system. Therefore, when it comes to rewiring business premises, you really need a qualified electrician.

Better still, you will turn to a properly managed commercial electrical installer. Such companies don’t just have a couple of qualified electricians on their books but should have all the skills you will need including electrical engineering, site surveying expertise, installation know-how and the ability to sign off on the rewiring job when it is complete. If you have solar panels on the roof of your building, then you will also need a licensed electrician to be able to reconnect the array to your storage unit or, in the case of a grid-connected system, to the mains via your electrical distribution board following a rewire.

In other words, it never pays to skimp on commercial rewiring jobs and it is always better to turn to companies that have the necessary expertise in the sort of business premises you occupy. After all, it can be a very different experience running new electrical wiring around a leisure centre which might involve being close to swimming pools and spas than it would be in a warehouse where all of the electrics are likely to be on show, perhaps fixed to accessible, wall-mounted cable trays. Indeed, rewiring a commercial building that was constructed in the 80s or 90s which will often have dry risers, raised flooring and false ceilings are likely to represent a very different sort of challenge compared to an historic office building in the heart of Mayfair, Soho or Fitzrovia, for example.

Credentials and experience

Of course, one of the keys to selecting properly licensed electrical installers when opting for a commercial rewire is to check their credentials. This will mean that all of the electricians on the company’s books should have NICEIC accreditation. Without this, they have either not qualified as electricians or they have not kept up with their professional development and ceased to be fully qualified.

Yes, it is true to say that some electrical installers also have trainees and cable pullers on these sorts of jobs but any of the connections and more technical work must be completed by competent persons. A single electrician with a team of trainees simply isn’t adequate for commercial rewiring installations so look for companies that have the right credentials.

Another good tip is to confirm that the company you are considering to do the job of rewiring your business premises is Safe Contractor-approved. This means that they are used to undertaking commercial work and aren’t just NICEIC-accredited domestic electricians who do the occasional bit of work for commercial landlords or business owners. Furthermore, you should also make sure that the licensed electrical installers who will carry out your work are fully up to date with the relevant British Standard for electrical safety, BS7671.

Design expertise

It is worth noting that not all electrical rewiring jobs are the same. Sometimes, the electrics of a building could be in quite a good condition and the current design is fit for the purpose it serves. If so, then you might want licensed electrical engineers who can make an honest assessment about what to rip out and what to leave in place. If so, check out whether the company you’re negotiating with also does EICR reports and PAT testing, both electrical services that most business owners or facilities managers are likely to need down the line.

More likely, you’ll want to replace the entire wiring system in one fell swoop, however.This is because doing so will mean that the whole installation won’t need any further rewiring for at least another 25 years or so. Under such circumstances, a straightforward like-for-like replacement of the old wiring installation could be all you need. However, if the building has changed its purpose and you need more power outlets on a certain floor or there will be heavy-duty equipment plugged in for certain production runs, then a redesign may be needed before the rewiring takes place.

The same may be the case if you are converting your building so that multiple commercial tenants can occupy it. This will often mean splitting up the wiring installation so that each tenant has their own distribution board and mains connection for billing purposes. Either way, a skilled electrical design engineer will be needed. If so, look out for an Excellence in Electrotechnical and Engineering Services accreditation, a sure sign of professionalism and relevant commercial experience in wiring design work.

Business solutions

According to Goldfinch Electrical, one of the capital’s foremost commercial electrical installers, the ability to provide business clients with a wiring redesign service plus a new fit-out is what is most important to companies. In other words, what most commercial clients are looking for is a level of expertise that means they can explain what they need and let the licensed professionals get on with it. This would mean anything from designing a new wiring loom to repositioning power outlets in floor boxes according to the new office layout for a complete electrical solution.

In many cases, businesses also want structured network cabling to be installed while new wiring goes in. This is because lots of firms rely on Wi-Fi which can jam up at peak times. Besides, it doesn’t always have the reach that’s needed in certain workplaces. However, Ethernet cables can suffer from interference if they’re too close to mains or lighting wiring. Therefore, the perfect time to add extra capacity to your network is when new electrical wiring is going in. Both can be fitted at a suitable distance from one another so that both systems are optimised, future-proofed and ready to go the minute the installation has been successfully signed off.

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