Electrical Load Testing for Commercial Buildings
Electrical load testing, also known as electrical load monitoring, is an important part of keeping homes and businesses safe. What is the role of electrical load testing in commercial buildings?
Testing your commercial or industrial property will help you keep your property safe, prevent blackouts, save money and ensure you’re meeting code requirements.
What Is Electrical Load?
Every power system supplies different types of electrical load. In its simplest term, electrical load refers to a process that consumes electrical energy and transforms it into heat, light, and power.
All loads must be properly balanced to work well and avoid safety problems. Unbalanced loads occur when the power comes in at uneven levels. This can overwhelm the circuits on one side of a building and cause serious electrical problems.
Common Electrical Load Types
There are four basic types of electrical load.
Domestic or residential load: This is the typical electrical consumption of an average home. It usually involves lighting, air conditioning, kitchen appliances, small electronics and fans. Domestic load uses the smallest amounts of energy.
Commercial load: Retail stores, restaurants and small office buildings usually have commercial load levels. These include lighting, heating, air conditioning and computer equipment.
Industrial load: This is the load that powers small to large industrial operations, including machine shops, warehouses, and fabricators. Industrial operations use high amounts of power. This type of load is called a composite load because it involves high voltage and high frequency.
Agricultural load: Farms and other agricultural businesses use power to run pumps and machinery.
When To Test Your Load
All electrical installations get worn out with time. If you’re operating a commercial or industrial building, your electrical load is taking a regular beating. Regular testing will keep your business and your employees safe.
Electrical load testing should be done periodically to ensure your electrical wiring is properly handling the high loads your commercial property needs.
You should also conduct a test when you:
- Are installing new, high-wattage equipment.
- Have experienced unexplained drops or surges in power.
- Need to verify the load capacity of your system.
- Want to trim your energy bills.
- Have moved to a new location.
- Need to prepare for an inspection of your electrical system.
What Will a Test Show You?
A qualified electrical inspector will examine your wiring, circuits, accessories, boxes, cabling, and all protective housing. This is a thorough inspection that can take several days in a large industrial building. A SESCOS technician will work with your schedule to ensure you don’t experience extended business interruptions.
The test will point out any electrical problems, including:
- Overloaded outlets or circuits.
- Potential fire or shock hazards.
- Defective electrical work.
- Improper cabling.
- Lack of grounding.
What Will Be Tested?
A comprehensive electrical load test will check all the key areas of your property.
Wired electrical systems: A technician will check all your fixed, installed wiring to ensure it is balancing loads properly and is protected against shock, burns, and fire.
Freestanding appliances and equipment: These will be checked to make sure their plugs, cables and grounding are up to date.
Generators and emergency backup systems: Be sure your backup power is there for you if there’s a power outage.
Hazardous area inspections: A technician will ensure all wiring in hazardous areas is properly grounded, protected, and labeled.
Code and compliance: Electrical load testing will help you comply with local and national safety codes.
Get Testing To Stay Safe
Electrical load testing will keep your commercial property safe and ensure you comply with all codes. If you need to test your load levels, contact SESCOS to schedule an inspection today.