Commercial electrician at work

How to Prepare for a Commercial Electrical Project

Commercial electrical projects are large undertakings. For this reason, they require careful planning and preparation to ensure the project is completed on time and under budget. Poor preparation for any electrical project may result in delays, cost overruns, safety hazards, code violations, and incorrect installation.

Define Your Project Needs

Clearly understand the purpose of the project. What equipment and functionalities will require electrical work? This could involve anything from lighting and outlets to complex machinery and network systems.

Commercial electrician at work

Get Professional Help

Consulting a qualified and licensed commercial electrician is crucial. They can assess your energy needs, ensure compliance with building codes and safety regulations, pass inspections, and provide an estimate.

Gather Project Information

Collaborate with the electrician to gather details like the existing electrical layout (if applicable), blueprints, and any specific requirements for the new installation.

Define Project Scope and Objectives

Work with your commercial electrical contractor to prepare a detailed project scope. This includes the specifications of the electrical work that needs to be completed, specific milestones for the project, and the deadline.

Establish a Realistic Budget

Discuss the costs associated with materials, labor, permits, and potential disruptions to your business operations with the electrician.

Develop a Detailed Project Plan

A detailed project schedule ensures that everyone understands their assigned tasks, determines responsibilities to the industrial electricians and other team members, and considers possible complications and contingencies to address them.

Complete a Site Survey

Perform a thorough site survey to assess the existing electrical infrastructure, identify potential challenges, and gather detailed measurements for equipment placement and wiring requirements.

Get Permits and Approvals

Not having all the necessary permits and approvals from local officials and regulatory agencies can be an extreme headache later in the process. Make sure you have them in place before the project begins to ensure it’s compliant with all building codes and electrical safety standards.

Order Supplies and Equipment

Order all necessary electrical supplies, equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE) before starting the project to limit delays and ensure a good start for the project.

Preparation is the key to a successfully completing a commercial electrical project. Completing these tasks before the start of the project significantly reduces the number of issues and complications that may occur while it is underway. It also ensures that the project is done safely, on time, and under budget.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Commercial Electrical Project

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all your questions about your industrial electrical project. For more information or to get a quote for your commercial electrical project, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Completed electric vehicle charging station installation

Best Practices for an Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation

Electric vehicles are more popular than ever, so there is a greater demand for electric vehicle charging station installations.

Initial Questions to Ask About an EV Charging Station Installation

Here are some of the questions you need to ask before planning an EV charging station installation:

Is it for home or commercial use? – This determines the equipment and level of planning necessary for the charging station installation.  

Where are you installing the EV charging station? – Location is critical for a smooth installation.

Does this location require permits or inspections? – Some areas require permits and inspections to implement a new EV charging station properly.

Do it yourself or hire an expert? – Electric vehicle charging station installations are complex; unless you are an experienced electrician, you should hire a reputable commercial electrical company to install it.

Completed electric vehicle charging station installation

Preparing for an EV Charging Station Installation

The one factor that influences the success or failure of a project is how much preparation the person or company makes.

Location, Location, Location – A home EV charging station is typically where you park the electric vehicle. For a business, this can be a bit more complicated. You must consider accessibility, parking, lighting, and protection from the elements.

EV Charger Level – Consider your charging needs and budget when selecting a charger level. Level 1 chargers are the slowest, and Level 3 charges the fastest.

Electrical Capacity – How many vehicles need to be charged at the same time? Can your electrical panel handle the load of an EV charger? If not, you might need an electric upgrade.

Infrastructure Assessment —An experienced team of EV charging station installers needs to review the infrastructure for the charging station. This should be an experienced commercial electrician who can determine the energy capacity for the installation and determine if any construction, concrete work, or excavation needs to happen near the charging station site.

Get Permits and Inspections  — An experienced installation team member works with local officials and agencies to line up the proper permits and inspections for the construction of the charging station.

Find Funding to Build – Many areas have city, state, and Federal incentives and rebates for customers installing green energy infrastructure. These might be tax breaks, utility company rebates, and state and local credits.

Constructing the Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Once everything is in place, you can begin constructing the EV charging station. This may involve excavation, running cable to buildings, building the infrastructure to support the charging station, and landscaping.

Choose the Right Equipment – Ensure the charger is certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL).

Prioritize grounding – Confirm that the station is grounded correctly for safety.

Build safety features – Depending on the station location, security cameras, signs, and additional lights might be needed.

Get Professional Commercial Electricians Involved – This complex installation could be dangerous if installed incorrectly. 

Are You Looking for an Experienced Electric Charging Station Installer?

Then look no further. Tri-State Electrical is a premier electric charging station installer in the Southeastern US. For more information or to get a quote for an EV charging station installation, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

High voltage commercial electrician at work

5 Commercial Businesses That Require High-Voltage Electrical Services

High voltage electrical needs are not limited to industrial electrical customers. Many commercial businesses also require high-voltage electrical services to deliver power to their customers and keep their businesses running. Here are some examples of the types of commercial customers that require high-voltage electrical services:

1. Large Office Complexes

Large office complexes, whether they are in skyscrapers, or spread out office parks require a tremendous amount of power to function. These complexes require reliable electrical power for lights, heating and cooling, elevators, telecommunication centers, computer operations, and much more. These businesses require transformers to bring power from the grid to these buildings and robust power distribution systems to deliver it.

High voltage commercial electrician at work

2. Retail Stores

Today’s retail space features large, open spaces requiring extensive lighting systems, heating and cooling controls, elevators and escalators, power for plumbing, security systems, and much more. The commercial electrical services required gets even more important and complicated if this is a large shopping center or mall.

3. Hotels

Hotels have the same lighting and temperature control needs as office complexes and stores, but also experience variable power demand based on the current occupancy in the building. This makes high-voltage power automation systems critical to optimize energy usage to keep energy costs low to maintain profitability. Some large hotels also install high-voltage backup generators available in the event of a power outage.

4. Healthcare Facilities

A lot of medical equipment requires a tremendous amount of power. MRI machines, surgical lasers, robotic surgery systems, and more. The power supplied to medical facilities must also be robust and consistent so that surges and brownouts do not damage the delicate equipment. Rugged backup generators also need to be installed to keep life-saving equipment operational when the main power grid is offline. This power needs to be consistent and transition smoothly from the main grid to the backup generators when taking care of patients during an emergency. This requires the installation of specialized high-voltage power lines and transformers to ensure the smooth transmission of power into the medical facility.

5. Restaurants

Restaurants are another business that requires flexible lighting and temperature controls, but also need to power high-voltage food preparation equipment such as room-sized refrigerators and freezers, smoke and odor filtration systems, and cooking equipment.

Looking for Best-In-Class Commerical Electrical Services?

Give Tri-State Electrical a call. We pride ourselves on answering all your questions about your commercial electrical project needs. It doesn’t matter if you are a retail store, office complex, or medical facility we have the commercial electrical expertise you are looking for. For more information or a quote for a commercial electrical project, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Solar storage installation for the Tesla Powerwall storage system in Knoxville

5 Factors That Contribute to Industrial Electrical Services Cost

An industrial electrical project is typically very expensive. This post identifies and describes five factors that contribute to the cost of an industrial electrical services project.

1  – Scope of Work

Solar storage installation for the Tesla Powerwall storage system in Knoxville

Typically, the project scope is the most significant contributor to your industrial electrical services project’s cost. All industrial electric projects begin with a scope of work, a statement about what specific actions the electrical services company takes to complete the project.

These can range from a simple repair, such as upgrading wiring to one industrial component, or as large as installing new electrical systems in multiple buildings at a site. The longer the project will take, the more expensive the estimate.

2  –  Experience Required to Complete the Project

Most industrial projects are highly technical jobs that need to be customized to fit within the plant. Many laws and regulations must be followed to have the work pass an inspection. Therefore, an industrial services electrician has to have specific skills and experience to complete the work. The training and certifications required for performing complex or highly specialized tasks is very expensive. For this reason, the labor cost of an industrial electrical project will be high.

3  –  Time of Service

It would be great if industrial electrical equipment would choose to break down sometime between 8 am and 5 pm on a weekday, but the reality is that this can happen at any time and that includes at night, on weekends, and during holidays. Businesses must pay a premium rate for after hours or emergency services.

4  –  Location of the Project

The location of the project can have a significant impact on the cost of an industrial electrical services project. For example, if the project is far away from the electric services company, there will be travel expenses and travel time that need to be built into the cost. If the location is in an extremely hot or cold place, the industrial electrical contractor may need special equipment or training to work in these locations. Some locations, such as a refinery or heavy industrial manufacturer, may require special training and safety equipment to complete the project.

5  –  Materials Needed for the Project

Simple electrical projects might need a new switch and wiring to repair one piece of industrial equipment. Still, others might require a significant amount of wire, conduit, electric panels, PLCs, and much more. The materials needed, their availability, and the amount needed will increase the cost of the overall project.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Access Control System Installation Needs

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all your questions about your industrial electrical services project. For more information or to get a quote for your industrial electrical project, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Tool for performing commercial electrical services

5 Tips for Maintaining Commercial Electrical Systems

Commercial electrical systems are complex and require regular maintenance to ensure safety, reliability, and efficiency. Although it is always a good idea to have an experienced commercial electrician regularly inspect your system, there are a few actions you can take yourself:

1. Inspect Electrical Appliances and Equipment

You should check your electrical equipment and appliances weekly for signs of wear and damage. Look for frayed wiring and cords, and check the outlets, plugs, and panels for any cracks or warping.

Don’t forget to use your other senses to inspect the equipment. If you feel excessive heat radiating off of equipment or smell hot rubber or plastic, these might indicate an overloaded circuit or damage causing the equipment to run hot. Pay attention if your equipment makes strange sounds or sounds louder than usual. Grinding or scraping sounds can indicate misaligned, damaged, or worn parts within the equipment.

Damaged equipment runs less efficiently, and if the issues are not addressed promptly, it may result in a more expensive repair.

Tool for performing commercial electrical services

2. Read the Manuals

Most commercial equipment and appliances require regular maintenance schedules for lubrication, changing filters, adding fluids, etc. The manuals for your equipment will always have information about its maintenance schedule. Follow the equipment manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to the letter to prevent problems down the line.

3. Prevent Overloaded Circuits

A lot of commercial-grade electrical equipment requires a lot of power. If you have older circuits and wiring in your building, you might be consuming more energy than the electrical equipment was designed to handle.

Overloading circuits may cause fires or electrocution hazards. Always make sure not to plug in too many appliances into a single outlet or surge protector. And never use extension cords for high-wattage appliances.

4. Maintain Detailed Electrical Maintenance and Repair Records

A detailed record of all maintenance performed on your electrical system is critical for adhering to regular maintenance schedules, identifying chronic or predictable issues with the system, and discovering potential problems that might become more significant problems in the future. Good maintenance records can prolong the life of your equipment, limit downtime and expensive repairs, and inform the commercial electrical company you hire of the system’s current status.

5. Call a Professional Commercial Electrician

Hiring a certified commercial electrical company to manage your electrical needs can also make it a lot easier on yourself.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Commercial Electrical Services Needs

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all of your questions about your commercial electrical service needs. For more information, get a quote for your commercial electrical projects by calling (423) 800-2134, filling out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Horizontal cabling system installed by a commercial electric company

Factors to Consider When Designing a Horizontal Cabling System

A horizontal cabling system is an essential component of a structured cabling system that connects the telecommunications room to work areas or outlets on the same floor. It typically uses a star topology that connects each work area to the telecommunications room via a single cable.

Horizontal cabling system installed by a commercial electric company

Components of a Horizontal Cabling System

To properly design a horizontal cabling system, you need to know what components you’ll use within it. It all starts with a telecommunications room. Most modern buildings have a telecommunications room on each floor.

  • Telecommunications outlet – This is where the horizontal cable terminates in the work area.
  • Horizontal cable – Runs between the telecommunications room and the telecommunications outlet. Most of these cables are now fiber optic cables, but copper cabling is sometimes still used.
  • Patch panel – This is where the horizontal cables terminate in the telecommunications room. A good horizontal cabling system design makes accessing, connecting, and disconnecting cables easy.
  • Jumper – This short cable connects the patch panel to the telecommunications equipment.

Design Factors of Horizontal Cabling

These cabling systems are required to meet specific performance and reliability standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These standards are the most important factors to consider when designing a horizontal cabling system.

The following are some of the design factors for a horizontal cabling system:

  • Location – It’s vital to locate the telecommunications room on each floor in a secure, centralized location. Ideally, it should be near the same place on each floor of the building to make it easy to interconnect the networks between separate floors. This location should be in a secure area, only allowing authorized personnel to access the system.
  • Cable Type – The cable type you select depends on several factors. Copper cable is cheaper, easier to install, and better for rugged environments, but it does not work well over long distances or where there is a lot of electromagnetic interference. Fiber optic is the best solution for high bandwidth and doesn’t require additional equipment such as repeaters or signal boosters when transmitting over great distances.
  • Cable Length – This depends almost entirely on the space available within the building—copper wire takes up a lot more physical space than fiber-optic cable—and the work areas within the building.
  • Number of Cables – The number of cables needed impacts the size and accessiblity of the space between workstations and telecommunications room, as well as the number of workstations on the floor.

However, the most important element when designing your horizontal cabling system is the right company to design and install it. You need seasoned commercial electrical contractors with telecommunications experience to ensure that the installed cabling system meets all of your needs.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Install Your Horizontal Cabling System

At Tri-State Electrical, we are commercial electrical service specialists who design, install, and maintain horizontal cabling systems. For more information, get a quote for this, or any other, of your commercial or industrial electrical projects, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Smart lighting installed by a commercial electric company

5 Projects You Should Hire a Commercial Electrical Company to Install

When investing in commercial properties, whether retail space, a restaurant, apartment buildings, or an office complex, you need to adapt to the times to attract and hold onto the best tenants. In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, this can be done through electrical improvements to your building’s basic infrastructure. Here are five commercial electrical enhancements you can install today to add value to your business:

Smart Lighting Systems – Upgrading your lighting system is a cost-effective way to increase the value of your commercial property. Smart lighting systems save energy by automatically shutting off when not in use. But these lighting systems can also be particularly effective if paired with a burglar alarm system. Replacing your old lighting systems with LED lights is another way to reduce operation costs within your buildings. LED lighting uses less energy than other types of lighting, such as fluorescent or halogen lights, and lasts up to 25 times longer than these bulbs.

Smart lighting installed by a commercial electric company

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – The electric vehicle market is growing steadily. So why not install electric vehicle charging stations to attract and maintain those customers by giving them another reason to patronize your business? This is a great way to show your customers that you provide the latest technology and are environmentally friendly as well.

Solar Panels and Solar Storage Systems – This is another way to show your customers that you are committed to reducing your carbon footprint. But the benefits of installing solar panels and a solar storage system do not stop there. Using solar power means lower energy costs for your building, and if you install a solar storage system with it, you will be able to stay open for business while other companies are in the dark.

Electronic Access Systems – Lost keys and changing locks can be a thing of the past if you install an electronic access system. They are more secure than traditional lock and key setups and can provide specific data on who is entering and leaving your building.

Commercial Grade Surge Protection – Electrical surges and brownouts cause millions of dollars of damage to electronics annually. Installing a commercial-grade surge protector is another way to protect your property and your customers from unexpected electrical problems.

You should never attempt to install any of these projects yourself. Only well-trained and certified commercial electricians should install these projects. They can do it faster, safer, and cheaper than attempting to do it yourself.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Commercial Electrical Services Needs

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all of your questions about your commercial electrical service needs. For more information, or to get a quote for your commercial electrical projects, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Commercial electrical contractor at work

7 Areas a Commercial Property Owner Should Ask Questions About in an Electrical Contracting Company

Commercial properties, whether retail spaces, restaurants, apartment buildings, or manufacturing plants, have many electrical needs. And commercial property owners need to select the best commercial electrical contractor to handle these needs. A commercial electrical contractor takes on a wide variety of projects, such as indoor and outdoor lighting, smart building systems, wiring repair and replacement, electrical for climate control systems, and much more. What should commercial property owners look for in a commercial electrical contracting company with this wide range of projects? What questions should you ask when selecting the right commercial electricians for your business? Here we have listed seven different areas with example questions you should ask any potential contractor.

Commercial electrical contractor at work
  • Licensed and insured –  Is the electrical contractor must be licensed and insured in the state where the building is located? This is extremely important to protect it if something goes wrong.
  • Experience – Does the electrical contractor has a verifiable portfolio of projects of similar size and scope to yours?
  • References – Get input from other customers. Are they pleased with the quality and cost of the electrical contractor’s work? What does the client think about the company’s customer service? Have they had any problems? Are they satisfied with the resolutions?
  • Availability – How soon can they get started on your project? How long do they think it will take to complete the project? Does it fit your timeline?
  • Quality – Does the commercial electrical contractor provide a warranty for their work? Are they members of professional organizations such as NECA and the Associated General Contractors of America? Have their electricians earned certificates and pursued additional training?
  • Safety – What is the contractor’s commitment to safety? Are they members of organizations such as OSHA and the CORE Safety Group? Does the company culture promote safety?
  • Affordability – Is the price competitive compared to other quotes for the work? What does the price specifically cover when evaluating the quotes? Is it by the project? Or is it a time and materials project? Do they provide a written quote?

Asking questions in these seven areas will help you choose the right electrical contracting company for your commercial property.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Handle Your Commercial Electrical Services Needs

At Tri-State Electrical, we pride ourselves on answering all of your questions about your commercial electrical service needs. For more information, get a quote for your commercial electrical projects by calling (423) 800-2134, filling out our simple online form, or emailing us at today.

An industrial electrician performing industrial electrical services in Atlanta

What is an Industrial Electrician?

Simply put, industrial electricians support an industrial plant’s electrical needs, whether these are monitoring the electrical controls via PLC panels, monitoring energy usage, wiring and maintaining the plant’s electrical infrastructure, or working with the installed industrial equipment.

Because of the nature of this type of work, industrial electricians require a broad range of skills and experience to perform their jobs effectively. This means that they need to have a lot of experience working with different types of highly specialized industrial equipment, advanced troubleshooting skills, the ability to read and interpret drawings and blueprints, awareness of electrical codes, industrial control system operation, and much more. They also need skills and experience outside of working with electrical equipment. For example, industrial electricians need to coordinate with other contractors working on the equipment or building, work with vendors to order parts and troubleshoot issues, collaborate with inspectors and regulatory agencies, so having good communication and “people” skills are a must.

An industrial electrician performing industrial electrical services in Atlanta

Why Industrial Electricians Are Important

Industrial companies must have equipment and facilities that operate smoothly. Any downtime can cost the company thousands, even millions of dollars. In addition, failing to follow the proper electrical codes and standards may result in expensive penalties and fines and perhaps endanger the company’s equipment, facilities, or the lives of its employees. For these reasons, an excellent electrical electrician is essential for any industrial operation.

Job Requirements for Industrial Electricians

As you can see, industrial electricians are a unique breed of electricians who need a broad range of experience and skills. They need more training and experience than other electricians and need to be constantly learning to perform their jobs well. Some of the training an industrial electrician may need include:

  • At least a high-school diploma
  • Completion of an electrician apprenticeship program
  • Specialized training for electrical equipment (installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, etc.
  • A journeyman electrician license
  • Several years of experience working closely with a senior industrial electrician

Because industrial electricians have to lift, move, and sometimes work in tight, cramped spaces, they should be reasonably physically fit and strong. They also need to be comfortable working in hectic, noisy, dirty work environments under stressful conditions. For these reasons, the ability to handle stress is a must. This makes good industrial electricians a valued resource for all companies.

Tri-State Electrical Provides Best-in-Class Industrial Electrical Services in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors understands what modern industrial companies need in the ever-changing, complex, world. We provide superior industrial electrical services, including equipment installation, troubleshooting, PLC installation and programming, installing electrical equipment in new industrial plants, and much more. We can handle any commercial or industrial electrical work you need to be completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

A commercial electrician performing commercial electrical services in Atlanta

How Do You Find the Best Commercial Electrical Contractor?

There are a lot of commercial electrical contractors out there. So how do you choose the best one for your electrical project? Here are a few suggestions:

A commercial electrician performing commercial electrical services in Atlanta

Ask Around

Who do you know who might have had some commercial electrical work done for them lately? Talk to friends, family members, or local business owners or managers about who they used for the electrical work. Ask them a few questions such as:

  • What was the quality of the work done for the project?
  • Was it done on time and budget?
  • Did they show up at the scheduled time, or were they late?
  • Did they clean up after the project was completed?
  • Would they use the company again for future commercial electrical work?
  • Do they recommend them for your project?

Word-of-mouth is still the best way to find the best commercial electrical contractors. So, use this resource.

Read Online Reviews

If your network can’t help you come up with any good recommendations, then use the next best thing: online reviews. There are several different review sites you can use to get your information about the best commercial electrical contractors:

  • Google Reviews – Google Reviews are quickly becoming the best known and most respected source of online business reviews.
  • Angi – Formerly known as Angie’s List, Angi provides some of the best-curated business reviews available online, including commercial electrical contractors.
  • Yelp – Better known for restaurant and motel reviews, Yelp has been branching out into other business areas.
  • Buildzoom is a newcomer to the online review game but focuses specifically on construction businesses. The site has you enter details about your project, work with a dedicated project consultant, and they do the legwork to present you with vetted and qualified contractors.

Best Practices for Using Online Reviews

When using online reviews within your decision-making process, try to use a couple of different sources for the reviews. Read all of them. Pay special attention to the one- and two-star reviews. How many are there? If there are only one or two, and it is a small percentage of the total number of reviews you might be able to write them off as disgruntled customers or former employees. But if there are several low reviews and a pattern emerges, then steer clear of that commercial electrical contractor. Some of these sites also allow the contractor to respond to positive and negative reviews, so take a look at those as well. Does the contractor handle the complaint professionally or seem combative and assign blame?

Get a Free Project Estimate

Once you’ve selected a commercial electrical contractor, many of them provide free estimates, so have them take a look at your project and give you a quote. Pay close attention to them throughout the process. Are they prompt and courteous? Do they answer your questions to your satisfaction? Do they seem easy to work with? At this point, you should know which commercial electrical contractor you want to hire.

Tri-State Electrical Contractors Provide Best-in-Class Commercial Electrical Services in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors understands what modern commercial companies need in the ever-changing, complex, world. We provide superior commercial electrical services including generator installations, high-voltage wiring for equipment, and much more. We can handle any commercial or industrial electrical work you need to be completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.