Electrician, , installing electrical wiring
Written by Larry Cook

Residential vs. Commercial Electrical

Obviously, there will be a numerous factors that will play a part in the design and installation of every type of electrical system. This is where an experienced and licensed electrician can make a difference. The type of building will determine the electrical load it requires for its operation. There will be crucial differences in terms of commercial electrical installation for residential and commercial buildings. Their respective electrical wiring requirements will differ significantly as far as load demands, energy needs, and equipment configuration. In addition, different procedures and materials will be demanded by each. The following reviews these key differences.


Perhaps the most notable difference between residential and commercial electrical installation involves the kind of wiring utilized. For residences, the primary type of wiring has plastic sheathing encasing the narrow and thin wires to protect residents from electrical shock. It also due to the fact that residential wiring is located in crawl and attic spaces and the sheathing protects the surrounding materials.

For commercial structures, wiring is typically run within open spaces to permit access. However, these electrical wires are encased within tube-shaped conduits for protection. Commercial wiring typically has an increased level of insulation, termed THHN (Thermoplastic, High Heat Resistant, Nylon Coated). THHN enhances the protection of electrical wiring from liquids and gases that are corrosive.


Commercial buildings consume far more power than residences. In order to make sure every type of building is provided the power it requires and prevent overloading, the utilities have categorized their respective electrical loads by phase.

Residential buildings utilize single-phase power. Delivering power in two legs consisting of 120 volts each, single-phase power amounts to 240 volts. In contrast, commercial buildings utilize three-phase power. Delivering power in two legs consisting of 120 volts and a third additional wild leg wielding 208 volts, three-phase power provides 448 volts in total.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at 410-266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.