Industry Trends

Common Electrical Issues in Commercial Buildings

5 min read

As a business owner, you rely on your commercial building to run smoothly and efficiently. However, electrical issues can quickly disrupt your operations and cause costly downtime.

To ensure your business stays up and running, it’s important to be aware of common electrical issues that can occur in commercial buildings. In this article, we’ll discuss the top electrical problems that commercial buildings face and how to address them.

The Importance of Proper Electrical Maintenance

Before we dive into the common electrical issues, it’s important to understand the importance of proper electrical maintenance in commercial buildings. Regular maintenance can help prevent electrical problems and ensure the safety of your employees and customers.

It’s recommended to have a licensed commercial electrician inspect your building’s electrical system at least once a year. They can identify any potential issues and make necessary repairs before they become major problems.

Overloaded Circuits
two white power strips with black cords plugged into every single outlet
Overloaded circuits are one of the most common electrical problems in commercial buildings.
Source: Rubber Box Co Ltd

One of the most common electrical issues in commercial buildings is overloaded circuits. This occurs when too many devices or appliances are plugged into a single circuit, causing it to draw more power than it can handle. 

According to a study by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), overloaded circuits are one of the leading causes of electrical fires in commercial buildings. This accounts for 14% of all reported cases.

Overloaded circuits can lead to tripped breakers, flickering lights, and even electrical fires. To prevent this issue, it’s important to distribute your electrical load evenly across circuits and avoid using extension cords or power strips for high-powered equipment.

If you notice your breakers frequently tripping or lights flickering, it’s important to have a commercial electrician inspect your electrical system to determine if it’s due to overloaded circuits.

Faulty Wiring

Faulty wiring is another common electrical issue in commercial buildings. This can occur due to old or damaged wiring, improper installation, or wear and tear over time. Faulty wiring can cause power outages, electrical shocks, and even fires. 

Electrical malfunctions account for 6.3% of non-residential building fires annually, with outdated wiring being a significant contributing factor. Over time, wiring systems deteriorate, leading to increased risk of short circuits, electrical shocks, and fires. It’s important to have a licensed electrician inspect your building’s wiring to ensure it’s up to code and functioning properly.

a red and blue wire touching each other, creating a fire spark
Faulty wiring is due to poor electrical wiring that can happen in an office building. 
Source: iStock
Power Surges

Power surges can occur when there is a sudden increase in the electrical current flowing through your building’s wiring. This can happen due to lightning strikes, faulty wiring, or issues with the power grid.

According to a report by Business Week, power surges cost businesses billions of dollars annually in equipment damage and downtime. They estimate that power surges can cost businesses about $26 billion per year in the United States alone.

Power surges can damage sensitive equipment and cause costly downtime for your business. To protect your building from power surges, consider installing surge protectors or investing in a whole-building surge protection system.

Outdated Electrical Systems

Many commercial buildings were built decades ago and may still have outdated electrical systems. These systems may not be equipped to handle the demands of modern technology and can pose a safety hazard.

If your building has an outdated electrical system, it’s important to have it inspected by a licensed electrician. They can determine if any upgrades or replacements are necessary to ensure the safety and efficiency of your building.

How to Address Electrical Issues in Commercial Buildings

When it comes to addressing electrical issues in commercial buildings, it’s important to hire a licensed commercial electrician. They have the knowledge and experience to identify and fix any electrical problems in your building.

Finding a Reliable Commercial Electrician

When searching for a commercial electrician, it’s important to do your research and find a reliable and experienced professional. Look for electricians who have experience working with commercial buildings and have positive reviews from previous clients.

You can also ask for recommendations from other business owners in your area or contact your local Chamber of Commerce for a list of recommended electricians.

If you’re in the US and looking for a national partner, Rogers Electric can be meet your commercial electrician needs. With a proven track record of expertise and reliability, Rogers Electric has the experience in handling electrical systems for commercial buildings. Our team of skilled professionals will ensure that the job gets done efficiently and to the highest standards.

yellow electrical meter held by a hand with a blue glove testing an open circuit for an electrical inspection
Regular electrical inspections are key to ensuring if any electrical repairs are needed.
Source: D&F Liquidators 
Regular Electrical Inspections

To prevent electrical issues in your commercial building, it’s important to schedule regular electrical inspections with a licensed electrician. They can identify any potential problems and make necessary repairs before they become major issues.

It’s recommended to have an electrical inspection at least once a year, but you may need more frequent inspections depending on the age and condition of your building’s electrical system.

Upgrading Outdated Electrical Systems

If your building has an outdated electrical system, it’s important to have it upgraded by a licensed electrician. This may involve replacing old wiring, upgrading your electrical panel, or installing new outlets and fixtures.

While this may be a costly investment, it can prevent potential safety hazards and ensure the efficiency of your building’s electrical system.


As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of common electrical issues in commercial buildings and take necessary steps to prevent them. Regular maintenance, hiring a reliable commercial electrician, and addressing any issues promptly can help keep your building running smoothly and safely.

If you’re in need of a commercial electrician, check out our services here at Rogers Electric to ensure the safety and efficiency of your building’s electrical system.