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Commercial Electric Panels: Types & Installation Tips

August 28, 2023

Have you ever wondered how electricity flow is managed in an office building? Well, this is what commercial electric panels are responsible for. They distribute electricity to the appliances and devices connected to it. Why are electric panels so important? If too much electricity is supplied to a particular device, it can cause damage to it. When there’s too little electricity available to feed all the appliances in a commercial building, the power supply would shut off. In this blog, we will discuss the different electric panels and explore the tips electrical contractors in Toronto follow when installing and upgrading electric panels. 


Types of commercial electric panels


While electric panels for commercial and residential applications don’t differ much, the key difference between them is in the load they can handle. As you might have guessed, commercial electric panels are built to handle larger loads due to the larger number of appliances and devices hooked up to the panel. The main types of commercial electric panels are the following:


  • Single-phase

A single-phase electrical panel has a two-wire alternating current (ac) power circuit. In that circuit, one is a power wire, the other is neutral. Single-phase electric panels are best used for small commercial buildings like restaurants or small offices. It is also common in residential buildings. 


  • Three-phase

In a three-phase electric panel, there are three wires, which are usually set 120 degrees apart from each other. These wires carry current through the load center circuit breaker box that leads back to an electric meter. Three-phase electric panels have two live wires and one neutral, all connected to different phases typically. Three-phase electric panels are used for supplying power to industrial factories with large machinery and equipment. 


Commercial electric panel installation tips


When it comes to minor electrical works like changing a lightbulb, not much experience is needed as it can be easily done by a handyman or even yourself. However, dealing with commercial electric panels requires a proper license and training. Always hire licensed electrical contractors in Toronto to carry out all electrical work, be it electric panel upgrades, installation or repair. Below are the tips often followed by electrical contractors in Toronto when installing and upgrading commercial electric panels: 

Before upgrading the electric panel, it is important to ensure the building has enough energy flowing through it. When additional appliances and equipment are later added, difficulties may arise if the system doesn't have enough flow.


  • It is crucial to turn off the main breaker before working on any part of the building’s electrical system or wiring, especially if the work involves upgrading electric panels.


  • It is no less important to ensure the new panel is compatible with the existing service. 


  • It is mandatory for the breaker size to match the load requirements of the building. Knowing how many amps are needed per square foot will help avoid installing the breaker that’s too large or too small for the load requirements of each room.


  • It is also important to plan ahead the location for the new panel. The conduits must not interfere with other major service lines, such as plumbing or HVAC. 


  • Commercial electric panel upgrades and installation is a task for professionals. No one else can carry out electrical panel upgrades safely and efficiently than licensed electrical contractors in Toronto. Always consider hiring fully-certified professionals who are experts in the field. 


A.S. Electrical Services Inc. has been in business since 2006. We are fully licensed and insured to handle electrical work of any size and scope. We are experienced in the installation, repair and upgrade of both residential and commercial electric panels. Moreover, our services include much more than just that. Call us today to learn how we can help you with your electrical needs and get a free estimate!