Troubleshooting Your Commercial Breaker Panels

Electrical Room for an Office Building

Several organizations, such as the NFPA, NEC, ANSI, regulate the power requirements of commercial properties. This applies even more closely to manufacturing plants. All of the oversight from these organizations combines to ensure a high level of equipment and personnel safety. One of the most important elements they focus on is the electrical wiring systems and breaker panels.

A tripped breaker may indicate a serious problem that needs to be addressed, though in many cases people simply flip the switch back and continue working. This action can be extremely dangerous and introduces some code compliance issues. Instead of ignoring a potential electrical problem, you should troubleshoot your commercial breaker panels and try to find the root of the problem.

Troubleshooting Your Commercial Breaker Panels

Surging power in the facility can mean many things, with one of the most common problems being that the busbar may not be able to make a proper connection with the breakers. This issue is particularly dangerous as it may lead to equipment failure and an extremely heightened risk of electric shock.

The loss of contact may be due to the busbar deteriorating or weakening over the years. As current passes through the system, it heats up – even by a few degrees if there isn’t much load – which means that the metal may get soft. The softer metal warps, leading to poor connections and breaker problems.

This means that you may need to replace the breaker panel with a new one. In this case, it is generally best to leave this task for certified electricians only. Skyline Electric has trained and experienced electricians who have attended certified training courses for commercial breaker panel troubleshooting and more.

Some panels have a copper busbar, while others may have silver or aluminum. Based on your requirements and the issue(s) you are currently facing, our electricians will give you specific suggestions to help you with the decision.

Performing preventative maintenance is also an excellent choice for commercial breaker panels as it helps increase the lifespan of your panels’ busbar. Think of it as identifying faulty brake shoes in your car before it cuts into the brake disc.

Resetting Commercial Breakers

As mentioned above, resetting commercial breakers isn’t the same as resetting residential breakers. Where residential breakers may trip because of an overload, commercial breaker issues need to be diagnosed properly; otherwise, it could have potentially devastating results. The process consists of 4 steps;

  1. Find the breaker that has been tripped.
  2. After opening the breaker box, listen for any buzzing sound or sparks. If there are any sparks, call your electrician immediately and shut everything down; this is an electrical fire waiting to happen.
  3. If there is no sound, check the wire leading to and from the breaker to see if it has overheated. Overheated wires can mean an overload or a short circuit.
  4. Examine the diagram on the inside of your panel door and see if there is any other machinery attached to the panel.
  5. Inspect all other switches. If more than one breaker has been tripped, your whole electrical system may be compromised.
  6. If you turn it on and after a few seconds the breaker flips again, trace the breaker line with the help of the diagram to see which machine acting up.
  7. If the breaker has a springy feel to it and won’t turn on, you have a blown fuse. Replacing the breaker or the panel should be sufficient in this case.

If you are having trouble finding the issue or fixing them, we recommend you turn the main switch off and give us a call. Our knowledgeable electricians and staff are here to help you troubleshoot your commercial breaker panels and more cost-effectively and quickly.

If you have problems and can’t fix them, call us or get in contact with us today. Our knowledgeable electricians and support staff are here for you 24/7!