- Christian Domingo
The EAMA Approach to Electrical Service
Updated: Mar 1
Not all contractors are created equal, and any property manager worth their salt understands that ensuring the effectiveness of their building's infrastructure comes down to hiring the right person for the job. "But," you might ask, "what exactly should I be looking for out of my contractors?"
We're here to help answer that question. Let's take electrical work, for example. A good electrician will ensure that all the vital aspects of your property's electrical infrastructure are running smoothly - depending on the scale and function of your property, however, you may require a more advanced electrician than your standard residential technician. After all, electricians are responsible for testing, monitoring, repairing, and upgrading a wide range of systems within a building, including - but not limited to:
Everything from the lighting in the lobby to the coffee machine in the break room is dependent on the electrical infrastructure of a building, and regular maintenance by a trained technician is key to keep these systems running to the best of their ability. A seemingly small error can have large implications, so it's vital that your property undergoes regular maintenance to catch any potential issues before they arise.
Different Types of Electrical Maintenance:
As with contractors, there are different degrees of maintenance, and not every type requires a licensed professional.
Corrective maintenance occurs when equipment becomes defective and needs repairing. This usually falls under the jurisdiction of a property's maintenance department.
Periodic maintenance, otherwise known as Time-Based Maintenance or TBM, involves tasks such as data collection, visual inspection, cleaning, and lubrication. This is based on total productive maintenance (TPM) and does not require extensive training and can be done by the property managers themselves.
Predictive Maintenance encompasses performance and equipment condition monitoring predictive maintenance to reduce the chances of failure or breakdown. When conducting this flavour of maintenance, electricians are specifically interested in physical variables such as temperature, vibration, and power consumption. This requires strong technical knowledge, particularly in mathematics and physics, and is the type of maintenance that definitely requires a professional to do properly.
Preventive Maintenance is largely meant to accomplish the same outcomes as predictive maintenance, with the main difference being that preventative maintenance is conducted on a set schedule. Preventative maintenance is also a more comprehensive form, as all equipment is examined whether or not it has shown any signs of issue. Overall, while predictive maintenance is a more cost-effective in terms of labour and material costs (since it is performed only when needed), it also requires a lot more money spent in training and resources. As such, preventative maintenance is often the first step taken by many property managers. A sub-genre of this type of maintenance is Zero Hours Maintenance (Overhaul), which is a form of preventative maintenance where the electrician resets the equipment to "zero hours of operation", as though the equipment were new and unused. This allows the tech to have a clearer image of the equipment's current condition compared to when it was first used, enabling them to more accurately pinpoint any areas of improvement.
One of the most challenging areas of electrical maintenance is electrical wiring - since electrical systems are built into a property's infrastructure, finding the precise location of an issue can be difficult. This is one of the main reasons that you, as (I assume) a proud property manager, should pay extra attention to the type of electricians you hire to service your property.
For example, while residential, commercial, and industrial electricians all require a high school diploma, a completed apprenticeship, and 8-10,000 hours of experiences, the applications of their accumulated knowledge vary greatly. Those in the residential sector will typically be working with single-phase power supplies, usually sitting somewhere in the range of 120 to 240 volts. Commercial and industrial electricians, on the other hand, more often work with three-phase circuits and conduits that deliver light and electricity to a wider area on average than residential systems. The usage demands between these building types also varies greatly - while your average residential property might have a dozen or so electrical outlets and lighting fixtures spread out over a relatively small area, a commercial building can encompass several floors, each filled with appliances, fixtures, and other electrical systems. The potential for failure and ensuing catastrophe is therefore much larger in commercial and industrial buildings, meaning that maintenance and inspection must be considerably more frequent.
With this wider scope of work comes a wider scope of required knowledge. In addition to the baseline expertise that every electrician receives through schooling and apprenticeships, commercial and industrial electricians must also familiarize themselves with building-specific codes and regulations, as well as how to operate and repair more advanced machinery. In the case of industrial electricians specifically, knowledge of how to repair and maintain heavy machinery is crucial.
Percussive maintenance, for example, doesn't work as well on manufacturing equipment.
Photo by cottonbro studio
Given all these considerations, it's important that property managers take a close look at the people they trust with their buildings' electrical needs. Take our Director of Electrical Operations here at EAMA, Adelino Canas. Since resigning from the Department of National Defence in the late 1980s, Adelino has devoted his career to developing a comprehensive understanding of electrical servicing for commercial and industrial properties; he earned a 309A Electrical and Maintenance License, eventually worked towards a Masters Electrical License, and has subsequently lent his knowledge to companies such as Accel Electric and World Wide Electric. Adelino is just one example of how EAMA seeks out the top thought leaders in the field, whether they be electricians, plumbers, or mechanical techs. Give us a call today at (416) 798 - 2006 and find out how our team can give your property the care it needs, and give you peace of mind.