4 Questions to Ask Electrical Construction Firms When Building an Industrial or Manufacturing Plant

23 August 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Articles

When building an industrial or manufacturing plant, it's important to select an electrical construction firm that's up to the task of such a facility. Industrial and manufacturing plants are larger and more complex than most homes, and wiring them is more complex than installing a residential construction system. If you're in the process of building a new industrial or manufacturing facility, here are four questions to help you choose a qualified electrical construction company that will do a good job.

Are Your Electricians Licensed?

In the United States, electrician licensing requirements vary from state to state, and some states don't have any licensing requirements for electricians. Because an industrial or manufacturing plant is a major, commercial project, however, you should only use licensed electricians, even if the state where your plant will be doesn't require licensure.

Although the state government may not have licensure requirements, your plant's insurance policy may. An insurer may want all of the electrical work in a plant to be completed by licensed electricians so that they know the work was done properly. If the electrical work isn't performed by licensed professionals, an insurer might refuse to insure your plant or increase the premiums of the plant's policy.

Do You Have Local Electricians?

If you're building a large facility, an electrical construction company might bring in electricians from other areas to work on your project. Having non-local electricians install your plant's electrical system during construction is fine. Once your plant is built, however, you'll want to work with a company that has local electricians who can respond to service calls quickly.

Therefore, you should look for an electrical construction company that has at least a few electricians in your plant's area, even if their entire team isn't local. If there's an issue that's covered by a warranty, having a company with local electricians do the work will ensure that you don't have to decide between paying a different, local company to do the work quickly and waiting for the company that built your plant to send an electrician from elsewhere to your plant for free.

What Other Plants Have You Helped Build?

Of course, you should look for an electrical construction company that has experience installing electrical systems in industrial and manufacturing plants like the one you're building. You shouldn't just ask about generic experience, though. Instead, ask for a specific list of facilities that a company helped construct. Once you know of several plants they worked on, you can contact the people who run those plants to see how easy the company was to work during construction and whether any issues arose after building.

Are the Labor Charges for Journeymen and Master Electricians Different?

It's common for electrical construction companies to charge different labor rates for journeymen and master electricians, because the two levels indicate different amounts of experience and expertise. According to Chron, journeymen electricians install electrical fixtures and troubleshoot problems, but they can't obtain permits. Master electricians oversee the work of journeymen, make decisions about electrical systems being installed and get permits. Because they have more experience and responsibility, master electricians often get paid more than journeymen—and clients are often charged more for work that requires a master electrician.

Since you're building an industrial or manufacturing facility, you're going to need a master electrician to design your plant's electrical system and get the necessary permits. You likely won't be able to avoid paying more for their services, but you should know just how much more you'll be paying for their labor before you agree to hire them. Additionally, you should request that all work that can be done by journeymen is done by them, so you don't end up paying a master electrician to do a journeyman's work.

To learn more, contact services like Albarell Electric Inc.