The Top 5 Reasons Your Commercial Facility Needs a Single-Line Diagram Of Your Electrical System

“Hey, where’s the single-line?” 

It’s an age-old question that usually has a disappointing answer. 

We’ve spoken to hundreds of electrical contractors and facility owners about this over the years. One electrician responsible for the electrical system in dozens of buildings said he has an entire room full of drawings that he’s afraid to go into. Another electrician said that the hospital he works for last updated its single-line diagram in the 1990s. 

Before Condoit's launched Digital Single-Lines, these diagrams were a pain to create and update, so many facility managers asked, "Is it really that important?"

Yes, it is.

Here are the top 5 reasons your facility needs an up-to-date single-line diagram of its electrical system. 

Reason #1: Save Money on System Updates and Improvements

When planning a renovation or upgrade, you can’t make progress without a single-line diagram. Any electrician hired to come out and price the job will need to understand how the system is put together before they can even give you a quote. 

Rest assured that if you can't provide an up-to-date single-line diagram, you’re paying for the electrician's time to make their own limited single-line diagram, even if it’s just in their head. It's the only way they can start estimating what it will take to add to or fix your electrical system. 

The job will go faster and cost far less if you have a single-line diagram in hand when the electrician walks in. 

See how electricians can sell single-line diagrams as a service here. 

Reason #2: Regulatory Compliance

NFPA 70E 2015 (Article 205.2) says that commercial and industrial facilities must keep single-line diagrams legible and up to date. OSHA points to NFPA 70E as the definition of a safe electrical system in a workplace. 

This particular portion of the code also outlines the process for performing an arc flash analysis of your electrical system. The first order of business in an arc flash analysis is to create an up-to-date single-line diagram. 

Healthcare facilities face additional restrictions because, in addition to OSHA, the Joint Commission requires all healthcare facilities and hospitals to keep and maintain a single-line diagram. 

Reason #3: Safety

An up-to-date record of how your electrical system is put together reduces the likelihood of injury to employees and contractors.  

Lockout tagout procedures are essential for any work on your electrical system, and OSHA says you can't develop legitimate lockout tagout procedures without a reliable single-line diagram. Incomplete or outdated single-line diagrams can even lead to injury and death. 

Reason #4: Reliability

Having a full accounting of your system makes repairs go faster. If an electrician has to spend time getting oriented in your system and developing their own crude single-line diagram, they will spend hours at your facility before they can even start addressing the problem. But if you can provide an up-to-date single-line diagram, they can start work immediately. 

An up-to-date single-line diagram will also help the electrician identify the root cause of an issue. They may be able to make repairs that prevent the need for future emergency repairs. 

Reason #5: Peace of Mind

An up-to-date single-line diagram 

Those four add up to the 5th reason you need an up-to-date single-line diagram: peace of mind. Managing a commercial electrical system is a serious responsibility. A single-line diagram gives you insight into the system you manage and demonstrates your commitment to managing the system well. 

Digital Single-Lines: Easy to Create, Easy to Update

Condoit is a one-of-a-kind software that enables electrical contractors to build single-line diagrams in the field significantly faster and easier than with traditional pencil and paper methods. Our tablet-based app puts data collection and storage, system analysis, and reporting in your hands for a low monthly fee. Most of our customers cover the cost of a one-year Condoit Digital Single-Line subscription with the money they make on the very first job they do with us. 

Contact us at to schedule a demo and receive a 14-day free trial of our software.