An Introduction to Bus Plugs

Bus plugs are a critical component of industrial power distribution systems. This blog post explores what bus plugs are, how they function, and the advantages they offer over traditional wiring methods. Learn how bus plugs can enhance flexibility, safety, and efficiency in your facility's power distribution.


In most residential and commercial settings, power is distributed through hardwiring in the walls. In industrial settings, however, the large open floor plans make it difficult to distribute power in this way. That's where bus duct and bus plugs come in.

In industrial settings, bus duct is often used to distribute power to various areas of a facility. Bus duct [also known as busway] is essentially metal enclosures that contain conductors for distributing electricity and generally come in 10-foot sections that connect to one another to create the exact length necessary for a run. They can be installed overhead or under the floor, and they're designed to be flexible, so they can be easily repositioned or rearranged as needed.

However, just having bus duct isn't enough to distribute power to all the equipment in a facility. That's where bus plugs come in.


Bus plugs are essentially large industrial electrical plugs that connect to a section of bus duct overhead and then feed electricity down to the equipment below.

Bus plugs typically come in a variety of sizes and styles to fit different types of bus duct and equipment. They're designed to be easy to install and remove, so they can be quickly repositioned or replaced if needed.


One of the benefits of using bus plugs is that they allow for greater flexibility in terms of the layout of a facility. Because the bus duct and bus plugs can be easily repositioned, it's possible to change the layout of a facility without having to rewire the entire electrical system. This can save a lot of time and money in the long run.

Another benefit of using bus plugs is that they provide a higher level of safety compared to traditional hardwiring. With hardwiring, it's possible for a fault to occur in the wiring, which can lead to electrical fires or other hazards. With bus duct and bus plugs, the conductors are contained within metal enclosures and the bus plugs are equipped with either fuses or circuit breakers, which provide an extra layer of protection against faults and other issues.

Overall, bus plugs are an important component of industrial power distribution systems, allowing for greater flexibility and safety compared to traditional hardwiring.

We hope this has served to give a basic understanding of what exactly a bus plus is, how it works, and why it is used. If you’re looking for replacement bus plugs for your system, look no further! EMSCO stocks the largest selection of used and reconditioned bus plugs from all the major manufacturers (GE, Square D, and more) and from all vintages, from obsolete to modern systems. Simply browse our store or give us a call to find the model you need.

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Updated March 2024