When electrical service equipment fails catastrophically, chaos typically ensues. Production lines grind to a halt. Standby or portable generators are called into action. On-site electricians and outside contractors work non-stop to try and bring the system back online. Most times this is a slow and painful process. Proper maintenance can go a long way in helping you avoid this type of drama.
An article in the Fall 2016 issue of NETA World magazine, "Understanding and Maintaining Critical Service Equipment," highlights the importance of conducting an electrical equipment failure risk assessment. Author and principal electrical engineer John Weber of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company shares his views on the subject based on 30+ years of experience in facilities/electrical engineering.
“Most service equipment failures are preventable by following manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations or requirements for the installed service equipment. Electrical equipment failures should be included in the disaster plan, and the process begins with conducting an electrical equipment failure risk assessment.”
Weber helps drive home the importance of proper maintenance through a real-life evaluation of a catastrophic bolted pressure switch failure in an unnamed facility. The detailed investigation summary and supporting photos present a strong case to engineers, electrical contractors and service companies for managing a regular and comprehensive maintenance program.
If you’re responsible for maintaining / repairing bolted pressure switches, this is a valuable article for you to read. These switches are very troublesome when not frequently serviced.
If you’re not familiar with this type of switch design, then take a look at this blog post, "Does Your Facility Use a Bolted Pressure Switch," on the Hartford Steam Boiler website. It shows you how to help identify a bolted pressure switch in the field.