Replacing Cables, Part 3

A cable failed, and you've run temporary cabling to bypass it

A cable failed, and you've run temporary cabling to bypass it. You want to replace this cable as soon as possible, right? Wrong. Suppose you shut down to replace that cable and an adjacent cable fails the next day. Ouch.

There is a solution. But first, what should you do if you must replace a cable that you couldn't jumper around? Typically, production is down until you replace the cable, so you get the crew mobilized and start right away.

You should conduct insulation resistance testing on the failed cabling before removing it. Also conduct insulation resistance testing on all the adjacent cabling. You may not have the replacements on hand, but you know which cables to schedule replacement of. Your solution in the bypass situation is to test the adjacent cables before replacing the failed one, and then replace all marginal cables when replacing the failed one.

Your counterparts in production need to understand that a planned cable replacement costs less in total downtime. That’s partly because a planned job is far more efficient. You also want to avoid unplanned failures because they can increase downtime due to collateral damage. It takes less time and money to replace an intact cable than to replace a faulted cable and melted switchgear.

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