Too many people mistakenly think a lack of moving parts means little can go wrong with electrical systems. In fact, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) reports that the failure rate of electrical components is three times higher for systems without preventive maintenance programs.
The two top causes of electrical distribution failures — loose connections and parts and exposure to moisture — account for nearly half of all electrical losses. And both problems can be corrected with a comprehensive electrical preventive maintenance (EPM) program. Consider these five factors when planning a program for your organization:
The people who perform your EPM program must be properly trained for the specific equipment being maintained or tested. They should have a thorough understanding of electrical safety practices and procedures.
Inspection, testing and servicing of equipment should be done on a regular basis — at least once every three years and more often for critical components.
You want to make informed, responsible decisions about how best to correct any problem conditions. That can only be accomplished if personnel reviewing test reports have a thorough understanding of the specific subject matter.
Performing the Work
There is little point in testing and inspections if you don’t intend to fix the problem. Ultimately, a scheduled outage is necessary to perform the work.
A clear, concise and complete record-keeping system will help make sure that all work is done when it should be. Tracking test results over time also can often identify a potential failure that can be corrected before it happens.
Electrical preventive maintenance is cost-effective in many ways, improves equipment efficiency and reduces utility bills. Don’t neglect your electrical distribution system. Consider an EPM program — before a costly failure occurs.