The Importance of Electrical Preventive Maintenance

Electrical preventive maintenance (EPM) is among the most important tasks to perform in order to ensure the reliability and performance of electrical distribution systems, the longevity of machine service life, and the safety of personnel. It is particularly important in regard to overcurrent protection devices. For instance, in a circuit breaker, an unintentional time delay caused by a sticky operating mechanism can result in a dramatic and dangerous rise in energy. Despite this, electrical preventive maintenance is often done infrequently, inadequately, or overlooked completely.

Per the National Electric Code (NEC), overcurrent protection for conductors is provided to open the circuit in the event that the current reaches a volume that will cause excessive or dangerous temperature in conductors or conductor insulation. For circuit breakers, the only way to achieve this protection is through proper maintenance and testing of these devices in accordance with manufacturer instructions. There are three important considerations to make when addressing the maintenance and testing requirements for overcurrent protective devices.

The first step is simply to understand the requirements and recommendations for maintenance. This understanding can be drawn from a variety of sources, but are generally most clearly laid-out by the manufacturer instructions or specific industry-standard guidelines set by manuals such as the NFPA 70, NEMA AB-4, ANSI/NETA MTS, and more. The second step is to ensure that all employees are equipped with proper training and qualifications. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a qualified person as “one who has received training in and has demonstrated skills and knowledge in the construction and operation of electric equipment and installations and the hazards involved.” The NFPA 70 guidelines state that employees who perform maintenance on electrical equipment must be qualified persons who are familiar with the required maintenance procedures.

The third and final step is to have a written, effective Electrical Preventive Maintenance program in place. Deterioration of any electrical equipment is normal, in fact the process of normal deterioration begins immediately after new equipment is installed. An effective EPM program will provide a means of coping with this deterioration. In addition to normal deterioration, factors such as load changes or additions, circuit alterations, improperly set or selected protective devices, and changing voltage conditions can lead to equipment failure and other consequences of not maintaining electric components. An effective EPM will address all of these causes and reduce accidents, minimize costly breakdowns and unplanned shutdowns of production equipment, and most importantly, save lives.

In summary, electric components maintenance is critical to the safety of personnel and equipment alike. Manufacturer instructions and industry standards exist for the purpose of assisting users with maintenance and testing, and should be used as such. Proper execution of EPM protocol can limit damage and arc flash hazards wherein light and extreme heat are produced as a result of an electrical explosion caused by low-impedance connection through voltage phases in an electrical system. Well-administered EPM programs can minimize all these while extending the service life of your machinery.

At Veritable Aviation, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of electric preventive maintenance parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. Additionally, our inventory of greater than 2 billion new and obsolete parts contains items such as aircraft electric cables, aircraft electrical system parts, aircraft battery devices, and transformers. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@afrenterprises.com or call us at 1-714-705-4780. Our team of dedicated account managers is standing by and will respond to you in 15 minutes or less. 


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