6 Essential Switchgear Maintenance Recommendations
Posted By IPE Canada On 06-09-2021
Your switchgear system houses protective equipment that helps safeguard your electrical equipment and enables your team to isolate systems when safety is a priority. Your switchgear is a vital part of your electrical distribution, so it is crucial that you maintain your switchgear to ensure optimal and safe operation of your critical system.
Our experts have many years of experience maintaining electrical systems and in this new post, we’ll provide our six switchgear maintenance recommendations.
1. Pay attention to the physical condition and environment
The physical condition of your switchgear is often the result of environmental degradation. Analyze the physical exterior of the switchgear, and review whether the elements on the outside are the result of the environment. For example, if there’s dust on the unit, is this dust the result of construction, the manufacturing process at your plant, or is it from potentially hazardous materials? Ensure that the right cleaning products and PPE are used, as to not cause harm to yourself or other employees, damage the gear, or result in chemical reaction due to hazardous dust.
Use the right cleaning products for the internal components of the switchgear. For example, if your insulators are epoxy, you can use rags and alcohol to clean the unit. But if the insulators are porcelain or constructed from other more delicate materials, you may need to use waxing products during cleaning.
2. Follow manufacturer recommendations
When performing the maintenance requirements for your switchgear, include recommended maintenance within the process. The manufacturer has a specific guideline that you should follow closely. Likely, it involves cleaning the area and tightening components.
The guidelines may also include lubricating gears within the system, and may specify the type of lubricant. They may also detail where and how to place it within the switchgear. Following the equipment guidelines to the letter will help ensure the safe and effective performance of the unit for the long term.
Remember that moisture and dirt in the environment can have a damaging impact on the switchgear components and can prevent the system from functioning to specification.
3. Recondition or refurbish equipment when required
Over time, your switchgear systems require more intense maintenance work. This intensive maintenance often involves reconditioning of the equipment to improve the reliability and extend its life expectancy.
When maintenance teams consider equipment unreliable,teams can recondition, refurbish, or replace the entire unit. This process involves testing the unit against the latest ANSI standards and then disassembling, cleaning and inspecting it. Within this process, the team will replace or refurbish, damaged, obsolete, or unreliable parts. Then the equipment is re-assembled.
Once re-assembled, the equipment is again tested against the latest ANSI standards to ensure the highest performance. Companies are now making significant improvements to their facilities through this reconditioning process.
4. Build your preventative maintenance plan
Taking care of your switchgear over the years ahead means building a preventative maintenance plan that your current team members, future employees, and qualified professionals can follow with precision. Form your preventative maintenance plan around the value of the switchgear within the working process. And consider the current condition of the switchgear and the type of connected equipment used within the facility.
Your preventative maintenance work should include the following:
- Inspect all internal heaters
- Inspect all fuse clips
- Inspect all indicative devices to ensure optimal performance
- Inspect and align all disconnects
- Examine the assembly for signs of leakage from roofing or flooring areas
- Thoroughly vacuum and clean the interior
- Examine vents and make sure the vent filters are clean
- Inspect the key lock system for proper function on locking and unlocking
- Exercise the active components without impacting the overall plant
- Inspect the switchboard for signs of grounds and shorts
- Inspect the switchboard for signs of overheating
- Inspect bolted electrical connections for high-resistance
- Inspect your control power transformers for physical damage, wiring and connection issues
Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding maintenance and minimize the impact of component wear. Then build your maintenance plan to align with their recommendations. A critical consideration is your working schedule. Make sure that preventative maintenance is a process included within the annual schedule and that you utilize qualified professionals.
5. Consider Outsourcing Your Maintenance Plan
As you can see from the exhausting list above, switchgear maintenance is a specialized process. It may be worth it to consider outsourcing your switchgear maintenance to a professional electrical maintenance company. Investing in a long term contract with a service provider can ensure that a proper maintenance schedule and program is developed. They can also ensure that no steps are skipped or overlooked during the process. Whether it be reactive, preventative, predictive, or proactive measures; you can rest easier knowing that professional services such as IPE Canada are here to create a specialized maintenance plan for you.
6. Save and properly store maintenance reports
When you work with qualified maintenance professionals, they may ask to see your previous maintenance reports.Maintenance reports are instrumental in determining the type of repair or maintenance they need to complete on your equipment.
It is also important to review maintenance reports with your maintenance professional. They will assist you with analyzing the potential equipment life expectancy and determine when to plan for upgrades and replacements. They will also help to identify reliability risks as your equipment ages. For instance, if you’re a regular visitor at 2up casino, proper maintenance is essential to keep the slot machines and other gaming equipment running smoothly.
Discuss Switchgear Maintenance with IPE Canada
To discover more about switchgear maintenance services, call IPE Canada at 844-762-1057 or contact us here.