Your questions answered: Power and electrical systems maintenance

During a webcast on May 9, 2023, the presenters explained extending the life of the equipment, increasing facility uptime and improving plant safety.

By Plant Engineering November 8, 2023

It’s well known maintaining electrical equipment in industrial facilities is fundamental for optimizing equipment performance and reliability, and preventing unplanned downtime. Today, such maintenance is not only recommended, it’s required.

The most recent version of NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace stipulates that facility managers must conduct maintenance on electrical equipment — and not just overcurrent protective devices — in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions or industry consensus standards. Additionally, the facility manager must document those maintenance activities.

During a webcast on May 9, 2023, the presenter explained extending the life of the equipment, increasing facility uptime and improving plant safety.

Register for the on-demand version of the “Power and electrical system maintenance” webcast here.

Additional questions are answered by Lanny Floyd, electrical safety and expert consultant.

Question: How can I determine if equipment is critical to electrical safety?

Answer: A good start is the Table of Contents of Chapter 2 in NFPA 70E, as it identifies equipment critical to electrical safety

Question: What are the maintenance requirements for fuses?

Answer: Inspection for signs of heating or loose connections, however, verifying that the installed fuse matches the fuse identified in the arc flash analysis is critical to electrical safety

Question: What is the difference between maintenance required for operations and maintenance required for electrical safety?

Answer: Not all equipment required for production creates a safety risk when it fails.

Question: What is asset management?

Answer: The process to monitor condition, service as necessary, refurbish when needed, and replace before end of life the equipment required to achieve your business objectives.

Question: Does OSHA require electrical maintenance?

Answer: Not directly. However, OSHA does require that employers provide a work environment free of hazards.

Question: Why only one view port on gear? Are we able to the line and load terminals from one view port?

Answer: Additional viewports may be needed in order to inspect all connections.

Question: NFPA 70B now has the same enforcement clout at the NEC, correct?

Answer: NFPA standards are voluntary, but may be enforced by a local jurisdiction and can be used to support OSHA or legal requirements.