Bright Spark – Electrical maintenance tips
Electrical maintenance tips
We’ve all heard the addage, ‘If it ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But when it comes to electrical systems, a lack of moving parts doesn’t mean that nothing can go wrong – and leaving well alone can simply store up problems for the future.
By having a programme of planned preventative maintenance (PPM) in place, you can resolve electrical issues before they generate an even bigger problem, pre-empt breakdowns and ensure that your machinery, equipment and systems are all working efficiently.
In fact, systems that have a programme of preventative maintenance are apparently three times less likely to have electrical components fail than those without one. Worth bearing in mind if you need to persuade colleagues to sign off the investment in this service.
When planning a maintenance programme, here are a few questions you may like to bear in mind:
How often should electrical equipment be inspected?
The best way to spot issues is through regular inspection – once every three years at the very least and more regularly for any essential electrical compondents. The inspection will shine a light on any potential problems and allow for testing and servicing at the same time.
Who should carry out the electrical inspection?
To start with, they should be qualified electrical specialists, with a sound background in electrical procedures and a knowledge of electrical safety. They should also be trained for the equipment that is being serviced as otherwise they may not be able to make the right judgement call on whether parts need replacing or any further testing needs to be carried out.
What will the electrical engineers be looking for?
As well as a general service and maintenance of the system, the two key issues that crop up time and again are loose connections and exposure to moisture. In fact, almost half of the problems that companies encounter with electrical systems are likely to be caused by one or the other.
Will we need to shut down operations?
In some cases the engineers may be able to work round your operations. However, if the service reveals any issues that need resolving, these will need to be addressed and so it makes sense to carry out the service outside business hours or at another convenient time when you can temporarily shut down the systems being tested.
How will the electrical planned preventative maintenance be monitored?
Any electrical engineers worth their salt will keep good records of any work they do for a client and PPM is no exception. This will help keep track of when the last service was carried out and what issues came up – if the same problems keep arising, then this can be addressed – and tracking test results can help pre-empt future problems.
Is electrical planned preventative maintenance worth the additional cost?
PPM is often the most cost-effective approach, as it will help prevent expensive breakdowns, improve the efficiency of the system and reduce the cost of your energy bills. It will also ensure that your staff are working in a safe environment. Perhaps a more pertinent questions is: can I afford not to invest in PPM?