Mobile Friendly  Web Version  Add to Your Safe Sender List   Subscribe to EC&M September 27, 2011
Vol. VII No. 18
Animal Control
Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
When Circuit Boards are Toast, Part 11
NEC in the Facility
Safety

  EC&M's MRO Insider

Maintenance

Animal Control

As summer gives way to fall, animals start looking for winter homes. These include birds, squirrels, mice, raccoons, and snakes. You don't want them making their homes in your facility or equipment.

Control methods to consider include:

  • Food control. Don't attract animals with food. Keep dumpster lids tight and empty trash barrels daily.
  • Nesting materials. Leaving fibrous materials around the outside of your facility makes it more convenient to build nests in your facility.
  • Access removal. Trim trees back from the building so animals can't jump to the roof. Remove materials that can be used to climb, such as rolls of fencing.
  • Physical barriers. Secure intake and exhaust vents with bird spikes, bird netting, bird screens, or sticky gels. These also work for small rodents.
  • Visual deterrents. The scarecrow has morphed into an industrial product. Ask your industrial products distributor about current offerings.
  • Sound deterrents. Ultrasonic devices irritate varmints and help keep them away.
  • Smell/taste deterrents. Chemical scent barriers around your perimeter can prevent pests from entering.
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Repair

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Following several incidents of sabotage, your company hired a security firm. Among other things, this firm installed hidden cameras throughout the plant. The wall clock versions have been especially effective, as three saboteurs checked the time before committing their misdeeds. They looked directly into the camera without realizing they were providing identification of themselves.

It's your job to check the SD cards that store the videos and send the saved files to the firm. Lately, these have been coming up empty. And sabotage is increasing. What might be going on?

Visit EC&M's website to see the answer.

When Circuit Boards are Toast, Part 11

Previously, we discussed a method of finding which circuits on a given panel have neutral-ground (N-G) bond. Once you've identified the faulty circuits, repair them one at a time (verify by testing). We previously discussed how to do that in the control panel. Just apply the same techniques to each circuit until you've eliminated the N-G bonds. Then test again at that control panel receptacle to see that this problem is finally gone.

Although the N-G bond is one you don't want, there's another bond you do want — and it needs to have integrity throughout your load side distribution system. Metallic raceway, such as EMT, makes an excellent "ground" (equipment bonding) conductor. If assembled properly, this raceway is far superior to the green ground wire in handling high-energy transients. The reason is the difference in surface area.

To read more on this story, visit EC&M's website.

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Operation

NEC in the Facility

Commonly misunderstood/misapplied terms, part 7.

  • Raceway. This term isn't so much misunderstood as just not used when and where it should be. Instead, many people incorrectly say "conduit." However, conduit is a specific type of raceway, and it does not include EMT or other types of tubing. Raceway does. Raceway is any enclosed channel (metallic or nonmetallic) designed expressly for holding wires, cables, or busbars.
  • Rainproof. This isn't the same as watertight or weatherproof. If you're going to install an enclosure in an area with operator washdown, rainproof might seem like a good choice. After all, the operator is washing down — the same direction rain falls. But is the operator always going to spray down, not up? The test conditions for the rainproof designation are probably not similar to the conditions of actual use indoors in a given washdown area.
  • Receptacle. Be careful you don't leave off the "modifier" on this term; be specific. A "single receptacle" has a single contact device on one yoke and a "multiple receptacle" has two or more contact devices on one yoke. A duplex receptacle has two contact devices on one yoke. In industrial applications, it's common to find a multiple receptacle (often as a strip) with four, six, or even eight contact devices.

Safety

Previously, we explained what the first section of the MSDS covers. But what about the other seven sections? Here's a short recap you might find helpful.

Section 2, Hazardous Ingredients, lists the amount of much of each hazardous ingredient and tells you how toxic it is.

Section 3, Physical/Chemical Characteristics, helps you identify the material by how it looks and smells. It may provide exposure control information.

Section 4, Fire and Explosion, tells you the temperature at which the material gives off vapor that will burn (its flashpoint) and (if applicable) provides fire control information.

Section 5, Reactivity, lists which chemicals may interact with this material to produce fumes, heat, or other dangers — and under what conditions.

Section 6, Health Hazard, explains the effects of exposure and where in the body the effects occur.

Section 7, Safe Handling and Use, covers safe usage, storage, disposal, and spill cleanup.

Section 8, Control Measures, prescribes exposure reduction measures.

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