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May 27, 2009 A Penton Media Publication Vol. V No. 10

Cast Your Vote for the EC&M Product of the Year!

Maintenance Fads vs. Reality

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Overcurrent Protection Device Replacement

NEC in the Facility



About This Newsletter
This twice-a-month
e-newsletter is brought to you from the publisher of EC&M magazine.

MRO Insider addresses topics such as:

  • Working with management and supervision
  • National Electrical Code® on the production floor
  • Safety procedures and programs
  • Troubleshooting techniques
  • Equipment maintenance and testing tips
  • Managing motors and generators
  • Trends in training and education
  • Managing energy use

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    The designations "National Electrical Code" and "NEC" refer to the National Electrical Code®, which is a registered trademark of the National Fire Protection Association.




    Product of the Year Competition
    Cast Your Vote for the EC&M Product of the Year!
    Would you like to help pick the prestigious EC&M Product of the Year winner and qualify for a chance to win $100? If you’re an EC&M subscriber, make your vote count by visiting the 2009 EC&M Product of the Year Poll. To review the products, click on the links for each of the 29 category winners to read a brief description and view a photo. Once you're finished with your review, enter your contact information, choose your favorite product from the drop-down menu, and click submit.

    Your selection will help us identify the 2009 EC&M Product of the Year Platinum, Gold, and Silver award winners. As an added incentive, three lucky voters will be randomly selected to receive a $100 gift check.

    The voting poll will remain open through 5 p.m. on June 19, 2009. Only one vote per EC&M subscriber, please. Any votes received from manufacturers, PR firms, or non-EC&M readers will be discarded.

    101 uses for the new Fluke 416D and 411D Laser Distance Meters.
    Best-in-class tools take you long distances, beyond hard-to-reach areas and through time-consuming calculations, with laser accuracy. You can use the Fluke distance meters in dozens of electrical, industrial, and HVAC applications. Go to to find out all 101!

    Maintenance Fads vs. Reality
    If you’ve been in maintenance very long, you’ve seen fads come and go. Maintenance fads generally possess the following characteristics:
    • The training is heavy on new buzzwords, making the program appear to be some sort of "new science."
    • The program originates with a paper presented by a single company (not an industry group), whose staff established its credentials in fields other than maintenance.
    • The program either repackages maintenance knowledge/standards or prescribes a new system detached from existing maintenance standards.
    New maintenance practices can be not only worthwhile, but also game-changing. They can even come from manufacturers and service providers, rather than maintenance practitioners. But they need to be reality-based, or they’ll catch fire and then flame out. In our next issue, we’ll look at characteristics of reality-based maintenance practices.


    Save Money with Ferraz Shawmut’s Surge-Trap® SPD. Surge-Trap offers fail-safe overvoltage protection that meets the latest UL 1449 Third Edition standard. Plus, it will save you money because it doesn’t require coordinated fusing or the expense of additional fuses, fuse holders or wiring in meeting the UL standard. It’s all the protection you need in one compact, self sufficient design.

    Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
    A few weeks ago, a 400A feeder breaker started exhibiting nuisance trips. DMM measurements, taken randomly, show the breaker is nowhere close to its maximum load. During shift changes over the weekend, another electrician performed the recommended maintenance on it. Yet, it still trips for no apparent reason.

    Your boss has asked you to replace the breaker. What are some things you should do before carrying out that request?

    Visit EC&M's Web site to see the answer.

    Overcurrent Protection Device Replacement
    What happens when a fuse blows or a breaker fails its maintenance inspection? You replace it with one just like it, right? But how do you know the existing overcurrent protection device (OCPD) is correct in the first place?

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


    Save on Pin & Sleeve Devices
    Starting from only $29.30, elecDirect’s line of Pin & Sleeve Connectors are available in IP44 Splashproof & IP67 Watertight models. Available in 16, 20, 30, 32, 60, 63, 100 & 125 Amps for small, medium or large current loads. UL classified to IEC 309-1 & 309-2 for North American or International ratings.

    Snap-On locking system, single wiring point access and built in cable gland ensures the fastest assembly time. — or call toll free 800-701-0975 for more information.

    NEC in the Facility
    If you have flammables on site, the first few Articles in Chapter 5 of the NEC are important to you. One question that arises in relation to these is, "What’s the difference between Zones and Divisions?"

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

    Sometimes, you just need a little help from a friend or coworker — especially when it comes to moving parts and materials.

    How much weight you can lift and how much you should lift can be vastly different numbers. You might have an impressive bench press at the gym, but that doesn’t always translate into safe lifting on the job.

    If you start to lift something and it feels even slightly awkward, stop and ask for help. An unexpected shift in a load can take your healthy back into hernia land.

    Another danger is that of blocking your view. Do you need to move that 4×8 plywood out of the way? Ask someone to grab the other side.

    Proper lifting methods reduce the chance of injury. Asking for help reduces the chance of injury even more. Using lifting equipment provides further risk reduction.

    The flipside of asking for help is giving help when asked. Doing so helps promote an "ask-for-help" culture. Caution: Even with your help, the lift might not be safe. Before you put your back, fingers, knees, or other body parts at risk, evaluate the lifting task. Don’t be afraid to put conditions on helping. For example, "I’ll be happy to help you, but we need to lift this motor with a sling and hoist."

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