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August 25, 2009 A Penton Media Publication Vol. V No. 16

Lighting Maintenance

Maintaining Flash Protection

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Solving Lamp and Ballast Failures

NEC in the Facility


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MRO Insider addresses topics such as:

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  • Troubleshooting techniques
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  • Trends in training and education
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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.


    Lighting Maintenance
    Lighting maintenance programs typically seek to continue poor lighting at inflated cost, instead of providing the proper light at optimal cost. Consider two underused opportunities for accomplishing the latter:
    1. Cleaning. Over time, fixtures and lenses can accumulate enough dust to severely diminish light output. Dust also serves as a thermal insulator, thereby shortening component lifetime.
    2. Upgrading. Kick lighting maintenance up a few notches on the value chain by ensuring the lighting system conforms to current standards. Schedule an assessment of the light adequacy and efficiency, one room at a time. Replace old fixtures with newer energy-efficient ones, as needed. When you reduce energy loss at the fixture, you also reduce the air-conditioning load.

    Maintaining Flash Protection
    If your facility contains electrical equipment that may require maintenance while energized, that equipment must be marked with flash hazard warnings [110.16]. These markings alert people to the presence of a hazard, but they don't ensure the proper flash hazard analysis (per NFPA 70E) has been done for that equipment and that area.

    Is there a tool you can use to ensure every piece of equipment has an up-to-date and complete flash hazard analysis? Yes, and you probably have it already.

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


    Ferraz Shawmut launches the new UL 508-listed FSLBS load break switch offering panel builders and OEMs increased versatility, modularity and savings in making or breaking loads up to 600V. Additional benefits, include box terminals that are rated for two wires each, front and side operation, a modular construction, convenient door mounting, a toggle switch version – and a lower price.

    Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
    The maintenance department recently has received complaints about inadequate lighting from various managers, the HR department, and production employees. You reviewed the lighting layout drawings and lighting specifications and have found that, if anything, the areas in question are slightly over-lit. You know that low voltage can cause significant lumen output reduction, but you checked the system voltage and it's where it should be. What should you do to investigate and resolve the cause of the complaints?

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

    Solving Lamp and Ballast Failures
    With today's complex loads, it's unlikely a lamp or ballast failed due to some random event that won't happen again and destroy more lamps or ballasts. Thus, a replacement isn't a repair. It's just a way to spend money until someone actually does the repair.

    Any time a lamp or ballast fails, use a power analyzer to look for:

    • Voltage sags and surges.
    • Low power factor on that branch circuit.
    • Waveform "holes" and other anomalies.
    Also check for bonding deficiencies, which are likely if you have waveform anomalies, flashovers, or undesired current flow.


    Multi-Pole Rectangular Connectors is your online source for ILME rectangular connectors. Our lines of 16A complete connectors are offered in 6 to 24 pole configurations and make selecting and ordering easy. The V-Type lever system is made entirely of stainless steel and was designed to improve resistance to vibrations, knocks, oils & chemicals. Special sealing gaskets provide IP65 rating for coupled connectors.

    NEC in the Facility
    Save money on intrinsically safe installations. How? Here are three ways:
    1. Use a general enclosure with intrinsically safe apparatus; permitted by 504.10(B).
    2. Rather than using special wiring methods, use any of the wiring methods suitable for unclassified locations when installing intrinsically safe apparatus [504.20].
    3. Don't seal enclosures that contain only intrinsically safe apparatus (except as required by 501.15(F)(3)); permitted by [504.70].

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

    Arguably, the most misused piece of non-wearable personal protective equipment (PPE) is the electrical insulating blanket. This blanket is designed to serve as a shield between the electrician and exposed parts. It's not a cushion, kneeling pad, or "clean pad" for laying out tools or materials. A single misuse of the blanket can cause it to lose insulation integrity.

    Don't set anything on the blanket, and don't set the blanket on anything other than the equipment against which you need a touch barrier.

    Before using the blanket, follow the recommended inspection procedures. When you're done using the blanket, inspect it again (destroy and replace, if damaged). Store blankets per the manufacturer's instructions (e.g., roll up and put in storage sleeve).

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