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October 13, 2009 A Penton Media Publication Vol. V No. 19

Maintaining Your Service Entrance,
Part 1

Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz

Faster Repairs Don't Always Save Time

NEC in the Facility



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MRO Insider addresses topics such as:

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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.

    Maintaining Your Service Entrance, Part 1
    Your service equipment preventive maintenance practices probably include voltage measurements, visual inspections, infrared inspections, and cable testing. But do they include cable limiters?

    Cable limiters are passive devices that provide short-circuit fault protection. They are among the few devices you can install on the supply side of the service disconnect [230.82(1)]. Their location here provides a clue as to why you would use them, rather than relying on load-side devices only. It's faster and cheaper to replace a few fuses than to replace several cabinets of switchgear damaged by a short circuit fault.

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

    One AMAXX unit replaces multiple receptacle installations, saving you labor, material and space. Offered in single gang to five-gang models, AMAXX provides configurable flexibility for receptacles and switches in an innovative enclosure system. With AMAXX, you can customize quickly, safely and easily. Call 1-800-882-8110 or visit us online

    Electrical Troubleshooting Quiz
    Several areas of the facility suddenly go dark. A quick investigation reveals the power loss originated at the service supplying those areas. None of the breakers on that service has tripped.

    Another service feeds from the same electric utility lines, so you don't think the problem is at the utility. Should you call the utility anyhow? What else should you do?

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

    Faster Repairs Don't Always Save Time
    When critical equipment goes down, you inadvertently have a maintenance window for other items that require downtime. Is your system set up to take advantage of this?

    Consider the following scenario. Your facility has six production lines, all of which feed a palletizer line. When this line goes down, products don't go out the door. One day, the palletizer line goes down because a gearbox seizes up. That box can be changed out in 30 min. You have a 40-min. PM scheduled for next month on that palletizer. If you do that PM concurrent with the gearbox replacement, total downtime is 40 min. instead of 70 min. By keeping the line down for an extra 10 min., you eliminate half an hour of scheduled downtime.

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    NEC in the Facility
    Many facilities have combustible dust and fibers, and thus contain hazardous locations as defined in Art. 500. It can be confusing to try to implement the requirements of the division classification system covered in Arts. 500, 502, and 503. Thus, the Zone 20, 21, and 22 system covered in Art. 506 can seem like an attractive alternative.

    Unfortunately, things may not be what they seem. Article 506 lists 11 protection techniques. Five of those are new with the 2008 Revision. Two of the new techniques are encapsulation techniques (maD and mbD). The other three are protection by enclosure, pressurization, and intrinsic safety.

    Do you have the expertise to correctly determine which mix of protection techniques to apply to a given installation? If not, find a specialist who does.

    Which form of non-wearable PPE do electrical personnel most commonly fail to use? Arguably, it's the welding screen. Welding screens are nominally the responsibility of the person who is welding, and that's typically not an electrician.

    OSHA requires the person responsible for the welding to erect screens to protect others. But this requirement doesn't prevent you from also setting up welding screens.

    The original intention of a welding screen was to protect people in the area from direct eye contact with the welding flash. This is sufficient for a passerby, but insufficient for people working in the area.

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

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