Switchgear power systems are used as a preventive and proactive mechanism that control, protect and isolate power systems to ensure to allow short circuiting of specific circuits without interrupting the flow of the entire electrical system. Because they are very reliable, they are often the most overlooked part of electrical distribution system maintenance. Testing should be completed every 3-5 years to identify problems in the switchgear before a fault happens which can lead to complete power outages and damage to the switchgear. Our services are available nationwide and include switchgear maintenance and testing based on NETA standards, as well as breaker sales, breaker replacements and switchgear repair.
Purpose of Switchgear Preventive Maintenance & Testing
While plants and facilities often invest heavily in mechanical and production equipment maintenance, the electrical distribution system is sometimes ignored, resulting in a faulty electrical system that can put an entire plant out of operation due to an arc flash, blown bus bar, circuit breaker melt down, or a fire.
The results are tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in down time and equipment repairs as well as exposing the workforce to the hazards caused by the faults.
Switchgear Maintenance and Testing helps prevent the unexpected break-down of your electrical distribution equipment resulting in more up time, lower overall costs of operation and increased workplace safety by identifying potential failure and hazards before they become critical failures.
Service and testing of electrical switchgear equipment is completed by qualified technicians and in strict accordance with your specifications, and the guidelines of the National Electrical Testing Association (NETA) Maintenance Testing Standard (MTS) 2011 Revision, as well as the specific manufacturer’s specifications.
Specific services while performing maintenance & testing include:
Inspect alignment, groundings, and connections.
Cleaning, Lubrication & Electrical Resistance Testing of bolted pressure switches designated as service mains or feeder circuit mains.
Inspect electrical and mechanical parts for signs of moisture, corrosion or damage.
Torque of Mechanical points to manufacturer specifications.
Protective Relay and Circuit Breakers testing.
Ground fault detection and resistance testing.
Insulation resistance testing.
Inspect current and voltage ratings to ensure that they are in line with manufacturer’s standards.
Inspect electrical connections for high resistance.
A comprehensive report of test findings will be delivered subsequent to the switchgear service. Any over-current devices that test outside of the manufacturer’s published trip curves will be identified for replacement.
Replacement of switchgear breakers as needed.
Whether your electrical system is brand new or decades old, our technical team can find and install a breaker to replace the failed unit.
FAQs about Switchgear Maintenance
How often should Switchgear be tested?
Maintenance & Testing of Electrical Switchgear should be performed every 3 – 5 years depending on the state of the equipment and the criticality of the equipment. The more critical the equipment is or the older the equipment is, the more frequently it should have maintenance and testing, but at minimum should be tested every 5 years.
Does the Power Need to be Turned Off?
In order to perform switchgear maintenance and testing, the utility power needs to be turned off during servicing. Martin Technical will pull the permit for the power outage and coordinate with your utility provider on this. Included in the costs are mobile generators to provide electricity for the service technicians.
What is Switchgear?
Electrical switchgear regulates, protects, and isolates a power system with a variety of controls housed in a metal enclosure. It’s a vital system in industries that experience electrical faults or those that need to regularly de-energize equipment for maintenance, such as industrial environments and electrical utilities.
Switchgear contains fuses, switches, and other power conductors. However, circuit breakers are the most common component found in switchgear. During an electrical fault, a circuit breaker will sense the anomaly and interrupt the power flow, effectively limiting damage to the system.
Because it’s designed to control the flow of power, switchgear plays a role in enhancing a facility’s energy efficiency and safety.
What happens if a breaker needs to be replaced?
If the breaker fails after testing, the breaker can normally be returned to service to allow the electrical system to operate. A replacement breaker will be installed at a later date for the breaker that failed.
Schedule your Switchgear Maintenance & Testing Today