An Ounce of Prevention…
Most electrical systems are super reliable. However, electrical failures do happen and cause major disruptions. A good maintenance program can help prevent many unwanted interruptions in service. Here are some ways to ensure safe and reliable electrical system performance:
An annual infra-red scan of all electrical panels has become an industry standard and required by many insurers. These scans identify hot spots and over-taxed breakers. These breakers may be overloaded or hot from contact deterioration.
Main Switchgear Maintenance
The main switch gear in many buildings has likely been in an ‘ON’ state for decades. The mechanism having not moved regularly, any lubrication of such is long dry. Dirt build-up on contact areas can also prevent proper engagement and movement. In emergency situations the disconnect levers will not move or fully engage on energization of the system. This situation often causes a major unscheduled outage. We recommend these service switches be exercised annually and many of our clients have us complete an annual ‘off-hours hurricane test’ which simulates an outage and tests the systems components for proper movement and engagement. In addition to the service being exercised, it is also an opportunity for real testing of emergency lighting, emergency power systems, electronic door locks and life safety systems.
Electrical Branch Circuit Inspection
Over time electrical devices, cords and cables can break down due to a variety of factors such as physical conditions or water damage. In addition, temporary extension cords and power strips intended for temporary use are often left as permanent, creating a potential safety & OSHA liability. An inspection by a qualified electrician can identify these issues in advance to mitigate any liability. These inspections should be added to the annual maintenance plan.
Lighting is more reliable than ever but still needs service from time to time, however, today’s LED fixture repair is not just a simple lamp change and in many cases the repair part must be matched to the fixture. Having installed and serviced thousands of lighting upgrades, Smart Power knows what to look for and how to source these matching parts via our wide network of distributors. We are also equipped with our own 53’ reach, OSHA inspected bucket truck for exterior high-mounted light repairs and service work as well as other equipment that eliminates 3rd party sourcing and a more efficient service cycle.
Newer projects with lighting control systems, need programming from time to time and our staff is proficient with programming for Lutron, Creston, Lithonia and several other manufacturers. This allows you to contact Smart Power as your one-stop-shop to install test and program. No finger pointing, just results that work and integrate.
After a reliable and safe operation is ensured, the natural next point of attention is the ‘cost of use’. This always far exceeds the initial cost of the components and there are numerous ways to save energy. As an added bonus, many have utility providers offer rebate opportunities.
- LED Lighting upgrades
- Upgrading to more efficient motors
- Adding VFD Drives to large motor loads
- Lighting controls
- Interlock with security system to auto shutoff loads
- Occupancy sensing
- Daylight Harvesting – dimming areas when natural light is available
About Smart Power
Service and Maintenance of electrical systems and building technology has been our specialty for over 28 years. Call us for a quote on a preventive maintenance program or energy conservation measures.