Most facilities today rely on a steady source of electricity to keep a business running. However, if there is an electrical surge, you may run the risk of delaying your business operations. Fortunately, regular facility maintenance can ensure your electrical systems are updated and in good condition. Learn about how electrical maintenance and specific devices can benefit your business.
Should Your Facility Install Surge Protection Devices?
If your facility doesn’t already have surge protection devices, having these devices installed as soon as possible should be one of your top priorities. Surge protection devices can protect critical systems in your facility from cascading failure in the event of a power surge or natural disaster. Surge protection devices are an essential component of your electrical system.
Surge protection devices are designed to divert electrical surges to the ground to protect your electrical devices and machinery. A surge protector can be used to protect your facility from internal and electrical power surges, such as damaged power lines, lightning, and overloaded electrical circuits. When your facility has proper grounding and surge protection, you can maintain your productivity in the face of most electrical events.
Are There Regulations Mandating Surge Protectors?
Both OSHA and the NEC (National Electrical Code) have specific rules about surge protectors. These regulations state that electrical conductors, equipment, and systems are a requirement. There may be local laws governing the use of surge protections to be aware of, as well. Surge protectors are generally required to improve worker and facility safety.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Surge Protector?
If you don’t have any surge protectors installed at your facility, then all of your machinery and equipment are at risk of serious damage if there is a power surge. When a power surge from an internal or external cause cannot be diverted to the ground, your equipment and machinery will take the full brunt of the surge, and that could cause major damage.
For machinery that is not protected by a surge protection device, the electrical system of the machinery can be completely fried by a power surge, which will render the equipment unusable. If this happens, you will likely need to replace the machine completely, which can cause delays at your facilities. The computers and other electronic devices at your facility are at risk of total damage, as well as data wipes if these delicate devices are not protected from power surges.
How Should Surge Protectors Be Installed for Your Facility?
A licensed electrical contractor is the only one who can correctly install surge protectors throughout your facility. Installing surge protectors requires an in-depth understanding of how a large electrical system works, since multiple surge protectors will likely need to be installed throughout the electrical infrastructure.
An electrician will need to thoroughly examine all the electrical conductors in your facility, as well as circuit breakers, machinery, and pre-existing grounding systems. If the grounding system needs to be updated, an electrician will need to complete this work before a surge protection device can be installed. When the surge protection device is installed, it should be installed with short cables as close to the machinery as possible.
Zones of Protection
After an electrician has ensured your facility has the proper grounding to support a surge protection device, the electrician will need to install devices in three zones to maximize the protection for your facility. Installing surge protection devices in multiple zones will safeguard all of your electrical systems, machines, and equipment to prevent severe damage.
The first zone of protection is designed to protect your facility from power surges coming from external sources, such as lightning and down power lines. The second zone of protection will feature surge protection devices installed in key areas that are most susceptible to power surges, such as circuit breakers. The third zone of protection is intended to protect your facility from internal surges, so these devices will usually be placed near outlets and specific machinery.
What Is Electrical Facility Maintenance?
Electrical facility maintenance is a service provided by electrical contractors that will assess a facility’s electrical infrastructure, prevent major issues from developing, and correct any problems that occur. Facility maintenance ensures a business continues running without any delays. Without maintenance, your electrical system will be vulnerable to damage that could significantly impact your business operations, especially if there are uncorrected critical issues.
What Is Included In Electrical Maintenance?
The main goal of maintenance is to check on safety devices, power generators, and more. An electrical contractor is trained to inspect virtually all elements of your electrical infrastructure, including electronic devices used for digital communication, signage, and much more. Some of the main systems that will be checked during routine maintenance include:
Generators and Power Supplies
An electrical contractor will check the health of all facility generators and power supplies, including transformers, power cables, and emergency generators. It’s important for these power supplies to be routinely checked, since you may need them if there are external power outages.
Your surge protection devices will also need to be checked regularly to ensure each zone is functioning well. If there are problems with any of your surge protection devices, an electrician will correct these issues, which may include revising the grounding system of your facility or installing newer surge protectors. If you have recently upgraded any of the equipment in your facility, it’s a good idea to call an electrician to check that the new machines are protected from surges.
Most of the machinery in your facility relies on electricity to function, which means that the electrical systems within the machines will need to be inspected by electricians. By inspecting each of your machines, an electrician can verify that the equipment is operating in peak condition.
Lighting and Cooling Systems
The lighting and cooling systems used by your facility should also be checked regularly by an electrician. For your machinery, cooling systems may be essential to ensure the equipment does not get overheated. Cooling systems are also important for your staff, particularly in warehouse and factory facilities. An electrician will also check lighting systems, including emergency lights and other wiring.
How Often Should You Schedule Electrical Maintenance?
Most electricians recommend scheduling electrical maintenance for facilities every three years. Of course, if you have highly specialized machinery, or you have recently experienced a power surge, you should make an appointment with an electrician right away to check that your equipment is in good working order.
What Are the Benefits of Electrical Maintenance?
Aside from checking on your machinery and equipment, regular electrical maintenance can also prevent major disasters and catastrophic failures. When the electrical systems in your facility are in good working order, the risk of fire damage and costly repairs is significantly lower. Preventative maintenance can also keep the productivity of your facility on target.
A power surge can do more than temporarily shut down your facility. If you do not have any surge protection devices installed, you run the risk of damaging all the machines and equipment at your facility. However, routine electrical maintenance can assess the health of your electrical systems and help prevent future damage from power surges. Get in touch with Legacy Electrical Contractors for a service quote today.