Predictive and Preventive Maintenance
Electrical Preventive Maintenance (EPM) Programs
Loose connections and parts, exposure to moisture and defective insulation are lead causes of electrical distribution failures. The issues can be corrected with a comprehensive preventive maintenance program.
"Maintenance costs can be broken down into two categories: preventative maintenance or breakdown repairs. The image on this page is a typical curve illustrating this principle. According to the curve, as the interval of time between EPM inspections increases, the cost of the EPM diminishes and the cost of breakdown repairs and replacement of failed equipment increases." NFPA 70B 4.2.6
Some factors to consider when planning a program for your organization are:
- Qualified Personnel
The people who perform your EPM program must be properly trained for the specific equipment being maintained or tested. They should have a thorough understanding of electrical safety practices and procedures.
- Scheduled Maintenance
Inspection, testing and servicing of equipment should be done on a regular basis — at least once every three years and more often for critical components.
- Informed Decisions
You want to make informed, responsible decisions about how best to correct any problem conditions. That can only be accomplished if personnel reviewing test reports have a thorough understanding of the specific subject matter.
- Performing the Work
There is little point in testing and inspections if you don’t intend to fix the problem. Ultimately, a scheduled outage is necessary to perform the work.
A clear, concise and complete record-keeping system will help make sure that all work is done when it should be. Tracking test results over time also can often identify a potential failure that can be corrected before it happens.