Step 5: Maintain All Electrical Distribution System Components

Maintain hardware

The “active” components in electrical distribution systems are comprised of fuses, circuit breakers and protective relays that help protect the system in the event of an electrical fault. These overcurrent protective devices have a critical role in controlling the arc flash energy. Therefore, it is crucial to keep these devices in proper operating condition with a regular maintenance program. Without proper overcurrent protection, sustained arcing can subject electrical workers to much higher levels of energy. On the other hand, modern, properly adjusted over-current protective devices that have been well maintained are able to detect an arcing fault condition and clear the fault quickly.

Unless adequate maintenance is performed, the electrical system study and the arc flash analysis will not be a correct representation of the potential performance of the power system. Therefore, in addition to compliance with NFPA 70E, Schneider Electric recommends that facilities adopt NFPA 70B 2010 Edition: Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance. Schneider Electric’s qualified field services personnel perform on-site preventive and predictive maintenance services for any manufacturer’s electrical equipment. Upon completion, a detailed report is provided that identifies potential issues along with corrective recommendations.