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Root Failure Solutions For Commercial or Industrial Electrical Systems 101

Levi Zeigler March 18, 2022 0 comments

The electrical system within any facility is nothing more than a necessary tool that is required to complete just about every task within the facility.

Users of any tool will require the user to have a working knowledge of using the tool in a safe and effect manner.

One simple example is using a wood chisel.

  • The user must have safety training on using the chisel
  • The user must select the right chisel for the project they are working on.
  • The user must select the right size mallet or hammer to effectively use the chisel.
  • The user must maintain proper sharpness of the chisel

When the chisel causes damage to the user or the wood the user must find the root cause of the problem.

  • Is the user properly using the chisel?
  • Is the chisel the right chisel for the project?
  • Is the mallet of hammer the right size?
  • Is the chisel still properly sharpened?

Electricity is a tool that only has only (1) function. That function is to make devices that require electricity to operate when the device is energized. However, unlike devices and tools the user cannot physically see electricity.

For the user when the device fails or is not working properly and no mechanical damage can be located finding the root cause of the problem can become very difficult. The five (5) major root cause issues are:

  • Is it power quality?
    •   Utility or Facility
  • Is it a power disturbance event?
    • Utility or Facility
  • Is it improper bonding?
  • Is it improper grounding?
  • Is it improper equipment protection?

Unfortunately for the user of the device is any of these root cause issues are unknown correcting the root cause of the failure becomes complicated.

In most cases when electrical devices fail the solution becomes get the device back working as fast as possible. Typically, the corrective actions include in any order: Replace, Repair, or Restore the device and wait until the next time and do the same thing. The root cause issue is never located and the cycle continues within the facility. Next time it may or may not be the same device but the corrective actions will be the same.

To actual find the status of the five (5) major root cause issues these steps must be taken:

  • Complete a 7-day power study
  • Track power disturbance events
    • Lightning storm
    • Utility outage
    • Partial facility outage
    • Tripped circuit breaker
    • Etc.
  • Evaluate the entire facility electrical bonding
  • Evaluate the facility grounding electrode system
  • Evaluate the facility electrical protection system

In most cases to find the status of the five (5) major root cause issues will require hiring a firm that has subject matter experts (SME’s) in this field.


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