The Electrical Professional

Why care for your educational facility’s electrical distribution system?

Common Problems

  • Overloaded circuits
  • Code Violations
  • Poor Power Quality
    • Harmonics affecting critical systems caused by:
      • Computers
      • Electronic lighting ballast
      • Variable speed drives
    • Improper Grounding due to:
      • New additions and upgrades
      • Non adherence to the National Electric Code and/or IEEE 1159-1992 standards which are recommended practices for grounding of sensitive electronic equipment
    • Heavy Energy Usage:
      • This generates excessive amounts of heat that cause connections to loosen dur to shrinkage and expansion. Loose connections cuase arcing that generates extreme heat and high resistance, which is a major safety concern and also results in an in efficient use of power.
  • Budget Constraints
  • Inadequate surge protection
  • Insufficient backup generators
  • De-energized work to clean, tighten, lubricate and test is difficult to schedule
  • Aging infrastructures
  • Multiple and various types of facilities over wide regions
  • Limits tax allocations for preventative maintenance
  • Maintenance department has many responsibilities

Critical Areas

  • Incoming service
  • Redundant incoming services, power supplies, and back up emergency generation
  • Main transformer(s) oil & dry
  • Bus Duct
  • Computer rooms
  • Database and registries
  • Data collection centers
  • Security/surveillance systems
  • Lighting

Financial benefits of Electrical Preventative Maintenance

  • Predictive budget
  • Minimize or eliminate unexpected outages and untimely repairs
  • Extend the EDS life/lower replacement costs
  • Lower liability risks
  • Greatly reduce electrical fires
  • Computerized documentation for your electrical distribution system

Primary cause of electrical losses

  • Loose connections/ parts
  • Moisture
  • Line disturbance (other than lighting)
  • Defective/inadequate insulation
  • Overloading/inadequate capacity
  • Accumulation of dust, dirt, and oil lighting
  • Foreign objects/short circuiting
  • Collision

Equipment Loss Examples

  • Serve arcing caused extensive damage to a high school’s electrical system when workers connected cables to new air conditioning chiller units. Repairs had to be rushed so renovations could be completed in time for the new school year. TOTAL LOSS: $76,927
  • During a night high school football game, the lights on one side of the field and the parking lot went out. The fire department was called as poles and transformers sparked and smoked. Two transformers are underground wiring had to be replaces. TOTAL LOSS: $55,908
  • Underground wiring and short-circuited, damaged electrical system components and cut off power to a school. Without refrigeration, the cafeteria staff had to discard hundreds of pounds of raw meat. TOTAL LOSS: $105,510
  • Arcing destroyed a 16-switch electrical distribution panel. The breakdown kicked out the school’s main breaker, causing the school to close temporarily. TOTAL LOSS: $50,131
  • The motor on a 20-ton air conditioning unit short-circuited. Another unit was rented to keep the school’s main breaker, causing the school to close temporarily. TOTAL LOSS: $50,131
  • A transformer leaked oil from a bushing onto a load break elbow, resulting in arcing. The breakdown caused a voltage surge that damaged the school telephone systems. TOTAL LOSS: $34,465

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