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 Post subject: Updated Preventative Maintenance Guides?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:24 am
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Hi Folks,

I've seen some older threads at this website on the subject of preventative maintenance plans / policies, but wanted to circle back. Is it still the case that the go to guides are NFPA 70B and the ANSI/NETA Guide to Electrical Maintenance? Or perhaps there have been some advancements in available literature on this subject, recommendations for document development for staff (i.e. checklists and such), updates in inspection intervals and what to inspect, etc.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Updated Preventative Maintenance Guides?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:08 am
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Location: North Carolina
DMB5mil wrote:
Hi Folks,

I've seen some older threads at this website on the subject of preventative maintenance plans / policies, but wanted to circle back. Is it still the case that the go to guides are NFPA 70B and the ANSI/NETA Guide to Electrical Maintenance? Or perhaps there have been some advancements in available literature on this subject, recommendations for document development for staff (i.e. checklists and such), updates in inspection intervals and what to inspect, etc.


NFPA 70B used to have a lot of editorial issues but is the better, more comprehensive standard. The last version that I've looked at is considerably improved especially in the editorial department and I'd definitely recommend it.

NETA MTS on the other hand is a bit less useful. It contains extensive testing requirements many of which are not really recommended in the first place. NETA itself is made up of a consortium of electrical testing companies, so obviously it is very self-serving. However in years past it was better organized than NFPA 70B.

I would caution you about a couple things though. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten into arguments and issues with companies that do testing only and do not do repairs. I've seen some amazing things in test reports like claiming there are alignment and balance issues in a motor where the feet aren't even touching the base (blatantly obvious soft foot). If the testing company isn't at least capable of servicing the equipment, I wouldn't recommend using them. Companies that service equipment use the same tests as verification and know what the tests mean and how to diagnose an issue.

I would also caution you that especially with the more exotic testers, watch out for snake oil. There is one particular vendor of a popular motor tester that has a lot of publications on it purporting all kinds of benefits, but all the publications contain circular references back to the same company and the same publications (self-referencing).

Since this is the arc flash forum I'd also caution that NFPA 70B and NETA MTS are more oriented towards maintenance. Not all of the recommended PM's have anything to do with safety so you may want to consider whether or not to do many of the tests if the goal is purely safety oriented, especially on non critical (run to failure) equipment.

Finally one of the big problems with testing in general is the ability to be predictive. For instance the very popular "megger" test (insulation resistance) is extremely useful as a diagnostic tool. When used as a PM tool it will indicate the general condition of the insulation in terms of contamination but trending has not shown it to have anything in the way of predictive capabilities so as a predictive tool it doesn't provide much value. Some tests however such as transformer oil samples, vibration, infrared, various PD tests, and even visual inspections are extremely predictive of possible future failures.


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