Circuit Breaker Preventive Maintenance

Circuit breakers are used in nearly all electrical systems. We rely on them to protect our systems from damaging over currents and short circuits. Routine maintenance tests enable personnel to determine if breakers can perform their basic circuit protective functions. The need for maintenance of circuit breakers is often not obvious as circuit breakers may remain idle, either open or closed, for long periods of time.

The Importance of Constant Electrical Power Flow

When your business or organization depends on a constant, uninterrupted flow of electrical power, even just seconds of downtime can potentially expose everything to financial and regulatory risks – in some industries, it can even be a matter of life and death. To keep a strong line of defense against any problems arising, condition-based maintenance is of the utmost importance.

What is Condition Based Maintenance (CBM)?

To keep your systems and breakers running smoothly, being proactive is key. Condition based maintenance involves evaluating equipment and application data inputs to provide maintenance and repair recommendations. These will help lower operating costs, allow for continuous power reliability and give you peace of mind.

What goes into CBM:

  • Thermal Imaging
  • Low and medium voltage breaker/switchgear preventive maintenance
  • ATS Inspections
  • Battery systems & power cable testing

 Electrical Preventive Maintenance Program

A well-administered program reduces accidents, saves lives, and minimizes costly breakdowns and unplanned shutdowns of production equipment.  Impending troubles can be identified, and solutions applied before they become major problems requiring more expensive, time consuming solutions.

Some recommended breaker tests for both low and medium voltage circuit breakers (per NETA/ANSI Standards):

Low – Voltage:

  • Perform insulation-resistance tests for one minute on each pole, phase-to-phase and phase-to ground with the circuit breaker closed, and across each open pole. Test voltage shall be in accordance with manufacturer’s published data.
  • Perform a contact/pole-resistance test.
  • Determine long-time pickup and delay by secondary/primary current injection.
  • Determine short-time pickup and delay by secondary/primary current injection.
  • Determine ground-fault pickup and delay by secondary/primary current injection.
  • Determine instantaneous pickup value by secondary/primary current injection.
  • Verify correct operation of any auxiliary features such as trip and pickup indicators, zone interlocking, electrical close and trip operation, trip-free, antipump function, and trip unit battery condition. Reset all trip logs and indicators.
  • Verify operation of charging mechanism.
  • Clean and lubrication is also a priority.

 Medium – Voltage:

  • Perform insulation-resistance tests for one minute on each pole, phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground with the circuit breaker closed, and across each open pole. Test voltages shall be in accordance with manufacturer’s published data.
  • Perform a contact/pole-resistance
  • Perform minimum pickup voltage tests on trip and close coils in accordance with manufacturer’s published data.
  • Verify correct operation of any auxiliary feature such as electrical close and trip operation, trip-free, and anti-pump function.
  • Trip circuit breaker operation of each protective device, reset all trip logs and indicators
  • Perform vacuum bottle integrity test across each vacuum bottle with the breaker in the open position in strict accordance with manufacturer’s published data.
  • Perform a dielectric withstand voltage test in accordance with manufacturer’s published data.
  • Clean and lubrication is also a priority.

At Rinzler, all we do is mission critical power. Breaker Preventive Maintenance is one of the many parts of the condition-based maintenance services we offer for our clients. Our seasoned team of advanced electrical solutions professionals offer a plethora of field service options to ensure your organization has a constant, uninterrupted flow of power at all times without having to deal with the ins and outs of the complicated electrical procedures. We will run all necessary tests for your system and provide efficient solutions with the proper parts and processes, so you and your organization can focus on the core of your business.