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Case Study – Switchgear Maintenance at Radstock

Below are some photos taken during switchgear servicing at Radstock by two of our engineers, which show the condition of some of the equipment and illustrate the importance of regular maintenance and testing.

Amongst others, the findings of the inspection in this incident identified the main cubicle panel to be badly contaminated with dust, rodent droppings, dead rodents and was showing signs of overheating and burning due to contamination on the electrical contact points. Such situations have and do lead to serious fire, catastrophic breakdown and in such a case, always result in costly remedial action or replacement.

Following our suggestion, the client agreed that we clean, service and lubricate the equipment in order to avert the risk of catastrophic failure.

The cost of preventative maintenance is invariably a fraction of the cost and disruption suffered if left to a point where urgent reactive rectification becomes required. Or worse still, complete loss through fire.

Electrical contact points

Electrical contact points showing difference between dirty and clean

Arc shoots clogged with dust and debris.
Arc shoots are clogged with dust and debris. These shoots are designed to absorb the explosive energy which is released when the device trips. As the device disconnects there will be a hot spark produced, the energy of which will be absorbed by the shoots. During fault disconnection, this contamination could lead to a fire.
Stabs on rear of Air Circuit Breaker with dust build up
Stabs on rear of Air Circuit Breaker. Note the excessive dust build up.
Stabs on rear of Air Circuit Breaker after cleaning
And after cleaning
Bottom of A.C.B. enclosure covered in mouse droppings and debris
Bottom of A.C.B. enclosure. Note the mouse droppings and general state, the strips in the middle are contacts.
Bottom of A.C.B. enclosure after cleaning
The same component after cleaning.
Dead mouse in electrical switch gear area.
This one won’t produce any more droppings, but it could fall onto contacts.

This one won’t produce any more droppings, but it could fall onto contacts.

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