You make maintenance decisions about things such as:

  • Components: Clean, adjust, repair, replace — how do you know when to do what? Doing these activities when unnecessary means incurring unnecessary costs. Not doing them when necessary incurs unnecessary risk.
  • Equipment. Is equipment reaching the end of its cost-effective service life? What about controls, instrumentation, lubrication systems, and other "peripherals?"
  • Infrastructure. Do you need to upgrade, replace, or maintain your power distribution and communications infrastructure? What about production systems infrastructure (e.g., air compressors, HVAC, chilled water)?

Only with proper testing can you make the correct decisions. The above examples share the goal of cost control. However, here are some that do not:

  • Replace feeder cables?
  • Replace service drops (or laterals)?
  • Take that 1,500kVA service transformer offline for maintenance now or during the next planned outage?

You can't routinely replace these items "just in case." However, failure to replace them when needed can prove catastrophic. A "catastrophic" event is one you can’t recover from. Game over.

Do you have the expertise to properly conduct the tests needed to make good maintenance decisions? We’ll explore this question in Part 2.