Proactive Maintenance



Customer-owned substations can all too often be one of those assets that are viewed as robust, large, silent pieces of electrical equipment that “just continue to work”.  How about substation inspection and maintenance?  “Good idea lets really try and do it next year…or for sure the year after that.”

Perhaps because electrical substations are located “out there” on your property surrounded by a locked gate, high fence and barbed wire, or in the case of an interior substation they are located in that separate secure room, they are all too often a highly neglected or “taken for granted” apparatus.  However, when one considers what is riding on that false sense of security and the resultant impact upon your daily operations if it fails, is sobering, to say the least.

Before resolvable conditions escalate into a major issue, reach out to the Smith & Long Proactive Electrical Maintenance Services Team to provide you with a quotation for their recommended inspection and proactive maintenance program for your substation infrastructure.

This comprehensive program will not only give you peace of mind for your ongoing operations but in fact, for many clients, the services performed to bring them back into compliance with their responsibilities agreed to within their insurance policy.  And with regard to an insurance mindset, there can sometimes be a strange rationale about not performing appropriate and regular quality maintenance…” because we have business loss insurance for that.”  Really?  If that, in fact, is your “business plan” you might want to check the fine print in that respect.

A well organized well-executed inspection and proactive maintenance program for substations should be performed annually as a best practice.  Based on the size, design, quantity, and type of substation infrastructure involved, the Smith & Long Proactive Electrical Maintenance Services Team will create a well defined, documented and communicated MOP (Method of Procedure).  This will enable all stakeholders involved to know their roles, responsibilities and schedule well in advance of the actual day (or days) when the program is to be accomplished.  Each and every task item is important…from coordinating with the LDC (Local Distribution Company) for isolation and reconnection timelines, permits, standby generators, lighting, tools, oil sampling equipment, testing equipment, landscaping maintenance materials, vacuum and cleaning materials, etc. to name but a few.

A well planned and pre-scheduled shutdown can also be an optimum time to capitalize on the opportunity for other electrical system infrastructure repairs and or the installation of additional switchboard capacity, MCC (Motor Control Centre) cells, etc. vs. requiring a future separate and perhaps costly interruption to business operations down the road.   The Smith & Long Proactive Electrical Maintenance Services Team is great at multitasking in separate work areas simultaneously with a single goal in mind…the successful re-energizing of your facility…on time and on budget.   

Beyond following best practices regarding inspection and maintenance to help mitigate future substation failures, there are significant safety issues at stake as well, some of which can happen for surprising reasons with the loss of an effective grounding grid.  This can occur through corroded, resultant open or high resistance ground connections.  However, with unfortunate regularity, the integrity of grounding grids can also be a result of unauthorized entry within a substation and subsequent theft of the copper grounding conductors… sometimes tragically for their inherent scrap value.

There are occasions when this thoughtless action has resulted in the inadvertent electrocution of the would-be thief due to the newly severed conductors and the high voltage potential induced between them, and or the ground itself.  If this action does go undetected initially, however, a potentially hazardous condition looms for the next authorized person to enter the space or even someone coming in contact with the fence due to the “step-touch” potential voltage between the ground and the metal fencing.  Furthermore, the integrity of the system itself can be compromised depending on the design and distribution equipment arrangement causing yet another safety and operational issue.  

Do not let that crucial part of your facility’s operations…your substation infrastructure, be neglected any longer.  Contact the Smith & Long Proactive Electrical Maintenance Services Team today to work on a proactive strategy together.