“As soon as new equipment is installed, a process of normal deterioration begins. Unchecked, the deterioration process can cause malfunction or an electrical failure.”
– NFPA 70B: Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance
Over 5 years ago, a catastrophic failure at a water treatment plant led to Transworld, Inc. performing annual electrical preventative maintenance testing on their pump stations; they have not had a failure since. The water treatment facility was only performing EPM on their pump stations; they were convinced the new water treatment plant didn’t require testing.
The water treatment plant had two 4160 volt substations and one day one of the 4160-volt substations failed. They transferred all the power to the second substation while they rebuilt the breaker and ordered 3 new breakers.
NOTE: When you have two identical substations and one experiences a failure, chances are that the other substation has the same deficiencies and may have the same failure if not tested.
It only took one week before the second substation experience the same failure.
The overall cost of these failures for the water treatment plant was well over $500,000.00. This includes the cost to rebuild the first breaker ($6,693.00) and replace 8 breakers for $55,430.00 each. They also had to replace additional parts that got burned in the two substations.