Circuit breakers are some of the most important safety devices that you can have in your building. They allow for electricity to be safely managed and prevent any accidents from occurring. It is difficult to imagine how we would be able to live in the 21st century without these simple devices.
With that being said, it is important that these circuit breakers are regularly tested to ensure that they are working properly. There are still cases where electricity-related accidents happen because workers and organizations fail to perform maintenance on a regular basis. It only takes one accident to result in millions of dollars in damages and the potential loss of life.
Not to worry! All you have to do is test your industrial circuit breaker on a daily basis to ensure that you and the people in your building are in safe hands. Here are some time-tested tips to ensure that you are properly testing your breakers:
Keep All Points of Contact Debris-Free and Humid-Free
In order to ensure that testing is properly done, you do not want anything interfering with the process. When you see the test results that your breaker generates, you want to make sure that they are accurate.
In addition to this, you want to make sure that the breaker has not been exposed to any kind of humidity. This seems like an obvious statement, but you will be surprised at how many people get complacent and forget to check for water or heat damages.
The same principle applies for any damages you see due to excessive heat (e.g., casing) or corrosion. These kinds of damages need to be fixed by a certified electrical professional who has experience in fixing these types of problems.
Know What Information You Are Looking For
There are multiple ways through which you can test a circuit breaker. The only problem is that you need to know what information you are looking for. As an example, you can test the breaker using a voltage meter. This device will measure the electricity that is flowing through the circuit. Based on the voltage reading that you get and the known specifications of the breaker, you will know if electricity is flowing properly through the breaker.
Another type of test that is commonly done on circuit breakers is the clamping ammeter. This is a test that will allow you to see if there are any overloads or shorts in the circuit.
There is no all-encompassing test that will tell you everything that you need to know. You have to know what you are looking for and use the tools that will help you find the answer.
Allow for Breaks In-Between Testing
When the circuit breaker is being tested, the device will heat up. Therefore, it is not a good idea to perform back-to-back tests, as you will overheat the breaker. You should take short time periods in between tests to allow the breaker to cool down. This time period will depend on the device that you are using. For example, 5 minutes is the recommended time for a thermomagnetic low voltage breaker.
When in Doubt, Reach Out to An Expert!
Sometimes you might not know what kind of tests need to be done. You have a gut feeling that there is a problem but you just don’t know what the next step should be. This is an opportunity to seek out a professional who can determine what kind of tests need to be run.
In some cases, you may be surprised to find that the breaker will need to be replaced. You may receive a recommendation to purchase a new circuit breaker from a distribution hub that takes their items through extensive quality control and has a track record for providing customers with high-quality products.
Testing does not have to be done every single day. So long as you schedule time periods during the calendar year that abide by industry standards and stick to the schedule, you should not have to worry about your circuit breaker malfunctioning.