Preventative Maintenance Inspection FAQs

Q. What is a PMI?

A. PMI stands for Preventive Maintenance Inspection or Predictive Maintenance Inspection. We treat these as two different things. Preventive addresses the physical aspect of electrical equipment including visual inspection, cleaning and torquing of connections. Predictive addresses thermal inspection looking for anomalies.

Q. Are connections supposed to be regularly re-torqued?

A. Not really. It is a good idea to check them from time to time but if the connections were originally torqued correctly and then re-torqued some weeks or months later, after being loaded, then they seem to stay torqued.

Q. All of our electrical is inside metal boxes and not visible so why is cleaning even necessary?

A. Dirt and dust still tend to collect on the equipment inside the boxes. This dirt and dust can affect the cooling of the equipment and can directly cause shorts which can damage the equipment. It is not uncommon for a poorly maintained (dirty) switchboard to completely destroy itself because of a collection of dirt and dust. In one case, the damage alone cost some $40,000.00 and this is not to mention the downtime of a large part of the plant.

Q. We have custodial staff, why not have them do the cleaning?

A. Whoa! We are dealing with electrical here, which is not particularly dangerous if you know what you’re doing but if you don’t…

Q. Our maintenance staff use plant air to blow out the electrical equipment. Is that a problem?

A. Usually yes. Really depends on the air. Some plant air includes lots of contaminants which may be invisible to the naked eye but end up getting into the electrical equipment. We generally avoid using compressed air for just that reason. It is far better to use brushes and vacuums.

Q. Can our maintenance staff be trained to perform electrical preventive maintenance?

A. Yes. There are a lot of firms out there that do such training.

To schedule a Preventative Maintenance Inspection, contact Southwest Industrial Electric today!