Audit Circuit & Wiring Examination

The third step in conducting a power quality audit is to review the wiring system. Wiring and circuit problems can lead to many power quality problems. Further, diagnosing or resolving problems may be difficult or impossible unless facility wiring is brought up to code. Loose connections, under-sized wiring, and poor or improper grounding is frequently the sole cause of customer operating problems. These conditions will be discovered during this step of the audit process and are often quickly remedied.

The facility's electrical personnel or electrical contractor should be involved. Start at the panels and work through electric circuits to the various pieces of equipment. Test all electrical connections to make sure they're properly made, and aren't corroded or loose. Determine if circuits are properly grounded. In many cases, facility circuits simply have no ground route back to the electric panel. This is also an excellent time to gather electrical loading data for each circuit, and observe equipment operating characteristics.

In the event that diagnostic equipment is required, develop a plan for hookup and monitoring during this step in the audit process. The problems or symptoms indicated earlier in the auditing process will dictate the process and instruments required. Before calling for any diagnostic equipment the auditor should determine exactly where the instruments should be installed, what should be measured, how long to monitor the equipment, and at what "trigger" points the instruments should be set.

This part of the power quality auditing process involves working in and around electrically energized equipment. Remember, safety first.