Electrical system overloads can happen in any warehouse, whether new or old. You need to do what you can to avoid these damaging electrical problems. Here are some important ways you can keep electrical overloads at bay and avoid interruptions in your operations.
1. Plan for Upgrades and Equipment Changes
Many warehouses will add or upgrade equipment over time. The new equipment may have different electrical requirements or consume more electricity. For example, an increase in business may prompt an increase in your refrigeration capacity. That new or upgraded equipment can tip the scales when it comes to how much electricity the warehouse can safely provide.
You may understand a large upgrade can come with additional electrical requirements. Still, you can completely overlook the small upgrades you made in the warehouse over time. Those small upgrades add up, and they can easily cause the warehouse's electrical system to overload.
Signs of a pending electrical system overload can include:
- Performance issues from your equipment
- Increased strain and wear on your electrical system
- Power outages and frequently tripped breakers
- Larger dangers, such as fires.
The best way to avoid an electrical system overload in your warehouse is to plan ahead. Know your facility's typical electrical load. Stay within those parameters or upgrade your electrical systems to give you room for growth.
2. Pay Attention to Your Daily Operations
Be aware of the stress your operations put on your various electrical systems. Even if your system can handle your typical load requirements, it might not have the ability to handle a gradual or sudden increase in operations.
For example, your warehouse may go from a five-day operation to six. Or, the warehouse can add an extra, ongoing shift. This means your equipment will stay in operation for longer periods of time. Your electrical system may not have the capacity to accommodate those extra operating hours.
Even if the system can theoretically handle the increase in operations, don't assume the system will transition to heavier use gracefully. The electrical system will have existing wear from handling the daily warehouse operations. The added stress will only cause the system to work harder and wear faster.
The increase in operations will inevitably lead to issues and electrical system overload. Always make sure you have your electrical system serviced, maintained, and inspected before increasing operations.
3. Practice Prevention and Awareness
An electrical overload can happen gradually, but it can also occur suddenly. You and everyone in your warehouse should practice preventive measures and stay alert for potential electrical issues. Some things you can and should do include:
- Energy use monitoring and record keeping
- Careful equipment energy use documenting
- Regular electrical inspections
Your usage documentation will help you see patterns and potential problems before they grow out of hand or become dangerous. Having a database of equipment energy use will help you quickly decide if your electrical system can handle upgrades or additions without any problems; the inspection will give you forewarning of potential electrical problems.
Awareness means staying alert for sights, smells, and sounds that indicate an electrical problem. Give your crew the ability to quickly and easily report anything they feel isn't right, and follow up on their concerns.
Also, consider building redundancy into your electrical system in the form of a backup circuit or generator. If an electrical malfunction occurs despite your efforts, you will have the capabilities to keep your core operations going.
At Circle Electric, Inc., we can help you design an adequate electrical system for your warehouse or help maintain the electrical system you have. For professional commercial and industrial electrical services, contact us today.