Three Basic Maintenance Strategies for a Bolted Pressure Switch

Bolted Pressure switches are found in many industrial complexes. They are often considered to be a valuable, cost effective solution for the industrial plant’s electrical infrastructure – particularly with regards to circuit protection and electrical system isolation. The bolted pressure switch can provide years of reliable service as long as the appropriate preventative maintenance is diligently performed.

Unlike a circuit breaker, a bolted pressure switch relies on fuses to provide fault clearing capability; therefore it does not require a mechanical operation such as switch opening to provide associated circuit protection. However, the bolted pressure switch must be tested and maintained to ensure proper operation when required.

The Bolted Pressure Switch and Corrective Maintenance

This type of maintenance strategy is performed when the switch fails to operate. Many industry professionals consider this an inadequate maintenance operation since it highlights a company’s economic philosophy regarding the potential short-term savings in proper maintenance versus potential repair costs and production losses. As a result most medium to small industrials perform this method due to budget constraints. Therefore, the unfortunate result in applying this type of corrective maintenance strategy to bolted pressure switches is that there may be inoperable switches in the electrical system. Ultimately, the correct method to rectify a the bolted pressure switch is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations by cleaning and lubricating the switch and adjusting the closing mechanism to accommodate the proper closing of the bolted pressure switch.

The Bolted Pressure Switch and Time Interval-Based Maintenance

This type of maintenance strategy is performed at predetermined frequency regardless of the conditions under which a bolted pressure switch operates. It this method is applied too strictly, however, it may lead to excessive work efforts and costs.

The Bolted Pressure Switch and Condition-Based Maintenance

This strategy ensures that the condition of the bolted pressure switch is evaluated through maintenance testing and inspection. As result of this type of due diligence, the statistical data and cumulative experience can be used for future maintenance planning. Condition-based maintenance provides excellent opportunities to improve reliability and cut costs, but it requires effective diagnostic methods. Furthermore, due to the level of current typically associated with bolted pressure switches, the performance of annual infrared (IR) survey of the switch contacts should be considered mandatory with any condition-based maintenance program. Therefore, periodic inspections should include looking for signs of heat discoloration and contamination buildup on contact points and connections.

In conclusion, bolted pressure switches are highly prevalent in the electrical infrastructure of many industrial settings due to their inherent cost effectiveness. These switches can have operability issues if not properly maintained. To ensure switch operability and long service life, appropriate preventive maintenance should be performed on a periodic basis.