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Posted By Topic: Coming To A Client Near You- Periodic Verification

SteveH
Apr 16 2018 22:30

\"We understand there is currently no formal programme of preventative electrical checks at this property. Electrical malfunctions account for a high number of fire losses in New Zealand. To reduce this risk, you need to ensure that electrical systems in the property are maintained in a safe condition. Systems include fixed wiring, switchgear, fixed equipment e.g. motors, compressors, heaters etc. installed in the building. NZI have adopted AS/NZS 3019 for Periodic Verification inspections. Periodic Verification inspection helps ensure your electrical systems remain in good repair and uses non-invasive examination methods.
We recommend that you have a licensed electrician complete a Basic Periodic Verification test every two years unless the electrician recommends a different interval. The test needs to include Thermographic imaging.
Once any remedial work required is completed by a qualified practising electrician, please supply to our office a signed copy of Form 1(Certificate of Periodic Verification) from NZS 3019.
We recommend you supply a copy of this wording to the electrician who will complete the inspection\"

Think NZI are getting a bit keen wanting a PV every two years, would make more sense to get Thermal Imaging inspections done annually and a PV every five years (or even 10 years), your thoughts?
   

DougP
Apr 16 2018 22:57

Not sure how they think thermal imaging is going to prove anything.

When you go to do the imaging, the hot water could be off, the oven/hob not being used, and the only load might be the tv on standby.

Do they expect you to turn everything on and wait half an hour before doing the imaging?

You would be better off with a thorough visual inspection of the switchboard and the standard wiggle and tug test on the terminals..
   

SteveH
Apr 16 2018 23:46

This is a business premises (distribution warehouse) but yes in essence, you are correct, loading on circuits and various components would need to be at least 80% of normal loading- so that would mean running AC units, pumps etc etc and knowing how to use Thermal Imager correctly (and having s suitable one for task)
   

Sarmajor
Apr 17 2018 20:42

Customer could simply transfer there business elsewhere.
Not saying that checking the installation out is a bad idea but horses for courses.
A warehouse with basic lights and power is way lower risk than a production facility going hard out drawing close to maximum current 24/7.

I once did a thermal survey on a switchboard in a kitchen factory and the hottest thing was a serf that was supplying the edge taping machine and it was at 22 degrees. Everything else was at 18-20. Not much chance that it was going to erupt into flames any time soon.
   

SteveH
Apr 17 2018 22:54

\"Customer could simply transfer there business elsewhere.\"

True that, but common question on Insurance Application is \"have you been declined by another insurance company\".

Wondering how many other companies are asking for some form of PV. There are after all, a number of fires in businesses each year

One in Christchurch at beginning of this year started in Server and spread through wall into reels of hose in warehouse on other side.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/100480390/fire-halts-traffic-on-christchurchs-blenheim-rd
   

zl2aj
Apr 18 2018 08:08

Transferring your business elsewhere is not being declined insurance. Some insurers will give you the option to withdraw your application before it is formally declined.
   

AlecK
Apr 18 2018 08:57

In taking your business elsewhere, you\'re very likely to be met with the same requirement. All insurers are becoming increasingly risk-averse. And there\'s really only 2 or 3, each having several retail \"brands\". So expect this to become the norm.

Those who believe it\'s going too far are free to make (& sign) a written recommendation for a longer interval and / or an entirely different form of PV. You could also recommend installation of AFDDs where relevant & suitable; which should be accepted as significantly reducing risk of fire from electrical fault, so justifying less-frequent checks.

Just remember that your report / recommendation goes on file; and is likely to be dug out and held against you if something goes wrong.

   

SteveH
Apr 18 2018 20:24

\"Just remember that your report / recommendation goes on file; and is likely to be dug out and held against you if something goes wrong.\"

Yes, that has to be a major concern for anyone with any involvement with such a report. Excellent Professional Indemnity cover, and depending on what the consequential loss might be of getting it wrong, some millions of dollars worth of cover.

\"You could also recommend installation of AFDDs where relevant & suitable; which should be accepted as significantly reducing risk of fire from electrical fault, so justifying less-frequent checks.\"

Yes,exactly. NZI\'s opening wording \"We understand there is currently no formal programme of preventative electrical checks at this property\"- I wonder what their reaction would be to a business client who had a program of annual thermal scans in place, and had dealt with any issues uncovered by that.


   

OwenK
Apr 18 2018 20:52

I did a dozen visual and thermal surveys of main switch boards last month. On the thermal side things found included:-
Contractors, relays and power supplies as hot as 75 deg
Inductive heating in steel panel from single core mains cables
Cables at 65 deg where loaded
Identified power factor correction capacitors as open circuit (lack of temperature above ambient)

First survey of these premises by the occupiers. I think this time it was justified. Hard to say when should be done again.
   

SteveH
Apr 19 2018 06:53

Are you supplying some reports, or a Cert Of PV Owen?(where no issues have been identified) or finding and fixing issues and COC\'ing etc where issues that need addressing.

Reading that I have done suggests that elsewhere in the world, electrical cabinets etc are getting imaged annually, would seem a reasonably cost effective way of trying to reduce the likelihood of an electrical related fire on your premises.

   

AlecK
Apr 19 2018 08:32

Cables at 65 deg C isn\'t necessarily a problem. Probably just means they are running at a little below rated CCC; ie they have been correctly sized.
   

DougP
Apr 19 2018 13:12

One report on a complex with about 25 switchboards from 6 months old to 50+ years. The hottest thing was a HRC fuse @ 50deg with the wire coming off it at 31deg.
Next was a SERF @ 40deg.
The rest of the wiring wasn\'t over 31deg.

There were a lot of other faults, but not much related to temperature. A lot of the complex wasn\'t being used much, some parts not at all.

The visual inspection revealed way more problems. Of course it could have been much different.

However in my experience (from way way before thermographs), is that anything that is being used and relied upon by a customer, that customer will usually notice problems relating to loose SWBD connections way before the building burns down. Or, the terminal will burn out and shut off the power itself.

I\'ve even seen 16mm2 mains fall out of a main switch when opening a switchboard - but there was no sign at all of overheating.