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  • I have had the pleasure of working closely with Electro-Motion on my fire pumps and emergency generator. They correct problems on the spot and report on anything which may need to be corrected in the future, keeping equipment in top working order saves us all in emergency repairs and costly down time.

    Scott W. Varady
    Director of Engineering
    San Ramon Marriott Hotel

    Automatic Transfer Switch Maintenance: What is It?

    February 22, 2016

    Your Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) is an essential part of your emergency backup power system and like any piece of equipment, it needs to be maintained. In fact, all ATS manufacturers recommend an annual maintenance. NFPA 110 agrees with the manufacturers and calls for annual maintenance. The manufacturers know their equipment requires annual maintenance, so it's important to listen to them.

    Automatic Transfer Switch Maintenance is intended to detect overhead contacts or connections which may result from overloads, wear in contact assemblies, or loose terminals. If these conditions remain uncorrected, components of the transfer switch can completely fail. Our maintenance includes a thorough cleaning and inspection of the switch, including the exterior cabinet. We basically disassemble the mechanical side of the transfer switch and inspect & clean these elements and apply special lubricant as we reassemble. This is a crucial step.

    As the transfer switch is cleaned, inspected, and reassembled, all the power and control connections are checked for deterioration and re-torqued according to manufacturers' specifications. Upon completion of the annual maintenance, a final transfer test is performed. This test should ideally be a full emergency system test, verifying the generator set can start and run the critical loads designed for the generator set. As you can see, ATS Maintenance goes well beyond the ATS test other service providers offer.

    Sounds scary and intrusive to normal business operations? Sure. But imagine how much scarier and more intrusive a complete power outage would be to normal business operations if your Automatic Transfer Switch fails when you need it -- especially when you take into account that a catastrophic failure could require a completely new switch with a multi-week delivery time.


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