As an owner/operator of a marina you should be performing routine inspections and maintenance of your marinas electrical system and it’s equipment, for example marina power pedestals and dock lights, at least once a year to make sure they are in a good working order. Studies show that the failure rate of electrical equipment is three times higher for components that are not part of a scheduled preventive maintenance program as compared to those that are. Regular inspection and maintenance will not only provide a safer experience for all patrons, but will also reduce the risk you face for general inconveniences like having to replace breakers or receptacles when you have a full marina.
In addition to your annual inspections and maintenance however, there are a number of things you can do on a more regular basis between your more in-depth audits to improve the efficiency of your electrical equipment and reduce the chances for failure or safety hazards.
Visual Inspection Of Electrical Equipment
A visual inspection of your marina’s electrical equipment should be conducted on average at least once a week or once every two weeks. A visual inspection requires you or a trained employee walk the docks looking for any clear potential hazards or problems. While there are a number of things to look out for, some of the key things to make sure to check for are corroding receptacles, signs of previous electrical fire, damaged wires, missing parts or pieces, damaged equipment housing, tangled webs of cords, and improper use of equipment such as the use of an electrical meter as a hose rack. While these inspections are not as thorough as other more comprehensive audits, a trained marina employee conducting them regularly will go a long way in ensuring the safety of your marina as well as extending the life of your various marina electrical equipment.
Monthly Tactile Inspection
In addition to conducting a weekly visual inspection, there should be a manual inspection of all electrical components performed at least once a month to ensure proper operation and voltage verification. These tests and inspections should be performed on all dock power centers as well as electrical panels. For seasonal facilities, a tactile inspection should be performed just prior to opening for the season and each month during. Examples of effective tactile inspections include physically touching your various marina electrical equipment to feel for things like excessive heat, excessive or abnormal vibrations, and inspection of oil/lubricants for excessive metals or other particles.
Infrared Imaging Inspection
Basic infrared imaging tools will help you identify if any of your machinery is giving off an abnormal amount of heat, which could indicate one of a number of issues. Bringing a basic infrared imaging tool along with you during your weekly visual inspections will reduce any potential electrical shock risks you could face, reduce the potential for more significant damage occurring to the equipment that’s overheating, and could even help you reduce your overall insurance costs through discounts. These inspections should be supplementary and are not intended to replace the more technical infrared scans that should be performed on an annual basis.
Preventative maintenance is an easy way to keep things running smoothly and to identify issues before they become a problem. Performing these regular inspections to marina electrical equipment will not only contribute to a stronger overall preventative maintenance program, but will also help reduce the overall costs your marina will face each year through electrical costs, maintenance costs and equipment costs and more. These preventative maintenance inspections are not intended to replace any annual or bi-annual full inspections you may require for your marina, but should be a part of every marina’s maintenance schedule. If you would like assistance in designing an annual maintenance program or custom preventative maintenance program for your marina electrical equipment feel free to reach out to our experienced marina electricians for more information.