Panelboards and Switchboards

NFPA 70B – Exploring Chapter 13: Panelboards and Switchboards  

NFPA 70B 2023 is the now the “Standard” for Electrical Equipment Maintenance. Do you have a plan in place to bring your facility up to speed?

As a NETA testing company, EEE has been performing electrical maintenance using the ANSI/NETA MTS standard for years. All of our existing customers are backed by our expertise and are well on their way to becoming NFPA 70B compliant. We can help you assess and create maintenance plans that measure up to the new standards.

Plan for the Cost of Maintenance Now or Pay the Price Later

Insurance companies may adopt NFPA 70B 2023 as part of their underwriting requirements. Failure to comply with the standard could result in higher premium costs, not to mention unexpected losses that regular maintenance prevents.

A Successful Path to a Comprehensive Electrical Maintenance Program

Chapter 13 covers the maintenance requirements for “Panelboards and Switchboards” that are 1000 volts or less. Periodic maintenance is essential for safe and reliable operation of these critical parts of an electrical distribution system. Below are the highlights of Panelboards and Switchboards chapter:

  • Scope Panelboards and Switchboards less than 1000V
  • Maintenance Interval, refers to Chapter 9, Condition 1 = 60 Months
  • Visual Inspections
  • Cleaning
  • Lubrications
  • Mechanical Servicing
  • Electrical Testing

One of the key elements of NFPA is Chapter 9 – Maintenance Intervals. Table 9.2.2 provides a minimum standard of maintenance intervals for all types of electrical equipment. This table is new and was not available in previous version of NFPA 70B. The table has three equipment condition assessments. Condition 1 is new installations or like new condition of the equipment. Condition 2 maintenance results deviated from past results, previous maintenance cycle revealed issues that require a repair or replacement condition or there has been notifications from the continuous monitoring system since the prior assessment. Condition 3 has missed two successive maintenance cycles that reported issues or there is an active or unaddressed notification from the continuous monitoring system.

ANSI/NETA MTS – Best Practices

ANSI/NETA MTS Standard for Maintenance and Testing Specifications chapter 7.1 “Switchgear, Switchboards and Panelboard Assemblies” is also a maintenance standard for panelboards and switchboards. The maintenance procedures are similar to NFPA 70B with the additions of several testing standards to follow:

  • Scope Switchgear, Switchboards and Panelboard Assemblies
  • Visual and Mechanical Inspection
    • Visual Inspections
    • Cleaning
    • Lubrications
    • Mechanical Servicing
  • Electrical Tests
  • Test Values – Visual and Mechanical
  • Test Values – Electrical

NFPA 70B provides guidance for; the maintenance Intervals, equipment condition assessment, Maintenance Procedure and the minimum requirements for an Electrical Maintenance Program. ANSI/NETA MTS provides how to perform the maintenance. Using both of these standards forms a successful path to a comprehensive Electrical Maintenance Program.