Pictured, above: Breaker Technician Zach Wilburn works on carefully disassembled parts from multiple circuit breakers.
According to Electrical Preventative Maintenance (EPM) Manager Jeff Gardner, having the ability to repair circuit breakers on site at P1 has been a top priority.
In September, 2020, P1 Connection brought you the story of P1 Service’s ship-and-repair circuit breaker service. Rather than taking on the immense expense of total gear replacement, customers having issues with breakers can send the breaker to P1 to be rebuilt.
The service became popular enough that P1 decided having our own shop to conduct this work was the logical next step.
“A significant portion of P1’s EPM work is performing onsite testing of circuit breakers,” Jeff explained.
“When deficiencies are found in the field, often times they can be repaired or the breaker can be entirely rebuilt and made better-than-new,” he said.
Jeff says ever since P1 began the on-site testing, it has always been a goal to perform the repair and rebuilding work in-house rather than rely on a separate vendor.
“We were fortunate enough to have extremely talented breaker technicians Rich Breeze and Zach Wilburn join the team,” Jeff said.
Now, the team has a backlog of circuit breakers needing service, allowing them to hit the ground running in the new breaker shop, located in the Lenexa Warehouse.
“We currently have around six breakers in our shop,” Jeff said.
A particularly impressive piece in the shop includes a 5,000v breaker manufactured in 1953, which weighs 1,000 pounds and stands five feet tall (parts of which are pictured below).
“There aren’t many folks in the country familiar with this specific type of breaker and we have that expertise in our breaker shop,” Jeff said.
“Having the capacity to test and repair the equipment gives us the ability to more comprehensively and efficiently serve clients.”
Jeff says the target client will have older switchgear in a harsh environment. The older the gear, the better a candidate it is for rebuild rather than replacement. And the harsher the environment, the more frequently the breakers need service.
Older or obsolete units are also good candidates, because the client can’t just go buy a new one.
“If their breaker has an issue, their options are to either have the breaker rebuilt or replace the switchgear,” Jeff said. “In today’s challenged supply chain environment, replacement may not be an option. It’s significantly more economical to rebuild the breaker.”
Jeff says clients gain the best understanding of this service by coming and seeing it for themselves.
“Clients that are already consumers of this type of service have been very pleased to learn we have this capability now,” Jeff said. “But what is most impactful is providing tours of the facility.
“Most folks don’t know what goes into making an older breaker better-than-new. Seeing the process really solidifies the expertise needed and our commitment to quality for our clients.”
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