How To Extend The Life of Your Electrical Wires & Cable

Posted by TPC Team on December 3, 2018

Electric wire and cable systems are the lifeline of any industrial application. If one of your cables fail — the entire system comes to a halt, leaving you with costly downtime.



ELECTRIC WIRE AND CABLE CARE

trex-onics-reel-2As a busy department head in an industrial plant, you have a lot to worry about on a daily basis. Practicing some general guidelines for electric wire and cable care not only will extend the life of your cable, but can reduce downtime, decrease safety and non-conformance issues, and increase the overall efficiency of the plant.

Some common practices for proper wire & cable care include:

1: Choose an Effective Approach

  • Choose the most suitable cable for the application and its harsh environment*
  • Choose a cable size and type that will work best for the following:
    • Safety
    • Carrying capacity (ampacity)
    • Voltage drop
    • Ambient temperature
    • Mechanical strength
    • Expected performance in its environment
  • Educate maintenance personnel on cable limitations and what to inspect to reduce cable failures

2: Prevent Damage

  • During installation, avoid kinking or twisting the wire and cable
    • Kinking and twisting the cable may mechanically stress and weaken the conductors
  • Avoid tension & run-overs
  • Take note of the minimum bend radius
  • Consult electrical wire and cable provider for appropriate recommendations
  • Avoid any form of impact or crushing that may damage the jacket
  • Keep wire and cable away from any elements the application does not have to be exposed to (such as direct flame)

3: Make Cable Reel Adjustments

  • Periodically reverse cable ends to prevent one end experiencing prolonged exposure to a harsh environment, like high temperature
  • Tie cable to avoid backspooling
  • Keep proper tension
  • Note potential current overload; expect to derate** a cable if powered while on a cable reel with multiple layers
    • Account for voltage drop, if left unaccounted for it may lead to premature machine/motor failure
      • Machine can overheat

4: Make Repairs

  • Inspect cable and make repairs before the cable is damaged beyond repair
  • Remove cut or crushed cable before it leads to an unsafe condition
  • Keep spare cable handy to replace damaged cable in place of a temporary fix

5: Keep Records

  • Maintain the following records:
    • Installation date of electrical wires and cables
    • Cause of every failure:
      • Highlights exactly where your biggest problem areas occur
      • Pinpoints failure at the root of the cause
      • Helps develop a preventative maintenance plan to catch failures before they occur
    • Removal of wire and cable for repair(s)
  • Analyze wire and cable performance

PROPER WIRE AND CABLE CARE REDUCES DOWNTIME

Proper care of your wire and cable is imperative to reducing downtime and keeping systems running efficiently and reliably on a continuous basis. Utilizing these five general electric wire and cable guidelines can greatly help maintenance personnel and engineers alike appropriately care for all wire and cable within their respective applications.

DOWNLOAD THE ELECTRICAL WIRE AND CABLE CARE CHECKLIST:

Download Now

*Harsh Environment: Harsh environments in electric wire and cable applications can include abrasion, chemicals, extreme temperature, flexing, impact, and tension; or any combination thereof.

**When the cables are used with one or more layers wound on a reel, the ampacities shall be corrected as follows (ANSI/NEMA WC 58-2008, ICEA 5-75-381-2008):

Number of Layers  Multiplying Correction Factors
1 0.85
2 0.65
3 0.45
4 0.35

New Call-to-action

Topics: Maintenance, Reducing Downtime, Products

About Our Blog

Expert advice, industry news and information relating to the industry and environments you work in everyday — providing custom cable and engineering solutions that help save you money and reduce downtime to keep your operation running.

reduce downtime labor and overall cost of ownership by requesting a cost-value analysis

Recent Posts