The Importance of Maintaining Oil Circuit Breakers and All Oil Circuit Recloser Equipment

February 16, 2017 2:37 am Published by Leave your thoughts

An oil circuit breaker is a component of power supply that works closely with oil circuit recloser equipment to ensure the safe operation of the entire electrical system. Without these breakers there would be nothing to stop the system if something went wrong, so it makes sense that breakers must be watched very closely and maintained routinely, and even replaced if necessary.

How do they work?

Oil circuit breakers use oil as a dielectric, which is the medium that transmits the electric force within an insulated area. If a fault occurs in the power system, the contacts of the breaker separate and open in this oil, and an arc is generated between the fixed contact above the oil and the moving contact that is submerged. The excess heat created by the arc is then evaporated in the oil. This breaker function is one part of the process that allows the system to continue to operate safely. The other half of this process is the functioning of the oil circuit recloser.

If the system is operating normally, the contacts will remain in the closed position. Oil circuit reclosers safely allow power to be restored to the line as soon as the fault has cleared by closing the breaker’s contacts once again. Without reclosers, once a breaker is tripped, the line would remain down until whatever shorted the circuit resolved itself, or until a technician was available to physically go and service the line. This means that customers would suffer from prolonged outages, and could be forced to go without power for a substantial period of time. Adding a reclosing function as the supplement to an oil circuit breaker ensures that reliable service will be provided consistently.

Oil circuit breaker maintenance

When the oil circuit breaker has been interrupted, the arcing process generates a lot of heat, which could lead to burnt contacts. These burnt contacts, along with the carbonized oil that results as the heat evaporates, means that the dielectric strength could be compromised, which would in turn mean that enough force will not be generated to trip the breaker and suspend the system the next time there is an issue. If the system is not interrupted due to the breakers being in poor condition, major problems could result and the entire electrical system could be damaged. It is very important that any burnt contacts be replaced, and the whole breaker be replaced routinely to avoid the flooding of the entire supply system.

If you need maintenance on your breakers and oil circuit recloser equipment, be sure to contact Central Illinois Reclosers Inc. right away. With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, we can be trusted to take care of all of your service and repair needs, allowing you to provide power supply that is just as safe as it is reliable. Give us a call today to find a maintenance program that best suits your company’s needs, or to discuss the purchase and installation of oil circuit recloser equipment.

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