Hi, I am a manager with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and have some questions regarding electrical safety. We are required to sample water wells which are run by large (220 or 440 volts electrical pumps. Commonly there is water on the ground or floor around the steel well casing and electric lines running to the pump from the service line. I was wondering if there are any ways we could be sure there isn't an electrical hazard around the well before we sample. Note: lock out tag out procedures won't work since we need the pump to be running to collect a water sample. Any advice you could give would be appreciated. Thanks!
[This message has been edited by Bill Addiss (edited 08-30-2001).]
I would think that wearing and using personnel protective equipment would be the ticket. Voltage rated insulated gloves. Voltage rated insulating mats. Mopping and drying out the work area wouldn't hurt either. Just my thoughts.
[This message has been edited by Mike (edited 08-30-2001).]
Re: Safety around Water Wells#3826 08/30/0105:37 PM08/30/0105:37 PM
I didn't mean that Rich mops and drys the floor! I mean the workers there who probably enter those pump buildings and perform surveillances and other duties umpteen times a week. This thread amuses me. The ultimate solution is to install a remote sampling station. Then non-affiliated people will not be exposed to the potential/suspected electrical hazards! Have a safe Labor Day week-end.
Re: Safety around Water Wells#3828 08/30/0107:27 PM08/30/0107:27 PM
I'd make sure that the metal well casing is used as a grounding electrode and is properly bonded to the service entrance. This is, after all, a metal underground water pipe (probably much longer than 10 feet).
I think I'd also recommend that the motor be checked for proper grounding and would not rely on any raceway to provide the equipment ground (pull in an equipment grounding conductor).
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Re: Safety around Water Wells#3829 08/30/0108:22 PM08/30/0108:22 PM
The integrity of the original installation is a key issue. What type of location is it? Wet, Damp, Indoor? Was the proper wiring method utilized? Is the equipment in good condition? How close to the actual electrical equipment are the operators when sampling? There may be no concerns at all if all of the above are addressed. However, an equipment ground conductor is a definite. I, personally, would perform a megger test to determine the condition of the insulation, particularly if it is subject to moisture.
Any pictures would be of great help.
Re: Safety around Water Wells#3830 08/30/0108:37 PM08/30/0108:37 PM
Well casing gounding is an issue in some states ( GEC vs. ECG ) and would be an interesting thread in itself.
To pretest at the controller would be prudent, as Redsy suggests
However, if the concern is a liability issue, read NFPA 70E, get the protective gear on the employee's, prove that it CAN NOT be done de-energized so the CAN NOT back down from the task, and all you need worry about is where to send the deceased's last check.
Re: Safety around Water Wells#3831 08/30/0108:56 PM08/30/0108:56 PM
sparky, Its not a 70E issue. That standard is for working on or near exposed live parts. I don't see that as the case here. This is a completed installation with no exposed live electrical parts. The concern is a possible ground fault and the water. If we have to apply 70E for people taking water samples, we'd have to apply it almost everywhere. Don(resqcapt19)