Guys, I want to float an idea amongst you fellas, please don't shoot me down for my submission. OK, Not that long ago we used to have a planned maintenance system that was pretty much universal across NZ. These days, it's all been tossed out the window. As an EC I was called out to the same sorts of gear that should have been repaired ages ago. And at 2am in the morning, that didn't wear that well. You should be selling to your Industrial clients, a planned shut-down and what needs to be done during that time. It's a win-win situation on both sides. Get other trades in on it too if it is required, work once, work well. Anyone who who is has ever been an Industrial Electrician should know what I mean. This might sound airy-fairy, but, it saves money and keeps your Faults staff happy. Lets keep Faults people for real emergencies, not as Band-Aid staff.
Excellent idea in principle.. (*sigh*) would that every client was as high-minded about such things as those of us who actually perform the work and understand the mechanics of the systems we maintain. Unfortunately, the command decisions and holders-of-the-purse-strings in organizations are more often than not, low minded, profit oriented (read- Cheap, Skinflint) paper-pushers who may well enough understand the dollars and cents of things but lack the background or good breeding to grasp the mechnical side of things. I share and admire your views on this but it has been my experience that people outside the industry want it "fast and cheap", don't want to spend a penny if they don't have to, and maintain an "if it ain't broke, why spend money to fix it?" attitude. This attitude, combined with the classic, sometimes smug remark that "well, it's stood for 20 years so how can there be anything too wrong with things?" work to torpedo the spirit of improvement and progress I read in your post. There are "good" types out there, but 90% are just thinking of the bottom line and *want* only band-aid staff, and not just for electrical problems...goes for all trades. The one success story that does come to mind though, is a time when I suggested that the owner of a rental property install bathroom GFI's so that when one tripped it was close enough that the tenant could hear/see what just occured by the noise or sight of the GFI tripping. Common practice at the time this particular house was built was to place a single GFI in the garage somewhere to protect all the circuits in the dwelling that were supposed to be GFI protected, which led to me getting service calls every few months to go figure out why all the bathroom receptacles in the house mysteriously went dead all at the same time. It always boiled down to locating the garage GFI receptacle (usually obscured by several hundred lbs. of the tenant's personal junk stacked to the ceiling and totally obscuring the GFI) and pushing the reset button. Eventually I got tired of this inane problem and suggested putting some GFI's in the bathroom so the noise of the button tripping would clue the occupant in as to what just happened. Of course this improvement worked, but I attribute the success to the landlord realizing that it was cheaper to have me install GFI's once than it was to have continual service calls (which were getting expensive on his end) So on the landlord's end, it boiled down to the dollars and cents of things, not to any feeling of duty to have the best or safest electrical system possible. Your idea is a sound one, but I am not sure it would catch on in the world outside the trade- for us, our motive is to build the safest and best electrial system possible, but outside the trade there are just too many (often mixed) motives that owners and tenants have for this to catch on beyond the minority who share our outlook on things.
I have done things like inferred testing on switchgear and panels, torquing down all wires in panelboards, and switchgear. This was in a few different facilitys where down time was not allowed unless scheduled. I don't know how the boss sold it to them but it was great for overtime.
Trumpy As Im sure you well know this is a practice most refinareys and large industrial plans do annually and some are so large theay do various parts of the plant at diffrent monts of the year so im a little confused as to weather you are talking about residential.
I've had decent success telling them that it will take a period of hours to replace a failed component, during which time they will be out of action. If they schedule it, they can decide when that outage will occur; if not, the outage will occur whenever it wants to happen, even if that's their busiest time of the day/month/year.
Once I convince them that there definitely WILL be an outage, most of them opt to have it be scheduled instead of being a complete surprise. Besides, if it's scheduled there's a better chance that I won't get stopped partway through the work because I need to run and get parts.