What Keeps Electrical Equipment from Corrosion?
Across the industry, electrical equipment is protected by four basic standards. The general public has become much more aware of them due to the explosion of personal electronics. Regardless of whether it’s a smartphone or a nuclear power generator, the application of certain maintenance rules will ensure a long life and flawless performance of electrical appliances and systems.
The mantra ‘clean, cool, dry and tight’ is borrowed from the folks at Hartford Steam Boiler, who maintain that 67% of all corrosion could be avoided by respecting these tenets. Here is a review of them and their ability to ward off corrosion:
We remind our customers time and again to replace (or clean) their HVAC filter, empty the lint trap, vacuum the coils, drain the water heater. The cleanliness factor is a big one, and if everyone performed the maintenance on their electrical appliances regularly, the appliance companies would starve. In fact, we actually talked to a cell phone repair guy who said a hefty percentage of his business was simply cleaning the pocket lint out of customers’ cell phone charging ports. Dirt and dust are not electronic friendly. Just ask your laptop or PC.
Heat kills. Amendment: heat without adequate ventilation kills. For example, heat will kill a battery. Here is something to consider: while you can technically store an electric appliance in a hot environment, it is okay until it has to work in that heat, in which case, the temperature becomes untenable. An example of this is the refrigerator some folks insist on running in their garage. The poor old beast would be much happier in the house or even left unused and unplugged.
Moisture kills electrical equipment and electronics. We are so fortunate here in the Phoenix area because the humidity which plagues many other areas is a rarity for us. Moisture causes the corrosion which eats away at battery terminals, connections, and your cell phone when it’s dropped in the toilet.
The fact is, we live in a perpetually moving world. Because of natural vibrations, mechanical changes, expansion, and contraction due to temperature changes, wind, load changes due to surges, etc, electrical connections can and do come loose. Sometimes, it isn’t even enough to keep the electrical component from working entirely; it will merely perform poorly or intermittently. If it’s the neutral wire that comes loose, it can cause a fire. The previously mentioned factors, such as heat and moisture, can also cause electrical components to come loose.
In the end, it usually isn’t one of these cornerstones of electrical safety which causes an appliance or system to fail; it’s a combination. The educated homeowner, who has an awareness of the underlying causes of electrical failure in appliances and systems, responds more quickly to problems and potential problems than the uninformed.
Now--go do your spring electrical maintenance. ;)
If you need a highly-reviewed, licensed electrician in the Phoenix Valley area, call Efficient Electric at 623-900-1461