Machines and equipment depend on electrical systems to do a myriad of things, from starting the engine to running the safety gear. And like any vehicle system, it needs care and respect to run at its best. But how do you keep a 12-volt electrical system functioning in high gear?
Design Maintenance Schedules
Just like the oil, tires, and other automotive systems for the vehicles in your pool or coming off your line, even the most lovingly cared for equipment needs regular maintenance for its electrical system. Clean and replace battery contacts, check your fuses to ensure they’re in good shape and replace any looking worn, look closely at wires to ensure there aren’t any incipient shorts, and run tests on your wiring as necessary. Each equipment model will have recommended maintenance in its manual, so read it carefully and follow its instructions to maintain the electrical system.
Listen To Your Equipment
There can be many signs that equipment electrical systems are starting to malfunction. The most obvious is that the motor won’t turn over, of course, but there are plenty of other subtle signs. Dimming or brightening headlights, slow response from equipment systems that depend on electricity, stalling, bad smells… If you’re seeing signs that something’s wrong, start looking at the wiring.
Protect Your Circuits
One of the most dangerous electrical problems you can have is an overload. Wires can only take so much amperage, and a sudden surge can blow out wires, stall your equipment in the middle of operation, and in extreme cases, even cause explosions and fires. So take a moment and ensure you’ve got proper circuit protection.
Check For Corrosion And Wire Stress
Any wiring is going to be at risk of corrosion, especially in equipment that is exposed to the elements or is run continually over extended periods of time. Moisture ruins a lot of vehicle systems, but wiring especially can be prone to damage in wet climates. Give your wiring regular inspections and look closely for signs of oxidization, worn insulation, and shorts. Seal your engine compartment against moisture as much as you can. And after a bad storm or a similar tough time in the elements, check your wiring and ensure you don’t have any water in your engine compartment.
Regularly Look for Shorts
A “short” is slang for a short circuit, or a circuit that allows electricity to flow along a path the designer didn’t intend. Shorts can range from minor annoyances to outright dangerous; a minor short can kill the lights, but a major one can destroy equipment or even electrocute the operator in certain situations. Regularly inspect wiring for loose wires, worn insulation, and melted plastic. Tug on wires to make sure they’re properly seated. Check terminals to see if they’re blackened. In short, if something doesn’t look up to specification, check it.
Your equipment’s electrical system is key to a great product; make sure it’s properly protected and cared for. Start with our circuit protection products, and ensure every vehicle in the fleet is well protected.