7 ways to prep a substation for winter

Winter is coming, and it’s time to prepare your substation for the months ahead. With a little bit of work now, you can avoid many potential problems later. Here are 5 tips that will help you prep! 

Ensure the substation is clean and free of any debris:

This includes snow, ice, dirt, leaves, and other debris. You don’t want any of this in your switches or breakers. In addition to the items listed above, you should also take care of graffiti and remove any stickers before winter so they are not an issue later on. Make sure that all covers are replaced properly (including backup covers). Once you are satisfied that your substation is ready, make a record of how it looks so that after winter you can get it back to where it was. 

1) Remove all snow:

This includes the ground, the fences, and the buildings. If there is snow on top of your capacitor banks or on your breakers, there is potential for it to get in and cause problems. This should be removed before winter starts, but if you’ve waited until the last minute that’s okay too. 

2) Clean all snow off of the ground:

This will keep water from building up around your substation which can cause problems with freezing. Also, make sure there are no puddles or flowing water anywhere near your substation. 

3) Make sure that leaves and debris are cleaned up:

This includes the ground, buildings, and fences, especially any ledges. If you see a ledge on a building that is being used by birds to collect droppings, it might be best to clean them off before winter starts. 

4) Remove any snow from the buildings:

Make sure that there is no snow or ice on windows, doors, or roofs. Make sure the doors are all closed properly (if they automatically lock at night make sure it closes completely). 

5) Clean off lights and radar domes:

In addition to ensuring that windows are free of any snow or ice, also make sure that lights and radar domes are clean. If they get covered in snow you will have issues with visibility for both the operators and passing aircraft. 

Inspect all power cables and replace any that have been damaged or are frayed:

This will help to prevent any accidents and power outages. If you have cables that are near water, it might be a good idea to replace those in advance so that they don’t get damaged later. Also, if you are going to do any work around the substation in winter (such as replacing fencing) make sure you cover all of the cables that you aren’t working on. This will keep them from being damaged by snowplows or other equipment.

Check for signs of wear on metal surfaces, such as corrosion, cracks, or holes in the paint:

Make sure that there are no problems on metal surfaces such as corrosion or cracking of concrete. Also, make sure that the paint is still intact and that it covers all of your metal surfaces. If you see any potential problems, take care of them now before winter comes! 

Look for loose bolts, screws, nuts, washers or other fasteners:

This will help to ensure that larger pieces don’t fall off in the winter and cause problems. If you find any loose items, take care of them now so they aren’t an issue later! 

Maintain any equipment that may be exposed to water (such as switch gears) by cleaning it and installing shields:

Check the switches in your substation to make sure they are ready for winter. You should make sure that the covers are on and secure, especially if they are in the water or near water. You should also check for any rusting (if you see a lot of rust it might be best to replace the switch or at least paint it with a rust-proof coating). Finally, if there is ice forming around the switches, be sure to remove it as soon as possible. If you see any water coming from them, make sure that it doesn’t freeze! 

Clean off snow from equipment to ensure it doesn’t accumulate during winter months and cause a short circuit:

This will help to avoid any short circuits that could be caused by snow on equipment. As you clean off equipment, also check underneath it for puddles of water or ice. If you have problems with this, make sure they are fixed before winter arrives! 

Inspect grounding for corrosion, cracks or other defects:

This will help to ensure that your substation doesn’t experience any problems with grounding. Make sure you remove any weeds or other vegetation from around the station as well so they aren’t an issue later on! 

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