What is NFPA 70B?
Proper maintenance is absolutely essential to the safety of your facility and your employees.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the NFPA 70B, Standard for Electrical Equipment Maintenance, details preventive maintenance for electrical, electronic, and communication systems and equipment—such as those used in industrial plants, institutional and commercial buildings, and large multifamily residential complexes.
When the NFPA 70B standard is used alongside the NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, NFPA 70B helps companies develop and carry out an effective electrical preventive maintenance (EPM) program for all types of equipment and facilities.
How has NFPA 70B Changed?
The 2023 edition of NFPA 70B has changed from a “Recommended Practice” to a “Standard” and contains mandatory language. This now requires the development, implementation, and operation of an electrical maintenance program (EMP).
Features of equipment maintenance addressed in NFPA 70B include:
- Planning and carrying out an electrical preventive maintenance program for all types of equipment and assemblies
- Developing specifications for installation that take maintenance into account
- Personnel safety
- Fundamentals of electrical equipment maintenance
- System studies
- Power quality
- Testing and test methods
- Maintenance of electrical equipment subject to long intervals between shutdowns
- Grounding and ground-fault protection
- and more
In the absence of manufacturer’s testing guidelines, NFPA 70B provides a table that lists the requirements of maintenance for electrical equipment. Chapters 11 through 38 provide guidance on the periodic maintenance procedures for all equipment which include visual inspections, cleaning, lubrication (if appliable), mechanical servicing, and electrical testing.
Focusing on frequency of maintenance for electrical equipment
NFPA 70B lists the types of tests required for electrical equipment but also highlights a frequency of maintenance. When manufacturer’s recommendations are not provided, maintenance shall be performed at the intervals specified in the new standard. The condition of the equipment will help determine the frequency at which it shall be maintained.