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Maintenance Is Key



What is preventive maintenance and why is it important?


Preventative maintenance in the electricity network environment is the act of carrying out regularly scheduled maintenance tasks on all the different components of the network like electrical lines, switchgear, and transformers to prevent unnecessary failures in the future. It's about ensuring that items are kept in excellent condition to ensure one gets the maximum lifespan from equipment and plant and prevent breakages by early detection of any damage caused by general wear and tear or other causes. To simplify this, It’s about endeavouring to fix something before it breaks.


But why is it important?


Why should we spend money on items and equipment that are working and not simply replace them when they break?


This all comes down to the financial risk and the implications of not looking after valuable equipment and equipment. A transformer, for example, is designed with an expected life span of 30 years if it is regularly maintained. Regular maintenance cost per year is much lower than the severe once off cost to replace it if it is not kept in a good state which ultimately reduces its lifespan and the value derived from such an expensive piece of equipment. Not only does it cost more to replace the item, but faulty equipment in the supply line can break multiple other items linked to it as we have seen happen to Eskom. This causes higher financial costs to repair and replace items as purchases now have to be made quickly because there is normally a lead time to consider in obtaining electrical materials and equipment. There is also a loss in revenue due to electricity users not being able to use electricity during downtime.


Overall benefits of performing preventive maintenance:


  • Increases the life of equipment,

  • Reduces downtime of outages and loss in revenue,

  • The alternative to maintenance is emergency repairs which results in revenue loss for the municipality and businesses along with unhappy residents.

  • Prevents the higher costs associated with emergency repairs.

  • Helps manage compliance and inspection requirements.


How does RFS ensure our preventative maintenance is successful?


Rural Free State (RFS):


  • RFS has a detailed Maintenance plan which is followed by technical staff to ensure the whole network is covered.

  • Part of preventative maintenance is tree cutting and pruning twice a year to prevent branches from growing into the lines and causing short-circuiting.

  • Continuous maintenance of all transformers to ensure optimal operation and life expectancy. An inspection is done regularly and any minor repairs as required on top of the yearly general maintenance.

  • On average cable end maintenance checks are done twice a year or as required

  • Street lights maintenance is done weekly or as it may be required

  • Line inspections are carried out on a monthly basis and maintenance is done as required.

  • Substation inspections are carried out on a monthly basis and maintenance is done as required.


Typical Maintenance day


  • Low voltage line maintenance.

  • Inspecting and maintenance of metering kiosks.

  • Cleaning of substations.

  • Street light maintenance.

  • Metering audits.

  • Resolving emergency and non-emergency consumer issues.

  • Attending new supply requests.

  • Tree cutting and bush clearing


How can you help?


All electricity-related issues can be reported to us through the below channels.


  • Sharecall line: 0860 111 440

  • sms 44626 or

  • whatsapp 076 352 3347


Learn more about us: www.ruralfreestate.co.za


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