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Gearing up for “Maintenance of electrical systems” 2023

November 1, 2022  By Anthony Capkun



November 1, 2022 – The CSA Z463 Technical Committee has reconvened to begin the task of updating CSA Z463 “Maintenance of electrical systems” for publication in 2023.

“The committee received excellent feedback from many industry electrical specialists during the public review phase of the current release—and after the release—regarding the adaptation and implementation of the standard,” reports Technical Committee member Hany Soloumah.

“The committee is now reviewing these comments and is working on proposals to update existing clauses, or develop new content to address these comments,” Soloumah adds.

Why do we need CSA Z463?

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CSA Z463’s history stems back to March 2011, when the first Z463 Technical Committee meeting was held to begin the process of developing CSA’s new Guideline on Maintenance of Electrical Systems.

What is CSA Z463? Put simply, it is a standard that requires companies to create an electrical equipment maintenance program, explained Terry Becker, a member of the Z463 Technical Committee (EBMag September 2018).

At the time, Canada did not have a Canadian national standard nor guideline for electrical equipment maintenance; meaning, facilities wishing to perform regular maintenance on their electrical equipment had no guidance effectively developing and implementing—or improving—an electrical equipment maintenance program.

“[CSA Z463] starts out by saying companies need to develop an electrical equipment maintenance program and, within that program, they should identify their electrical assets,” he elaborated. “So, you create an inventory of those electrical assets and then, in turn, you need to develop a strategy—or multiple strategies—for maintenance that you want to perform on those assets.”

“There are certain things in an electrical power system that you must maintain regularly, including protective and switching devices, where really, if you didn’t maintain them, they would have a direct, negative effect on personal safety,” explained Kerry Heid, Technical Committee chair in 2013 (EBMag September 2018).

Quality maintenance not only positively impacts safety, but production.

“I’ve had clients in the past where, if they lost a day of production, then they would lose major supply contracts to the automotive industry, for example, because they couldn’t make the delivery,” said Fred Tanguay, a consultant for Canada Training Group (EB September 2018). “So, how much is $10,000 to $20,000 of electrical maintenance really worth to you, in the grand scheme of things, to prevent that one day of outage? [CSA Z463] becomes very valuable at that point!”

Contractors who market electrical equipment maintenance to their clients can use CSA Z463 to help them develop maintenance strategies, tests and test frequencies, Becker added.

“Contractors would benefit from Z463 in terms of helping their clients who don’t have electrical engineers or maintenance electricians on staff,” he explained. “They can credibly identify what electrical equipment maintenance program a specific company should consider. That, in turn, should help electrical contractors retain existing clients and get new ones.”

CSA Z463 “Maintenance of electrical systems” was eventually published in November 2013 as a Guideline. Two years later, the Technical Committee requested approval for a 2nd edition. Instead, the steering committees and CSA Group senior staff approved the development of CSA Z463 as a standard rather than as a guideline.

Anticipated CSA Z463 2023 ed.

The Technical Committee aims to conduct four or five technical meetings before July 2023 for content development and review before releasing a draft for public review. The final release of the new edition is scheduled for Q4 2023.

For more information, questions, sponsorship, membership, guest opportunities, etc., contact:

• Lorne Gara, chair, lgara@shermco.com
• Bob Chernish, vice-chair, Bob.Chernish@forces.gc.ca
• Bryce Kelly, vice-chair, bryce.kelly@lethbridge.ca

You are also invited to join the CSA Z463 group on LinkedIn.

— With files from Hany Soloumah


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