Size matters when it comes to fixing catastrophic electrical failures.

photo of damaged switchgear
A major electrical utility experienced a catastrophic failure of 7.2 kV switchgear.

When the lights go out at a major utility, anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of customers may have to go without power. When catastrophic failures like this occur, Group CBS customers are more than grateful to have a partner with the equipment and national service network to get the power back on quickly and reliably.

That was the case in July when a major electrical utility with facilities stretching from Florida to Boston experienced a catastrophic failure of 7.2 kV switchgear. As engineers from Florida flew to Boston to review the damage, the utility reached out to the Circuit Breaker Sales Service Shop in Lakeland, Florida, which promised to have expert boots on the ground in Boston the next day, by the time the engineers touched down.

CBS Lakeland quickly called its Group CBS counterpart just outside Boston. Dan Kahn, manager of inside sales for the Northeast branch, arranged for Boston Service Shop team to meet the utility’s lead engineer on site the next day.

“It’s situations like these when our customers really appreciate the full capabilities of Group CBS, including our national networks of field service and service shops, not to mention one of the US’s largest inventories of electrical gear dating back to the 1950s,” said Kahn. “When you can match existing lineups for repairs and retrofits from the country’s largest inventory of switchgear and breakers, you can save the customer more in downtime than the cost of the equipment. That’s what Group CBS can do for our customers.”

Within two days, CBS NE engineering and field teams had met with the customer. CBS developed a plan to supply four sections of 3000 amp Siemens switchgear and breakers to interconnect with the customer’s older Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) gear. The proposal included:

  • Removal of the old, damaged gear
  • Full engineering to match the existing gear with all electrical interconnects
  • Replacement of damaged cable
  • Testing and repair of the customer’s existing switchgear
  • Expedited delivery of new switchgear
  • Start-up and commissioning of the new gear

Within a week, all equipment had been sourced and construction of the replacement sections was under way.

“If they had gone with someone else, it probably would have taken months to get the equipment, or even potentially been impossible if they couldn’t match the existing FPE breakers,” said Kahn. “This is the value of the complete CBS team of companies: we have so many options to support customers in these situations.”

The Circuit Breaker Sales team takes pride in being on call to provide nationwide after-hours and on-site electrical emergency support 24/7. If you need emergency support, renewal and replacement parts, or service of your electrical power distribution equipment, contact us today!