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  • Writer's pictureCraig Drabyk

Omni Emergency Call: Lighting System Short Circuit Diagnostics and Repair

Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., was in the midst of finalizing loop checks at the completion of a large process controls project when about half the lighting in the facility suddenly went out. Each time the lights were turned back on with the low-voltage switches, they would stay on for about 30 seconds before turning back off again. Manufacturing activities in those areas came to a halt.

Though Omni hadn’t installed the facility’s electrical system, the owner asked our service technician to get involved in this extremely pressing matter. A look at the lighting control panel showed many tripped breakers, but when individual breakers were reset, they would trip again almost instantly. It appeared that physical damage had occurred somewhere and caused the multiple short circuits.

Our service technician carefully walked through the facility to investigate and noticed a container that a forklift operator had pushed up against a block wall, crushing an Exit sign and EMT conduit running up the wall. The container was removed and Omni began repairing the damaged wiring over the next several hours. But when the lights were turned back on, the system was still not working properly.

With all of the circuits now functional, our service technician realized that the problem extended into the central processing unit that controls the system’s sequence and functionality. We reached out to the manufacturer for help, but they wouldn’t be able to send out a technician for another week. Obviously, with their facility crippled, this was distressing news for the owners. They implored Omni to see if there was anything at all they could do to help remedy the situation, so we got on the phone with a manufacturer technician and conferred at length.

After much discussion, it was determined that the lighting software in the CPU had been irreparably damaged when the short circuits occurred and would need to be replaced. Omni relayed information from the CPU hardware and serial number to the manufacturer, and they were able to locate and send a copy of the lighting control program to our technician for download.

Lighting controls were successfully restored and functioning per design by late in the day, much to the owners’ relief, allowing the facility to return to normal operation.

About Omni

Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., located in New Jersey and Maryland, is a premier instrumentation and electrical contractor, providing superior total care solutions since 1986. Services include instrument installation, tubing installation, instrument calibration, control loop testing, startup and commissioning, power and lighting, process control wiring, BMS wiring, telecommunications and data wiring, fire alarm wiring, security wiring, process network wiring, and control panel fabrication. Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., is certified in Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, DeviceNet and ASI-Bus installation.

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