Pro Tips: Safety Information & Best Practices for Concrete Sawing & Drilling Professionals
Our company currently uses 480-volt equipment on a daily basis. We have different types of 480 powered equipment mostly utilized to eliminate harmful fumes caused by diesel-and gas-powered units or saws. We also utilize this equipment to reach areas that are beyond the distance capabilities of our hydraulic diesel and gas powered or PTO driven power sources.
Most of the time we supply our own power source for our equipment using a generator, there are times where house power is our only option. Using house power is when the contractor will install a pigtail into an electrical panel prior to our arrival.
480 Volt equipment and power sources are a must for a professional concrete cutting company.
This equipment gives us the ability to complete just about any scope of work.
All electrical boxes must be sealed and kept free of moisture, water and electricity do not mix.
All plugs must fit together properly and lock.
All cords must be properly insulated and free of any cuts or damage to the insulation. Electrical tape is not a fix for damaged or cuts to the cord’s insulation.
Cords should be inspected daily. If its not safe, immediately remove it from service and store it to ensure no one else uses it and return it to the shop for tagging and repair.
SAFETY CONCERNS WHILE OPERATING 480'S AND POWER SOURCES
480 Volt motors are reversible, they will spin clockwise and counterclockwise depending on how they are wired. Once you have all connections inspected, check the rotation of the unit you are using. Our 480 Volt powered equipment can run clockwise or count clockwise (forward or reverse).
Make sure the piece of equipment you are operating is in neutral or the flow is off. The rotation can be checked by quickly bumping the start button on, and then off. You only have to run the unit for a second, watch the arbor shaft or motor shaft, for a clockwise rotation. Most of the 480 equipment we own, operates in a clockwise rotation.
Most of our 480 equipment operates consistently with the proper rotation. However, when we work on projects using house power the way the competent person wires our cord into the power source may not match the wiring in our cords. This will cause improper rotation. If the rotation of the motor is incorrect it will cause a slab saw to transmission and arbor to run in the wrong direction. The saw will travel backwards when moving the handle that controls the movement in a forward position. For a power unit, if the motor is running in the wrong direction there will not be any hydraulic flow to your tool.
If the equipment you are using is not running in the correct rotation, it can be easily rectified:
Disconnect power to the saw or unit.
Open the switch box on the piece of equipment.
Following the cord coming out of the switch box, you will see a white, black and red wire hooked to the switch gear. Switch the red and black wire coming into the switch box from the cord. This will change the rotation, be sure to switch the wires back upon completing the job.
If an electrician is available onsite most of the time, he or she will gladly help you.
Please remember it is your responsibility to follow proper procedure by documenting all mechanical issues with a piece of equipment you turn in. Check the cords and connections and check the rotation of the equipment. This will help keep you safe from injury or damaging hydraulic spills. Please check with your supervisor or shop foreman if you hand any questions regarding the proper operation or troubleshooting of any equipment that may be new to you.