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24-Hour Service, Electrical Safety, Food and Beverage, Industrial, Preventative Maintenance

Potato Chip Factory Electrical Panel Fire: Why Preventative Maintenance Matters

The call you never want to get:
Your electrical panel caught fire and production has stopped.

That’s just what happened to a potato chip factory in Detroit.  Thankfully, they called us into action, it was resolved in a matter of hours, and they were back up and running…ensuring no one was shorted any potato chips! 


So, What Happened?

Food production facilities are held to high sanitary standards. The standards require regular wash downs of all production areas. This Detroit potato chip factory normally handles all sanitation process with its internal team. In this instance, an outside sanitation group was hired, and instead of wiping down the walls to control water distribution, they were spraying down the walls. 

This factory itself is old and necessary updates haven’t been made as the building has aged. In particular, the boxes were never upgraded to be water-tight. Unfortunately, there were holes on the top of the box. Thus, when the walls were sprayed, water got into the box, created a short and a fire was started. 


What Serve Electric Did

Thankfully, despite it being a Friday night, due to a strong inventory of industrial control parts, we were able to replace the damaged components, rewire the controls to get the system up and running with minimum downtime. We then chose to install a waterproof junction box, re-sealed the existing box, and ensured everything inside the panel was water-tight. 

For us, the goal was not only to fix the problem, but ensure it never happens again. Why do something if you’re not going to do it right? 


Moving Forward

Serve Electric’s Preventative Maintenance Program could’ve entirely prevented this huge mishap. With a simple control panel inspection, conduits and boxes could have been made water-tight right away. This fire and production downtime could have been eliminated. 

As much as we love to serve, we hate hearing about production losses and outages, especially those that could’ve been prevented with our help. 

Has your facility been inspected lately? Have you had preventative maintenance performed? 

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