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How to clean your Electrical Switchgear

Keeping the electrical components of your switchgear clean and contamination free is crucial for making sure it is safe and reliable.

Cleaning is considered a vital part of every routine maintenance schedule. Choosing the right kind of cleaning methods is necessary as the wrong methods may damage the equipment or prove to not be cost effective.

There are different cleaning methods used as the routine maintenance and choice of a particular method is based on following two main factors:

  • a. Nature of contamination involved

  • b. Expected downtime allocated

Different tests are also conducted to check for operational abnormalities after the cleaning session right before powering up the equipment again.

Special care should be taken so as to prevent the human contact with live parts of the equipment during cleaning.

It is always recommended to turn off and isolate the equipment to be cleaned and safety regulations should be given proper considerations.

3 ways to clean Switchgear

Cleaning brushes and clothes

Cleaning rags can be used for cleaning the interior of switchgears but special care should be taken. Loose fiber may cause further contamination and result in more harm than good. Cloth rags specially designed for the cleaning of insulators and switch gear interior should be used.

Cleaning agents

Contamination found in MV and LV switchgear trolleys are usually adhesive and solvents are often required in order to properly remove them. Special care is required when selecting a solvent for the cleaning of electrical apparatus and the solvent should be

  • a. Easily removable

  • b. Nonflammable

  • c. Inert to the material being cleaned

  • d. Not interfering with electrical/mechanical functions of the switchgear

  • e. Easily dryable

  • f. Environmental friendly and non-toxic

Vaccum cleaning

Industrial vacuum cleaners are good choice when it comes to the cleaning of a switchgear. However certain factors make it more suitable for the purpose which are

  • a. Gentle suction

  • b. Nonmetallic parts and hosing joints

  • c. Its receiving hose should be designed so as not to damage the insulation if accidently hit or rubbed


Cleaning should be adequately performed and interior/exterior of heavy duty electrical equipment should remain clean for proper efficiency and reliability. Method of cleaning plays a vital role in outweighing the risks and minor damages incurred during the cleaning process.


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