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Old 12-13-2018, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Recommend arc blast suit

Can anyone recommend a decent arc blast suit ?


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Old 12-13-2018, 06:08 PM   #2
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I would suggest looking into arc flash suits- much cheaper.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:09 PM   #3
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It depends on the hazard. What are you working on?

And, yes, you need to know the difference between blast and flash.

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Old 12-13-2018, 06:34 PM   #4
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Edit I meant Arc Flash.

Working in mechanical rooms, Installing 480V VFDís.

Of course we are shutting down. But we are doing this 100ís of times at all different biotech labs. In the rare case we need to find a breaker or trace a 480V line I think it would be best to be prepared.


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Old 12-13-2018, 06:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
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It depends on the hazard. What are you working on?

And, yes, you need to know the difference between blast and flash.
I only came here cause I thought you had a link to a Patagonia suit
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:35 PM   #6
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I only came here cause I thought you had a link to a Patagonia suit


I was hoping NASA could hook me up


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Old 12-13-2018, 06:36 PM   #7
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Edit I meant Arc Flash.

Working in mechanical rooms, Installing 480V VFDís.

Of course we are shutting down. But we are doing this 100ís of times at all different biotech labs. In the rare case we need to find a breaker or trace a 480V line I think it would be best to be prepared.


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We used to just get ours at the SH.

Others may have online deals.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:22 PM   #8
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I like Salisbury. What style are you looking for? Full pants and jacket or an oversized "doctor" full body length jacket? And as others mentioned what cal suit are you looking for? The higher cal suits helmets get very hot very quick. A helmet with fans is your friend.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:06 PM   #9
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480v i would go with shirt and jeans that are arc flash rated.
Better to have lower rating that you can not take off then higher rating that you forget to put on.
You can always carry a overall and layer up if you need extra protection
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:00 AM   #10
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Salisbury looks good.

Iíd like something with good protection and comfortable. Iíve watched some videos on different cal ratings. Not sure where I should be , I donít think Iíll get into anything over 480v but I never thought Iíd get into half the things Iím doing today so Iíd rather get better protection than minimal.


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Old 12-14-2018, 10:09 AM   #11
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You can't buy a suit until you know what Cal rating you need. And you don't know the Cal rating of the gear unless you have a study done. Example, the first time we had a study at the Airport, the 13Kv breakers were a low cal and we had a couple of 600V breakers that we couldn't go near.
You may be better off with lighter clothing and a proper face shield then oversized bulky suit and gloves. Dexterity counts in confined locations.


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Old 12-14-2018, 10:22 AM   #12
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You can't buy a suit until you know what Cal rating you need. And you don't know the Cal rating of the gear unless you have a study done. Example, the first time we had a study at the Airport, the 13Kv breakers were a low cal and we had a couple of 600V breakers that we couldn't go near.
You may be better off with lighter clothing and a proper face shield then oversized bulky suit and gloves. Dexterity counts in confined locations.


Tim.
Exactly.

You can buy a kit with coveralls, head/face protection and gloves but you need to know the hazard first.

I don’t know if name brand matters that much. Salisbury is good but so are others. The same with fabric. Ultrasoft is as good as Nomex.

Last edited by 99cents; 12-14-2018 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:11 PM   #13
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Seems to be a lot to choosing a suit. I figured there would be common protection. As I donít know what Iím doing most of the time.

We just get called to run power to VFDís often on short notice after they are mounted. I donít think Iíll ever need anything over 40 cal as it seems to be very common covering most hazards unless you are dealing with heavy power, But does that mean I should invest in a 40 Cal suit?







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Old 12-14-2018, 09:25 PM   #14
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We use 40 cal suits to work on 5kv. But as others have mentioned, it isn't about voltage, its about available fault current. Since it appears you're doing service work and really have no way of knowing the available fault current unless it's marked on the gear or you do a study..... both unlikely.... I would try and figure out what you think the max fault current you expect to be exposed to and buy a suit based on that but knowing that the majority of the time you will be "over protected" and sacrificing dexterity and comfort for safety.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Seems to be a lot to choosing a suit. I figured there would be common protection. As I donít know what Iím doing most of the time.

We just get called to run power to VFDís often on short notice after they are mounted. I donít think Iíll ever need anything over 40 cal as it seems to be very common covering most hazards unless you are dealing with heavy power, But does that mean I should invest in a 40 Cal suit?







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Depends on what your Arc Flash Hazard calculations are on site. At 480 volts, I think there is only one site that I work at that I'd need more than my regular Nomex coveralls.. We've got 2 - 40 cal suits and those are usually only brought out for medium voltage isolations.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:27 PM   #16
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Also you used to be allowed to layer gear to increase your cal rating. They might have gotten rid of that, something to look up and consider buying a lower cal base layer for certain work and buying a higher cal rating suit you could layer to achieve the highest rating you need.

But check and see if you're still allowed to do that.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:46 PM   #17
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8-9 clothing and a 10-11 coverall so you can layer when needed. If you honestly need more than 20 you need to ask yourself why you are working it live in the first place.
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:16 PM   #18
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Also you used to be allowed to layer gear to increase your cal rating. They might have gotten rid of that, something to look up and consider buying a lower cal base layer for certain work and buying a higher cal rating suit you could layer to achieve the highest rating you need.

But check and see if you're still allowed to do that.
Last training i had you could still layer but you run in to trouble with the rating of the mask. So wearing 8-9 under a 40 cal suit doesn't help if the mask is only rated for 40. Your body may have 48 cal protection but you still only have 40 for your face.
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:07 PM   #19
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Salisbury is the most common but Oberon makes the most comfortable currently and often the cheapest.

If you don't know and no engineering study has been done there is a chart in 70E that gives ratings to go by. It strongly depends on what you are doing too. So you might nit neec PPE depending on what is going on. For instance with equipment that is in normal operation and depending on what you are doing arc flash protection is not needed. If you don't have the training, do not go above 120/240 single phase circuits, period. That includes 208 or 230 three phase. There is a Canadian company but they do US and Canadian standards that does online training that is pretty good and about $100 per person.

https://arcflash-training.ca/

As examples I had to work on a 2300 V lineup last week. The starters were 8 cal and the main disconnect 15 cal. They did a study. I had on FR shirt and pants so wwas at 8 cal with a hood only. For the disconnect if needed I would have to put on the full suit I have (40 cal). I don't have layering stuff. So starting at the top, the metering showed no voltage or current. No damage visible. Plant does annual PMs to equipment. So step 1 open disconnect full arc flash PPE. Checked visually and all blades open. Put on lock. Now at this point it's a little strange because I had zero voltage showing which is odd so I'm on full alert here. Opened doors no visible damage. Got out hot stick and tic and tested on a fluorescent light (beep) then top and bottom of switch, then back to light. Incoming bus hot but outgoing dead and I can see the PTs (metering transformers). So at this point everything should be dead except stored charge and maybe control power. Drop PPE. Pulled 450E (double barrel) main fuses with gloves because at this point could still have capacitive potential and found two blown. Metering fuses good and metering is on load side. So that explains the zero volts reading. Clipped on ground cluster to kill caps. At tjis point everything except maybe some controls is dead so no PPE at all needec. Opened disconnects and doors on all the starters and testing control power. Everything is dezd. Biggest motor has blown control power fuses but not motor fuses and hello...burn marks around back of starter. Racked out starter (Limitamps) and found one stab incinerated and one on its way to incinerated. No lubrication at all ever used on stab fingers. So apparently it never fully engaged. Used a borescope to watch alignment and sure enough it's binding up going in. Replaced fuses, swapped starters, greased starters, micro-ohm and megger everything, close doors and disconnects on starters, take off lock and close main disconnect back. Check voltages (good). Test run starters (all good). Kind of hint that annual PMs should be done by companies that know that the book says to grease stabs not just clean and megger, and also says to grease bearings, and that this is kind of basic rookie mistake territory. I think my $50 Wi-Fi Chinese Amazon borescope was enough to sell future service calls since they never saw one before. Chalk up another convert from the competitor.

If I did or could not start at the disconnect and knew it was a one starter issue I could start there. First I'd open control compartment which is 120, and test. With no control power and knowing it's faulted, I'd put on ful FR. If I had a balaclava and face shield I'd just wear that, my shirt and pants, ear plugs, safety glasses, and rubber gloves. I don't so I'd use just the hood instead. Then lock out and open door. I can't reach the stabs in a Limitamp so I'd have to rack it out then test before dropping the face shield and gloves. Then proceed as above.

In another case yesterday no study done, customer trips utility breaker if they start a motor. So first I do a full walk around. Look for burn marks, water, things swelled out of shape, trace conduit paths, ask questions about what is going on, that sort of thing. Then I open gang operated air break switch on pole that has an insulated link with no PPE. Switch is 12+ feet in air.. Put on lock. The incoming and outgoing 'lines are buried. So go inside and open starter door with full 40 cal PPE because no study so arc rating unknown. Going by 70E table. Test and everything is dead. There are capacitors on pole so I use a ground cluster in starter. Then start offline testing. Eventually found dead shorted caps so re-energizing was no PPE needed, normal operation to close back in.

What is scary is another one where pole fuses blew and there was a 4 foot black streak in front of a 4160 starter. Twp of 3 fuses on cutouts blew fesding it. This is where full arc flash PPE with full spare underwear on standby is needsd, because I'm opening up something that obviously blew up and no telling conditions inside. I just opened the cutouts on the pole though with only arc rated shirt and pants as per OSHA 1910.269 (splash damage), tested for dead and installed ground cluster with a shotgun stick at the transformer. No PPE needed due to distance. If I had to open the starter without using the cutouts I'd need full 40 cal suit. Turned out the disconnect is what blew up so if I did it that way the 40 cal suit would be more than justified if some of the melted remains dislodged on opening and fell into anything still live.

These are medium voltage examples but shows how and when and what PPE to wear. Arc flash is on average 8 times worse in 480 so.

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Old 12-15-2018, 06:52 PM   #20
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I only wanted to add, that in our last class we were told that now you can not layer dissimilar material. Was told that if material is different then only the outer layer counts.
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