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as generators, switchboards, motors, and controllers,
NEVER clean with VOLATILE substances, such
as gasoline, benzene, alcohol, or ether. Besides being
should be covered to prevent the entrance of the paint
fire hazards, they readily give off vapors that can
dust. After the paint is removed, the electrical
injure the human respirator system if they are inhaled
equipment should be thoroughly cleaned, preferably
directly for a long time.
with a vacuum cleaner. Sanding and grinding should
not be the method of removal due to the potential of
When using cleaning solvents in a nonventilated
compartment, always supply air into the compartment,
generating high levels of lead dust.
using a blower with a canvas wind chute (elephant
Electrical equipment should be repainted only
trunk). Open all usable portholes, and place wind
when necessary to ward off corrosion. Painting should
close
scoops in them. Keep a fire extinguisher
be confined only to the affected areas. General
by, and NEVER WORK ALONE in a poorly
repainting of electrical equipment or enclosures for
ventilated compartment.
electrical equipment for the sole purpose of improving
You should avoid coming in contact with cleaning
their appearance is not desirable. Insulating surfaces
s o l v e n t s . Always wear gloves and chemical
in electrical equipment should never be painted.
splashproof goggles, especially when you spray
NEVER PAINT OVER IDENTIFICATION
equipment. When spraying, hold the nozzle close to
PLATES.
the equipment. DO NOT spray cleaning solvents on
electrical windings or insulation.
Apply electrical insulating varnish to equipment
only as necessary. Frequent applications of insulating
Do not breathe directly over the vapor of any
varnish build up a heavy coating that may interfere
cleaning solvent for prolonged periods. Do not apply
with heat dissipation and develop surface cracks. Do
solvents to warm or hot equipment; this increases the
not apply insulating varnish to dirty or moist
toxicity hazard.
insulation; the varnish will seal in the dirt and moisture
Following is a list of other safety precautions that
and make future cleaning impossible.
you should observe when using and handling
chemicals/solvents:
Shellac and lacquer are forms of varnish, but
MUST NOT be used for insulating purposes. The two
--Review the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
types of insulating varnishes commonly used in the
for any chemical before using or handling it.
Navy are clear baking varnish (grade CB) and clear
--Do not work alone in a poorly ventilated space.
air-drying varnish (grade CA). Grade CB is the
preferred grade; however, if it is not possible to bake
--Never use a halocarbon-based solvent, such as
freon, in the presence of any open flame.
the part to be insulated, grade CA may be used.
--Place a fire extinguisher close by, ready for use.
STEEL WOOL AND EMERY
--Dispose of solvent-soaked rags in a container
CLOTH/PAPER
designed for flammable disposal.
--Do not allow eating, drinking, smoking, open
Steel wool and emery cloth/paper are harmful to
flames, or lights in the area where solvents are being
the normal operation of electrical and electronic
used. Any chemicals or solvents should be handled
e q u i p m e n t . The NSTM and other technical
with caution.
publications warn you against the use of steel wool
and emery cloth/paper on or near equipment. When
PAINTS AND VARNISHES
these items are used, they shed metal particles. These
particles are scattered by ventilation currents and
You must take special precautions when removing
attracted by the magnetic devices in electrical
paint or repainting electrical equipment. In general,
equipment. This could cause short circuits, grounds,
paint should not be removed from electrical
and excessive equipment wear. Therefore, emery
equipment. Scraping or chipping tools may harm the
cloth/paper and steel wool should NEVER be used for
insulation or damage relatively delicate parts. Paint
cleaning contacts. Clean the contacts with silver
dust, composed of abrasive and semiconducting
polish, sandpaper, or burnishing tools. After cleaning,
materials, may also impair the insulation. Therefore,
if paint is to be scraped, all electrical equipment, such
use a vacuum to remove any remaining dust.

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