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Electrex Acts Fast to Return Power to Target

In April of 2015, Electrex Superintendent Paul Booth received a call from Grant Parsley at Staybright Electric. Parsley was dealing with a high-voltage electrical problem at a local Target in Southfield, Michigan, where three primary fuses had blown, leaving the store without power.

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Though the Target had been vacant for several months, the store still needed electricity. When Booth arrived less than three hours later, he found that the PM123 13,200-volt primary switch had decayed. DTE Energy then informed Parsley that the power could not be turned back on until the switch had been replaced.

While the power failure was due to the rusted switch, DTE also wanted the underground cables inspected. So Electrex used a “megger” to send 5,000 volts through the wire to test for leakages in voltage. After Electrex determined that there were no cracks or faults in the cables, they were able to replace the faulty switch. From start to finish, the project was completed in less than two weeks… but their story wasn’t over yet.

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In June, Booth received another call from Parsley that a Target in Flint had blown its primary fuse. However, this time the store was open, and the problem needed to be fixed as soon as possible. When Booth arrived that night at 9:30 p.m., he checked the switch but found that none of the fuses were actually blown.

Upon further inspection, Booth discovered another switch about 1,000 feet away. He found that two of the Target fuses were blown. First, Booth tested two new fuses, but those blew immediately. Next, Booth used the megger to test the cables running between Target and the vacant store next door, which was also without power. He found that the wire had been compromised, which meant that 1,500 feet of cable would need to be replaced.

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Booth and his team stayed on site until 3 a.m., and then reconvened at 6 a.m. to develop a plan of attack. To replace the faulty cables, Electrex used their truck to pull out the old wire and locate the damaged part of the cable. Electrex then installed the new cable and had the power ready to be turned back on by 6:30 p.m., 21 hours after they first arrived on site. Booth stayed on site until midnight – after all the stores were closed – to test the power. Because of their quick response time, Parsley said he would not hesitate to call Electrex if he needed high-voltage help in the future.

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Booth reminded them that regular maintenance like testing cables, inspecting switch gears, and opening transformers can help stop power interruptions before they occur.

About Electrex Industrial Solutions:

Electrex Industrial Solutions is a family-owned, 2nd generation, full service industrial electrical contractor, founded in 1957. In addition to back-up emergency generators and uninterruptible power supply systems, Electrex’s full professional capabilities include power distribution, high-voltage service, and electrical installation for new construction, along with the engineering and design of industrial electrical services. For more information about Electrex services, please visit