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Handling Faulted SF6
Oct 11, 2017

Handling Faulted SF6


Toxicity


FAULTED SF6 GAS – Faulted SF6 gas smells like rotten eggs and can cause nausea and minor irritation of the eyes and upper respiratory tract. Normally, faulted SF6 gas is so foul smelling no one can stand exposure long enough at a concentration high enough to cause permanent damage.


SOLID ARC PRODUCTS – Solid arc products are toxic and are a white or off-white, ashlike powder. Contact with the skin may cause an irritation or possible painful fluoride burn. If solid arc products come in contact with the skin, wash immediately with a large amount of water. If water is not available, vacuum off arc products with a vacuum cleaner.


Clothing and safety equipment requirements


When handling and re­ moving solid arc products from faulted SF6, the following clothing and safety equipment should be worn:


COVERALLS – Coveralls must be worn when removing solid arc products. Coveralls are not required after all solid arc products are cleaned up. Disposable coveralls are recommended for use when removing solid arc products; however, regular coveralls can be worn if disposable ones are not available, provided they are washed at the end of each day.


HOODS – Hoods must be worn when removing solid arc products from inside a faulted dead-tank circuit breaker.


GLOVES – Gloves must be worn when solid arc products are hah-died. Inexpensive, disposable gloves are recommended. Non-disposable gloves must be washed in water and allowed to drip-dry after use.


BOOTS – Slip-on boots, non-disposable or plastic disposable, must be worn by employees who enter eternally faulted dead-tank circuit breakers. Slip-on boots are not required after the removal of solid arc products and vacuuming. Nondisposable boots must be washed in water and dried after use.


SAFETY GLASSES – Safety glasses are recommended when handling solid arc products if a full face respirator is not worn.


RESPIRATOR – A cartridge, dust-type respirator is required when entering an internally faulted dead-tank circuit breaker. The respirator will remove solid arc products from air breathed, but it does not supply oxygen so it must only be used when there is sufficient oxygen to support life. The filter and cartridge should be changed when an odor is sensed through the respirator.


The use of respirators is optional for work on circuit breakers whose in­ terrupter units are not large enough for a man to enter and the units are well ventilated.


Air-line-type respirators should be used when the cartridge type is ineffective due to providing too short a work time before the cartridge becomes contaminated and an odor is sensed.


When an air-line respirator is used, a minimum of two working respirators must be available on the job before any employee is allowed to enter the circuit breaker tank.


Disposal of waste


All materials used in the cleanup operation for large quantities of SF6 arc products shall be placed in a 55­ gal drum and disposed of as hazardous waste.


The following items should be disposed of:

All solid arc products

All disposable protective clothing

All cleaning rags

Filters from respirators

Molecular sieve from breaker and gas cart

Vacuum filter element


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