Keep the Water Flowing

11 November 2020


Here on the Megger blog, we pride ourselves in covering “everything you need to know about electrical testing, all in one place”. Typically, we’re talking specifically about electrical testing, as it relates to keeping the power on.

This week, we’re switching things up.

Meet Chris Davis of Lower 48 Instruments, an instrumentation and control firm that specializes in area velocity flow measurement.

From the start, literally at 15-years-old, Chris was working for a retired Navy instrument technician – learning the ins and outs of the trade and eventually owning half of the business. As life threw a few twists and turns his way, he left the trade for a suit and tie, working in an office for the next 20 years.

Around 7 years ago, he put back on his work boots and headed back to the instrumentation and control industry - never looking back. 

If it has to do with measuring process – think heat, flow, or pressure – Chris and his team are on it, measuring partially full, gravity, or vacuum fed systems.

Rather than keeping the power on, the Lower 48 crew keeps the water running.

And when it comes to troubleshooting poor measurements, electrical testing comes in to play.

Working with clients with integrated systems, poor grounding is often to blame for issues with analog loop circuits. Typically, the actual earth itself – where the ground rod is driven in – rather than bonding is to blame. With a ground tester on-hand, the team runs a 4-terminal ground resistance test to get a better idea of what’s going on with the ground. Like any great maintenance program, they repeat the test 2-4 times throughout the year – in various weather conditions – to get a complete picture of the soil surrounding the ground.

Talking with Chris, we also found out that the Lower 48 team also dabbles in preventative maintenance too. We really love to hear that. Preventative maintenance is key to preventing SO many electrical issues, headaches, and catastrophes down the line. If preventative maintenance isn’t on your radar, take this as a reminder that it should be.

And if you don’t want to take our word for it, just take Chris’s.

“Preventative maintenance helps the client to spot potential problems,” he explains “before they cause a disruption in service or costly damage.” We literally couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Anyways, for Lower 48, preventative maintenance looks like dissecting switchgears, testing and cleaning transformers, and extensively studying protective relays. Using a current clamp or transformer ohmmeter, for example, they’ll take before and after measurements on equipment – giving their clients a better idea of their equipment’s health.

When he’s not keeping the water flowing or performing electrical tests, you can find Chris on Instagram (@lower_48). We’re not sure what his secret sauce is, but he’s pretty popular – spreading positivity, laughter, and random thoughts; talking tools; and of course, sharing helpful tips of the trade.

And there you have it – a not so typical story of electrical testing equipment at work. Truly heart-warming, right?

Think you know someone cool who happens to use electrical equipment on the regular? Let us know! We want to chat with them.