Never Modify a Power Unit in the Field
I present to you this nightmare sequence —
Your design is flawless. You’re in love with every detail. The pieces and parts are delivered. The engineers and maintenance teams are managing your build—and then you get the call.
We’ve probably all gotten a the call—that harrowing moment when some minute detail is just slightly off but it delays projects and ruins design. The call is where design dreams go to die.
Once you've reached the acceptance phase of grieving, you can try these options—
Call the supplier you worked with to build your power/data connections.
Measure, measure, and measure again before re-ordering parts.
Try to modify the power units in the field.
While the first two options are giving you heartburn just to consider, they’re the right options. You should never modify power units once they’re already delivered and deployed to their new space, and there are two major reasons why.
Modifying Power Units in the Field Effectively Terminates Their Warranty
Murphy’s Law — you cannot fight it. What can go wrong, will go wrong. And when it does, it’s no longer in the hands of the supplier. Compromising the integrity of a power unit in the field can cause several issues—
Wiring can go askew and cause issues during the build or after.
Power accessories can get beaten up and lose their sleek look.
Daisy-chaining, or plugging in multiple corded units together to extend length, can cause shorting, sparking, and fires
Hardwired units are nearly impossible to safely retool in the field
Once the integrity of the power unit is compromised, the warranty is terminated. After so much planning, budgeting, and designing, losing the warranty for this imperative element of your space isn’t worth it.
Modifying Power Units in the Field is Risky
Sometimes, we like to live on the dangerous side. A little risk in life makes us feel powerful and clever. But, now is not the time. Step away from the daisy-chaining and last minute retooling. It’s just too risky, and saving a couple of days by modifying in the field is never worth risking the safety of your team or the public when you open the space.
Think about it this way. A couple of days of solving and fixing for the issue is much quicker and cheaper than any potential workplace comp or lawsuit would be. Once a power unit in the field is modified, anything can go wrong. Remember, you’re working with electrical components. They may look like art once they’re installed and fully functioning, but at the end of the day they need to meet certain standards to be safe.
The right supplier will go above and beyond these standards to ensure your safety and the functioning space you designed. But the right supplier knows these standards and their power/data units inside and out. They can build the perfect solution, safely.