As a manufacturer of enclosures used for protecting electrical and electronic components in hostile environments, we are sometimes called out into the field to assist a customer with a problem. When evaluating the field installation, we often find that the basic enclosure is fine, but some other factor has caused the problem. Sometimes the installation is not correct. For example, the improper installation of a liquid tight conduit fitting or cable gland can allow dust or water to enter the enclosure. Luckily problems such as these usually occur shortly after installation and are quickly resolved. However, what about the problem that manifests itself after months or years of successful operation? What has happened? What went wrong?
Think about it. We have our furnaces cleaned before every heating season, the oil changed in our cars every 3,000 miles, and, for ourselves, we have (or should have) routine physicals and check-ups. But when it comes to enclosures, it is “install and forget!” Perhaps that’s OK for an ideal situation but let’s examine what can happen in the real world.