What is maintenance and what is repair in case of an Ex installation (electrical, non-electrical)?
The nature of the explosion protection offered by each type of protection varies according to its unique features. Reference should be made to the appropriate standard(s) for details.

Users will utilize the most appropriate repair facilities for any particular item of equipment, whether they be the facilities of the manufacturer or a suitably competent and equipped repairer (see Note).
This recognizes the necessity of a required level of competence for the repair, overhaul and reclamation of the equipment. Some manufacturers may recommend that the equipment be repaired only by them.
In the case of the repair, overhaul or reclamation of equipment which has been the subject of design certification, it may be necessary to clarify the position of the continued conformity of the equipment with the certificate.
NOTE Whilst some manufacturers recommend that certain equipment be returned to them for repair or reclamation, there are also competent independent repair organizations who have the facilities to carry out repair work on equipment employing some or all of the types of protection covered by IEC 60079 series. For repaired equipment to retain the integrity of the type(s) of protection employed in its design and construction, detailed knowledge of the original manufacturer’s design (which may only be obtainable from design and manufacturing drawings) and any certificate documentation may be necessary. Where equipment is not being returned to the original manufacturer for repair or reclamation, the use of repair organizations that are recommended by the original manufacturer should be considered.
Marking may be provided on a separate label. It may be necessary to amend or remove or supplement the label in certain circumstances as follows.
a) If after repair, overhaul, or alteration, the equipment still complies with the restrictions imposed by this standard and the type of protection standards to which it was manufactured, but does not necessarily comply with the certificate documentation, the label should not normally be removed and the repair symbol “R” shall be written within an inverted triangle.
b) If after repair, overhaul, alteration, or modification, the equipment is changed such that it no longer conforms with the type of protection standards or certificate documentation, the “Ex” marking and the mark of the certificate issuer on the certification label shall be removed unless a supplementary certificate has been obtained.
c) Where the standards to which the previously certified equipment was manufactured are not known, the requirements of this standard and the current edition of the relevant type of protection standards shall apply. An assessment, by a person competent in assessing explosion protected equipment, shall be conducted to verify compliance with the relevant level of safety prior to release of the equipment by the repairer.
Conditions of an Ex repair facility:

  • audited (certified) QMS with detailed description of repair work (A-Z)
  • well equipped (able to make repair)
  • competent personnel (refreshment in every 3 yrs)

Relevant standard: IEC 60079-19:2015
Does it make sense to talk about repair in case of Ex assets?
Maintenance means 1:1 exchange of parts – simplified process – better sign of Ex integrity – follow up of manufacturer’s manual
Repair means: see above a) b) c) – many ways to go – let me give you one example: I do have an Ex fluorescent light fitting – ballast went wrong – no similar type on stock – I can replace it with another type and still comply witht Ex issues (see a)) – if we run an Ex repair facility
What do you think? Maintenance or repair?
Keep up good work!

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