How To Safely Handle SF6 Gases

By North Central Electric,

  Filed under: Safety Tips
  Comments: None

When it comes to handling gas, safety should always be your top priority. Sulfur hexafluoride, or SF6, is a colorless, odorless, non-flammable, extremely potent greenhouse gas and is an excellent electrical insulator. Although it is not a toxic gas, exposure to pure SF6 gas can cause suffocation, eye irritation, skin rashes and chemical burns. North Central Electric wants to help promote the safe handling of this gas by understanding what SF6 gas is and what it is used for. Let’s take a look at a few helpful safety tips!

Why SF6?

You may be asking yourself, what is SF6 gas and what does it have to do with my electricity? Well, although you must be careful with SF6 gas, it has many benefits to your electrical equipment. SF6 has very high dielectric strength, which means it can push the maximum electric field that a pure material can withstand without breaking down. This gas is also non-toxic and chemically stable, which adds to its safety performance.

Don’t Risk Injury, Hire a Professional

If you are not properly trained to handle SF6 gas, we recommend hiring a trained professional. But if you do find yourself handling SF6 make sure to follow these important tips:

  • Do not roll or drop the cylinders as this could cause a pressure imbalance.
  • Do not apply direct heat to the cylinders or allow the cylinder to exceed 120 degrees. Although not flammable extreme heats can cause chemical imbalances and change compounds within the gas.
  • Do not invert the cylinder while removing SF6 from your system. This can cause a rapid release of the gas, putting you at risk of injury. Too much SF6 in the air can cause eye and skin irritation, dizziness, and unconsciousness or worse suffocation.

NCE can handle all your major SF6 gas handling projects. Our technicians are trained and qualified to fill new SF6 breakers, degas existing SF6 breakers for maintenance/decommission, transport SF6 to and from site, and properly dispose of SF6. If you have any questions or concerns contact us at [email protected] or give us a call at (215) 945-7632 to schedule your service today!