Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) has the following meanings:

  1. The care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of maintaining equipment in satisfactory operating condition by providing for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major defects.
  2. Preventive maintenance tends to follow planned guidelines from time-to-time to prevent equipment and machinery breakdown[1]
  3. The work carried out on equipment in order to avoid its breakdown or malfunction. It is a regular and routine action taken on equipment in order to prevent its breakdown.[2]
  4. Maintenance, including tests, measurements, adjustments, parts replacement, and cleaning, performed specifically to prevent faults from occurring.


The primary goal of maintenance is to avoid or mitigate the consequences of failure of equipment. This may be by preventing the failure before it actually occurs which Planned Maintenance and Condition Based Maintenance help to achieve. It is designed to preserve and restore equipment reliability by replacing worn components before they actually fail. Preventive maintenance activities include partial or complete overhauls at specified periods, oil changes, lubrication, minor adjustments, and so on. In addition, workers can record equipment deterioration so they know to replace or repair worn parts before they cause system failure. The ideal preventive maintenance program would prevent all equipment failure before it occurs.

Preventative maintenance for various equipment and facilities is quite nuanced. For instance, maintaining certain equipment may include a "preventative maintenance checklist" which includes small checks which can significantly extend service life. Furthermore, other considerations such as weather and equipment are taken into account; for instance, in the case of HVAC systems, maintenance is often performed before the hottest time of the year.[3]

There is a controversy of sorts regarding the propriety of the usage "preventative".[4][5][6]

See also


  1. Olakotan, O.O. (2015). Unpublished Basic Technology lecture note on Maintenance
  2. Bamiro O.A., Nzediegwu D., Oladejo K.A, Rahaman A & Adebayo A (2011). Mastery of Technology for junior school certificate examination.Ibadan: Evans Brothers (Nigeria Publishers)Limited.
  3. "Preventive Maintenance Tips Crucial To Your Air Conditioner Performance". Chills Air Conditioning. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  4. Michael Quinion, PREVENTATIVE OR PREVENTIVE, World Wide Words.
  5. OIT Style Guide: How should I write that word? An A to Z, Office of Information Technology.
  6. Bobby Joseph, Letter to the Editor: What's the good word—preventive or preventative?, International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 30, N. 6, p. 1498.]


Further reading

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