The Importance of Electrical Fault Finding and How It is Done

28 June 2022

All buildings utilise an electric power system to effectively provide power throughout their rooms and spaces. This specific system is comprised of components that can supply, transfer, and use electric power to make equipment pieces, devices, lighting, and other items work.

One of the components of an electric power system is the cable.

An electrical cable consists of one or more wires that can carry electric current from one place to another. The combination of one or more electrical cables and their accompanying connectors makes up a cable assembly, which must be assessed and checked all the time. But despite regular assessment, the electrical cables may still obtain damages and issues, resulting in cable faults.

An Overview of Cable Faults

Cable faults happen whenever the insulation of the cables deteriorates, preventing them from containing the voltage. They can occur without providing or manifesting any signs. Cable faults may likewise happen on any type of cable. Hence, property owners like you should know more about them.

There are plenty of possible reasons behind cable faults. Some of them include water ingress, poor jointing practice or materials, mechanical damages, and deterioration due to age.

To date, three types of cable faults may occur on properties.

  1. Ground or Earth Faults:Ground faults are caused by the insulation breakdown of the cables, allowing current to flow from the cable core to the earth or the cable sheath.
  2. Cross or Short-Circuit Faults: Cross or short-circuit faults, alternatively, are caused by the breakdown of insulation between the two cables. The current during these faults will start to flow from one cable to another. It may also flow from one core of a system cable to another.
  3. Open-Circuit Faults: Open-circuit faults happen when the cables have become damaged. Current flow through the cables is non-existent with this type of cable fault.

The Process of Fault Finding

Finding the cable faults is significant to any property to ensure that the whole electrical system and connected devices can work optimally and safely. It is also crucial to prevent electric shocks and fire.

Fault finding is a service that should be carried out by professionals. Upon receiving the request for fault finding, the professionals would have to collect any information and evidence related to cable faults. Some details that they may gather may involve the unusual behaviour of the electric power system and the connected devices or machines. All these things will then be analysed before releasing the findings. Finding the cable faults is subsequently carried out by walking the cable route and inspecting the cables, joints, and terminations visually. Tests are then initiated to finally locate the cable faults.

Repairs are ultimately done to the affected cables. Insulation resistance continuity assessments are then done to re-energise the circuit.

These steps may not be carried out by other technicians. However, you can expect fault finding to be only carried out by experts who are adept in electric power systems. To find out more about fault finding, you can contact us at Electroscope.

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