Electrical fault finding can be extremely difficult, dangerous and frustrating if you do not have a good understanding on how electricity and electrical circuitry works. Often in any electrical installation there are many contributing factors that can cause issues to arise and power to function abnormally. Electrical problems can arise due to various issues such as corroded or loose connections, blown fuses, damaged circuit breakers, cheap safety switches, surges and lightning strikes, faulty earth connection or melted fusible links, faulty relay or sensors, old or incorrectly installed wring and many more. Before you start the testing process, you will need to ensure you are properly prepared and have the correct equipment. Very basic fault-finding equipment usually consists of the following: Multi Meter, Insulation Resistance Tester, Insulated Screwdrivers and Insulated Pliers. You will have to inspect the condition of the wires, fuses and connections in the circuit and main switchboard visually. This can pose a large risk for electrocution to those who are inexperienced as there are many dangerous and conductive parts within arm’s reach when performing these inspections and often take the inspector within the roof space or under floor sections of the installation. Fault finding on your own home is typically not advised if you are not licensed because of the risks involved and should only be performed by a fully qualified and licensed electrical specialist.
Finding Electrical Faults: At times, finding electrical faults can be extremely difficult. Electrical faults cause high risk of danger to people, electrical defects and damage to property. It is essential that you trust an electrical professional to perform the proper electrical troubleshooting procedures to get to the bottom of your issues. When tracing and rectifying the faults, you must keep in mind that there are the electrical problems can arise due to one of the following four causes.
Open circuit: An open circuit occurs when a connection has been broken. Typically an open circuit issue occurs at the main switchboard, A junction, a power point or light fitting. These can be very hard to locate without the proper testing equipment and practices. To test such a problem, you will have to use the continuity test. A continuity test shows weather a circuit is complete or if there is a break in the circuit. If there is a break anywhere, things will not work as intended.
Short circuit: Any closed connection is known as a short circuit. Such a connection causes flow of excess current in the circuit and damages the electrical components. A short circuit problem mostly arises due to damaged/weak insulation or a problem appliance that you can detect with the insulation resistance test. To troubleshoot a short circuit, you will need to test between at least two separate conductors and check flow of current between them. There should be no connection between conductors of the same circuit when all appliances and equipment is removed from the circuit. If there is, You’ll have to test at various junction points in the circuit and locate the problem by eliminating wiring that shows a good result.
Continuity Test: You can check the continuity of your circuit in two ways: the dead continuity and the power on continuity. The dead continuity testing requires you to switch off the power to reduce the risk of a shock. When conducting an insulation test, you will have to switch off the power too. To check for the circuit continuity when the power is off, you will multi-meter set to the continuity setting. When you short the two leads of the tester, the tester should emit a beeping sound. The beep will confirm that the electrical path is complete. If the path is broken, you should not expect a beep. If you are concerned about the safety of your kitchen appliances, you should avoid completing the fault-finding processes the DIY way and consult Positive Vibes Electrical Services to complete a thorough check. By engaging Positive Vibes Electrical in electrical fault finding, you will avoid any risk to safety, equipment future problems. They will use the suitable equipment and testing procedures to prevent the reoccurrence of problems. The techniques should provide you with a good start point, but it is always good you engage Positive Vibes Electrical professionals each time you identify a problem with the electrical circuit.
Insulation Resistance Testing: An insulation resistance fault can often occur when there is a break down in the insulative layer between conductors of the same cable or across multiple cables. These faults can also occur inside appliances, junction boxes, switchboards, power points, light fittings and light switches. These breakdowns can be caused by old wiring, water ingress from storms and heavy rain, vermin such as possums and rats chewing the cables, lightning strikes and deterioration of electrical equipment due to age or poor condition. To locate or find these issues requires a high level of electrical understanding and can be impossible to locate without the proper testing equipment and understanding of how to use it. Standard equipment for an insulation resistance test is an insulation resistance tester set to the 500-volt scale and your standard 1000-volt electrical rated hand tools. The legally accepted reading between any conductor and earth should not exceed half a megger ohm or .5M ohms. Anything over this is considered an insulation resistance failure and cannot legally be energised. Insulation resistance testing is not advisable for anyone who is not qualified or a licenced technician.
For all your Electrical and fault-finding needs in your home or work, contact Drew and his team at Positive Vibes Electrical to ensure your problems are solved safely and correctly the first time. Call Drew anytime 24/7. Sydney’s leading fault-finding specialist. Call us now: 0401 265 809.