Electrical Cable Faults

After the electrical energy is generated, it’s usually distributed to homes, cities, and villages for consumption. The distribution process involves stepping up the voltage so as to minimize any loss of energy that might occur. The voltage is then distributed to a grid station where it’s stepped down to the local transformers before finally being distributed to the customers. The distribution process is usually done through electrical cables which are either insulated or uninsulated. As compared to the insulated cables, uninsulated cables are prone to faults. Remember if you are ever in a situation where you are unable to fix the fault and it becomes dangerous, then call Westline Electrical Services located in Perth WA to diagnose and rectify all electrical problems.

Common causes of faults

Most of the faults in electrical cables usually occurs as result of moisture entering the insulation. Other causes may include laying process, injury during transportation, or various stresses encountered by the cable during its working life. Due to the actions of soil, water, and atmospheric pressure, the lead sheath may also be damaged.

 Types of cable faults

Electrical Cable Faults

Open circuit faults

This a type of fault that usually occurs as result of the conductor being pulled or the conductor breaking out of its joint. In such circumstances, there will be no flow of current since the conveyor of the current would have been broken down. This discontinuity may also occur as result of mechanical stress leading to the cable coming out of its joint.

Short circuit faults

This type of fault occurs only in multi-coloured cables. When more than two conductors come into contact with each other they may result in short circuit. Without taking the cable apart it can be a bit hard to detect this. Short circuit fault may, therefore, take place when the cable insulation is completely damaged. When such a thing occurs, the current will not flow via the main core but will rather flow from one core to the other or from one cable to another.

Earth faults

When the conductors in the cable come into conduct with the earth, the resulting fault is termed as earth fault. This usually happens when the outer sheath is destroyed due to vibrations, chemical reactions or mechanical crystallization. Although it’s a bit similar to the short circuit fault, it usually flows through the earth.

Locating the underground cable fault

Finding the location of the cable fault doesn’t have to be a difficult thing. Apart from new detection technologies, there are many locating methods that you can use to make this task less time consuming and much easier. However, you need to know that no one single method can be termed as the best. The key to safely and efficiently select the appropriate method will majorly depend on your skills. There are also various tests that you can use to detect the faults. Some of these tests include Behaviour tests, Murray loop tests, Varley loop tests, Earth overlap tests among others.


Well, underground cables are usually prone to breaks known as faults that can occur due to a number of things. When your cable has a fault, you need to call professional who can locate it for you. Since the requirements needed for this job might be a bit costly, it’s advisable to leave the job for professionals who will advise you on the best way to repair it.