With over 30 years of experience in fault location, we are experts in this field!
Cable faults can occur in a variety of ways during the lifecycle of cable. They can occur when new, during commissioning of the cables or initial energization, or many years after the cables have been put into service. The types of faults can also vary considerably, from dead shorts (also sometimes called “bolted faults”) to a cable that has catastrophically faulted and completely blown open.
The original root cause of the cable failures, likewise can be tied back to a variety of different sources – such as manufacturing defects, transportation damage, installation and workmanship deficiencies, excessive loading, material degradation over time, etc.
While there are many methods to locate a cable fault, not all of them work well all the time. Certain faults lend themselves better to particular methods. For example, finding a dead short circuit fault in cable with a conventional Thumper is generally not an easy task, while a simple TDR test will find this type of fault relatively easily. In addition, the type and construction of cable, will also lend itself to certain methods over others. For example, for tape shielded cables, impulse reflection techniques like surge arc and impulse current do not work reliably, while the fault location bridge (Digi-Bridge) does.