Common electrical faults

Electrical outlets more properly known as receptacles are the workhorses of your home's electrical system. The outlet receptacles are where lamps, electronic equipment, small appliances, space heaters, and many other devices tap into the home's electrical circuits to fulfill their duties. Over time, an outlet receptacle can see cord plugs inserted and withdrawn hundreds of times, and like any other mechanical device, they eventually wear out or become damaged.

Changes in electrical code requirements may also mean that a receptacle needs to be replaced, even if it works adequately. Although receptacles have no moving parts, they do have metal contact points inside the body of the device, which are designed to firmly grip the hot, neutral, and grounding prongs on cord plugs. Over time, these contacts begin to wear and lose their gripping power.

As the exposed contact points lose their ability to grip the plug, it creates greater electrical resistance and heat, which can cause problems in the wiring and may cause circuit breakers to trip. You may also begin to hear audible crackling in the receptacle due to sparking, and appliance plugs will feel loose within the receptacle slots. Another very common problem with receptacles that receive a lot of use is that the circuit wire connections begin to loosen. Each time current is drawn through a wire connection, a small amount of heat is generated, and this repeated expansion and contraction of the wires can eventually cause the screws to loosen.

You may hear the receptacle begin to crackle when this happens, and if the wire connections come loose entirely, a short circuit may cause the circuit breaker to trip. Loose wire connections are especially common if a receptacle has been wired using the push-in fittings on the back of the receptacle. These connections are notoriously insecure, which is why professional electricians almost never use these fittings to make wire connections.

Solution : Turn off the power and tighten all wire connections. Also make sure that the receptacle mounting strap is tightly secured, so that the device cannot wiggle around when you insert or extract plugs.

A damaged receptacle is a dangerous receptacle. Modern receptacles use a tough vinyl in the bodies and they rarely crack or break, but older receptacles were made with a rather brittle bakelite plastic that is susceptible to cracking.

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Sometimes cracks or chips will be visible on the front face of the receptacle, especially around the slots, but it is also possible that the side or back of the receptacle can crack.

A surprising number of homeowners don't realize that outlet receptacles are rated for a particular amperage. In standard household circuits, the receptacles are rated for either amps or amps. A amp receptacle can be identified by a small horizontal "T" that juts out from one of the vertical slots on the receptacle. This design accepts special amp plugs that are found on some heavy-demand appliances, such as space heaters.

It is a very common error to use receptacles with the wrong rating for the circuit amperage. While there is no danger at all when a amp receptacle is attached to a amp circuit, there is a notable hazard when a amp receptacle is connected to a amp circuit. In this situation, there is the potential for plugging in a amp appliance to a circuit that can provide only amps of power. The result, if you are lucky, will be a blown circuit breaker, but damage to the wires and possible fire is also possible.

Solution : Review the amperage of the circuit and make sure the receptacles match the rating. If necessary, replace them with properly-rated devices.

A cheap, bargain receptacle may work fine for a time, but it eventually will be susceptible to problems.In other words, the fault is the abnormal condition of the electrical system which damages the electrical equipment and disturbs the normal flow of the electric current. The fault reduces the insulation strength between phase conductors and earth or any earthed screen surrounding the conductors. It also reduces the impedance property of circuit to oppose the flow of current between the conductors and earth due to which the heavy short circuit current flows through the system and damage the power system equipment.

The probability of the failure or occurrence of abnormal faults is more on the transmission lines. About one-half of the fault occurs on the power system is the transmission line fault. Because transmission lines are broadly branched, have a greater length, operate under variable weather conditions and are subjected to the action of atmospheric disturbances of an electrical nature.

According to the causes of incidence, the causes of failures may be classified, as mentioned below. The line and insulation apparatus may also be damaged due to the transient overvoltage which is generated in the switching operation. During the switching operation, the voltage rises at a rapid rate and may achieve a peak value approaching three-time phase to neutral voltage.

Hence the higher insulation level is provided for protecting the equipment from damage. The fault can be minimised by improving the system design, better quality of the equipment and maintenance. But the fault cannot be eliminated completely. The most common and dangerous fault that occurs in a power system is the short circuit or shunt fault. On the occurrence of the short circuit fault, heavy or short-circuit current flow through the circuit which damages the insulation of current carrying phase conductors corresponding to earth or in the insulation between phases.

The different types of the electrical fault are explained below:. The latter two faults are of symmetrical nature and give rise to symmetrical current, i.

On the occurrence of the fault, heavy short circuit current is flowing in the circuit. This current have the following disadvantages. Their consequences are explained below in details. A large number of unsymmetrical faults is temporary in nature and may vanish within a few cycles as would be the cause when a twig stem falls across a line and burn itself out or just fall.

The symmetrical three-phase faultsgenerally occur due to the carelessness of operating personnel. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Circuit Globe All about Electrical and Electronics. Electronic Instrumentation. What is the name of fault if group contact with neutral.

The information you provided was so helpful thank you very much. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.In Recreational Vehicles RVselectrical systems are more complex than in common vehicles. There are two 12V systems and one V system. This may come as a surprise to you but RVs need electric power while on the road and when parked hence the three distinct systems. The systems are made to consume low energy but are known for another characteristic, they are notoriously fussy and can break without notice.

In this article, you will learn 7 common RV electrical problems and methods used to fix them to get you back and running. It is quite unfortunate that the camping trip can be brought to a standstill due to a component worth 10 dollars.

When you experience a power problem, the first thing you should check is the power breakers. If this is the cause of power shortage, unplug all the systems connected to the power breaker and reset it to default.

Replace the damaged fuse with one matching the amperage to avoid burning the system. There are standard color codes for fuses:.

Your RV has a series of batteries used to generate 12V power. The electricity is used to power up lights, leveling jack, propane detectors, and circuit board. There is also a converter which converts V into 12V. If you are having problems with the lighting system or the indicators, then the problem is the 12V system.

Use the voltmeter to test if your batteries need replacement. The main cause of this system failure is newly installed home appliances. Check their description usually indicated in Voltage, Amperes, and Watts. If you test your batteries, and they seem to be in a perfect condition, the problem might be an external one. Ungrounded or corroded wires may come into contact with the RV causing a short-circuit. Drive your RV to a different site and connect it to a different power supply and test if your 12V systems and V are in perfect condition.

Solar panels are prone to damage due to the constant movement of the RV. If you experience any electrical problem, assume all the other possible sources and check the solar system and its connections. Scrutinize your circuit breaker panel which is usually located near the 12V batteries. Close all minor circuit breakers and finally the main intake circuit breaker. Check if there is any acid accumulation on the board.

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Clean it with 12 ounces 0. Acids have ions which can transmit electricity causing a short circuit which may blow-up the breakers. Even the tiniest failure can keep you docked all day long. Ensure you have a fully functional toolbox. Take a few fuses with you, extra connecting wires and a voltmeter.Learn something new every day More Info There are four very common electrical problems: intermittent power, power surges, redundant wiring, and overloaded circuits.

All these issues can cause electrical fires and need to be addressed and corrected as soon as possible. These issues are easy to identify and correct.

common electrical faults

Intermittent power is a symptom of a wiring problem. The cause of this common electrical problem is loose wiring. To check for this type of problem, trace the electrical cable from the unit to the plug. Look for any sign of wear, fray, or exposed wiring. Take apart the electrical item to locate the connection point of the power to the unit. If the wiring is frayed at the point of connection, then simply use wire cutters to cut away the damaged section. Use wire strippers to remove the plastic coating and expose the wires.

Once they are exposed, you can reconnect the power cable to the electrical item. Power surges are caused by sudden increases in the power provided by the electricity company. This increase can overload the circuit and cause the electrical item to turn off. There is no way to correct this at the consumer level.

The best way to manage these types of common electrical problems is to purchase power bars. Plug your electronic equipment into the power bar. This unit has a built in circuit to ensure that any surges that go to the power outlet are run through another circuit. Redundant wiring is a very common electrical problem that occurs in homes where the previous owner was creating their own electrical wiring.

Not all the wiring is used, and in many cases, live wires are left without being properly capped or terminated. Take the time to trace all the electrical wiring to ensure there are no hidden surprises or weak connections. Overloaded circuits can occur when additional power outlets are created to use existing wiring as their source. This shortcut method creates problems where multiple appliances are plugged in and drawing power at the same time.

The demand exceeds the capacity and causes short fuses. Ask an electrician to determine the power drain on each circuit and arrange to correct the wiring to ensure that each circuit load is balanced. The signs of electrical problems include a recurring need to reset the fuse for a particular circuit or flickering lights. If your computer crashes due to electrical surges and there are problems using multiple appliances in the same room, these are additional signs of a wiring problem.Disclaimer This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Nobody likes problems, especially electrical problems. They are both dreadful and aggravating. Electrical problems can happen anywhere where electricity is. Before we go there, we understand that when it comes to minor issues that pose no threats, you will probably prefer to do it on your own. However, electricity is hazardous and should not be meddled with if you have no experience or knowledge of it. In that case, it is always safe to consult experts before you do anything that is risky.

If you are also interested in energy saving tips cast a glance here! Transients, which are commonly known as surges, are the lighting-fast striking of light. These are caused by high-voltage disruptions in the flow of electricity. They occur for a split second. Transients can damage any electronic devices that are connected at the moment.

If the transients continue happening, it is probably time to get your electrical connections checked.

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Otherwise, these transients are nothing to worry about if they have stopped. Check if there is anything wrong with your wires and consult with an electrician if the transients keep going on.

common electrical faults

The device will automatically turn off the switch if it detects a leakage while the current is flowing abnormally. It is a must to have an RCCB device at home because it reduces the chances of electrical shocks.

In order to prevent electrocution that can happen because of leakage, you can get RCCB installed at your home by a professional. If your circuit breaker keeps on tripping, chances are they have detected some issues in the current circuit. You will see a switch panel that has its switch turned off for old switches and partly off for modern switches. You only need to flip the switch back on and voila!

If the same problem continues to persist, you may have to call an electrician.Learn something new every day More Info Many malfunctions that occur in vehicles can be diagnosed as automotive electrical problems. The source of these problems is usually related to the electricity that is being generated by the battery or alternator. Each of these car problems can typically be separated into one of several categories.

Since the battery is the source of electricity for a vehicle, it is no surprise that it is commonly a cause for many automotive electrical problems. Usually the issue is a dead battery, caused when the battery can no longer hold a charge. Sometimes a faulty component of the vehicle can cause a dead battery.

common electrical faults

Other times it can be a result of leaving a component like the headlights or stereo on for an extended period of time. This problem can usually be remedied rather easily with either a jump-start or a battery recharge. A car battery can also become damaged or simply too old and in need of a replacement. Another source of a common automotive electrical problem is the vehicle's alternator.

While an automobile is running, the alternator is recharging the battery. Once the alternator breaks, the battery is quickly drained and the vehicle loses power. Sometimes the alternator belt can also wear out or become cracked, leading to a similar malfunction where the battery easily becomes discharged.

Sometimes the source of an electrical problem in a vehicle can be a broken electrical wire or a blown fuse. All of the electrical components of a vehicle are attached to one another through the wires of the electrical system. There are also many vehicle fuses in this wiring, which protect sensitive automobile components from power surges. This is very convenient since it is much less costly to replace a fuse than an expensive auto part.

Some of the most important electrical components are the spark plugs and spark plug wires. When these go bad,the engine will no longer properly work. This problem can usually be detected when the car runs rough in idle, accelerates poorly, stalls, or is getting bad gas mileage.Electrical problems can occur at any moment.

Read on to learn about the top ten most common electrical problems around the home.

Mister Sparky - Electrical Problems: The 5 Most Common - Lancaster Pennsylvania - Electrician

But with all the advancements — and there have been thousands — there are still some common electrical problems that everyone faces during their lifetime. We mean electrical problems lurking within the walls of your home that cause recurring issues almost daily. Summer storms and damaged power lines. Sometimes, even the power company is to blame. This increases the potential electrical energy, which increases the current to your outlet.

Around cloud-to-ground strikes happen every second around the world. When one of those bolts reaches the Earth, it sends out a tremendous amount of voltage. This causes the power lines to get an incredible surge. Look throughout your home for cheap electronics. Maybe that DVD player you picked up from the flea market?

Cheaper electronics use cheaper components. Using a surge protector works most of the time. Sags and dips in power are closely related to surges. Power sags and dips are intermittent drops in voltage. Brown-outs also happen when you have too many large appliances running at the same time.

They could be drawing too much from an outdated electric panel. Again, old or faulty wiring can also take some blame. These occur when the amount of current flowing to an appliance or device exceeds what it can handle.

Worst case scenario? The heat from the bulb melts the socket and insulation in the fixture wires. The wires spark and now you have an electrical fire. Trying using only one at a time and see if this helps the issue. A junction box houses various wires and gets installed during construction. It can also get added with an electrical upgrade.

The purpose of an enclosed box it to protect people from electrical shocks. You may not think having not enough outlets is an electrical issue. When you move into a new house and notice the master bedroom only has one outlet, what do you do?

You need power to that side of the room so you use an extension cord. Not to mention, you could damage your devices. If you need more outlets, just call an electrician. An overloaded or over-circuited panel is very dangerous.


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