Neutral Fault Causes, Effects, Examples, Explanation

The neutral conductor is an essential part of the electrical system. It provides a reference point for voltage levels and carries the return current from the load back to the power source. In an electrical system, the neutral fault refers to a condition where the neutral conductor of a three-phase or single-phase electrical circuit becomes disconnected or compromised.

Here, in this article, we are going to discuss about the effects of neutral fault, its causes, and Protection.

In the case of a three-phase power supply purpose, neutral helps to balance all three phases. In the case of a single-phase power supply purpose, neutral is used to complete the electrical circuit.

To get the 230V AC supply, neutral must be required. In the three-phase system, the Star connection only provides a neutral point. And we get a single-phase voltage between neutral and any one phase.

Both single-phase and three-phase power supply systems will be affected if a neutral fault occurs.

Here are some examples of vital places where neutral fault can occur such as Electrical panels and distribution boards, Junction boxes, Electrical outlets and switches, Electrical equipment and appliances, Wiring and conduits, etc.

Causes of Neutral Fault

  • For our house wiring purpose, only one neutral wire is taken as common for all loads. So live wires are separated for all individual loads but one neutral wire is common. If the neutral wire has more thickness, then it will be damaged when all loads are turned on at the same time.
  • Neutral wire also be damaged by physical contact, Corrosion, long-time use, etc.
  • The neutral wire of a distribution line may be damaged by the environmental causes.
  • Faulty or damaged electrical equipment connected to the system can also cause a neutral fault. 
  • A loose connection due to poor installation can make a neutral failure.

Effects of Neutral Fault in Single Phase System

If the neutral fault occurs then the single-phase load will not work because of neutral wire completes the circuit in a single-phase system.

If RCCB is connected in a single-phase system, then it will be tripped when the neutral fault occurs.

neutral fault causes, effects

In the above figure, you can see the neutral wire gets damaged. So in this case, we will get an electrical shock if we touch the neutral wire.

In a single-phase system, a neutral fault can cause excessive current to flow through unintended paths, including ground or other phase conductors. This can create a hazardous condition and increase the risk of electrical fires.

A neutral fault can cause voltage imbalances in the system. Without a properly functioning neutral conductor, the voltage distribution between the line and the neutral becomes uneven. This can result in the appearance of higher voltages on some appliances or circuits and lower voltages on others.

Effects of Neutral Fault in Three-Phase System

In a substation, neutral is connected to the ground to make it zero potential and to balance all three phases. If unequal loads are connected to all three phases then unequal current will flow through the three phases which makes the three-phase system unhealthy. But if the neutral is connected to the ground, the equal current will flow in all three phases even if they are connected to unequal loads. So in this case, if the neutral fault occurs, the three-phase system will be unhealthy.

Without a properly functioning neutral conductor, the voltage distribution between the phases becomes uneven. This can lead to higher voltages in some phases and lower voltages in others. It can cause equipment malfunction, damage, voltage imbalance, and other failures.

Sometimes, a very high voltage occurs in our home and damages our electrical devices. This happens only for the neutral fault.

Neutral Fault causes to occur surge voltage and unwanted high voltage at the load terminals.

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Neutral Fault Causes, Effects, Examples, Explanation Neutral Fault Causes, Effects, Examples, Explanation Reviewed by Author on March 03, 2020 Rating: 5
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