Examples of Common Electrical Faults


Common electrical faults


Here is the list of common electrical faults,
  1. Open Circuit Fault
  2. Short Circuit
  3. Ground Fault
  4. Earth Leakage
  5. Overload fault
  6. Surge Voltage
  7. Voltage Fluctuation
  8. Undervoltage Fault
  9. Electrical Flashing
  10. Voltage Unbalance
  11. Current Unbalance
  12. Insulation Failure

An electrical fault is an abnormal condition in an electrical system, circuit, device, or equipment. An electrical fault can damage circuits, devices, humans, etc. So we are all as a general person or any electrical related professional both are should have knowledge about the electrical fault so we can take precaution at the right time.

Open Circuit Fault

Open Circuit fault happens due to damaging or broking of electrical conductors, switch failure, circuit component damage, etc. Open circuit fault causes to stop the current flow so the electrical system can stop its function. Open circuit fault does not have any harmful effects more just it stops the operation.

Short Circuit Fault

A short circuit fault is a very common and dangerous fault in an electrical system. It is very harmful to an electrical system, device, or circuit. Basically, the short circuit fault occurs when there is an accidental contact between phase and neutral or phase to phase. A short circuit fault may happen due to insulation failure, accidental contact, equipment fault, etc. Short circuit fault causes excessive current consumption, excessive heating, burning, fire, etc.

Ground Fault

A ground fault occurs when the earthing or grounding system is disconnected from the electrical system. It causes the electrical system unbalance and unhealthy.

Earth Leakage

When there is an unwanted current flow from any live part of the electrical system to the ground or earth then it is called earth leakage. Earth leakage fault happens due to many reasons such as insulation fault, touching of live conductor to the ground, and electrical shock. Earth leakage fault can be eliminated or protected by using earth leakage relays, residual current circuit breakers, etc.

Overload Fault

Overload fault occurs when the electrical system is overloaded. That means when excessive loads are connected to a power supply out of its capacity the overload fault occurs. During the overload fault an excessive current flow through the circuit. The overload fault may occur due to failure of particular equipment such as motor overloaded, jam in actuators, etc. Overload fault causes voltage dipping or low voltage problem in the circuit. For example, in an electrical system, two individual loads are connected. So overload fault happening in any one load can lower the voltage across another load.

Voltage Fluctuation

Voltage fluctuation happens due to so many reasons such as switching, major changes in connected load, problems in generator, generation transformer, power unbalance, etc. Voltage fluctuation can damage sensitive electrical equipment, overheating, etc. The voltage fluctuation and surge voltage fault are nearly the same. Generally, the voltage fluctuation happens due to the internal fault of the system whereas the surge voltage occurs due to external faults such as lightning.


Electrical Flashing and Fire

Electrical flashing or fire may happen due to a short circuit fault, Arcing, accidental contacts, etc.


Insulation Failure


When the insulation of any electrical system or conductive part fails or start conducting electrical current can be called as insulation failure. For example due to very high voltage or voltage surge insulator in transmission lines, transformer bushing may got damaged.



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Examples of Common Electrical Faults Examples of Common Electrical Faults Reviewed by Author on 5/26/2022 Rating: 5