All electrical components eventually break down with time. To fix electrical systems electricians must perform troubleshooting.
What is electrical troubleshooting?
It is the process of identifying and fixing problems that occur in an electrical system. This can involve several tasks such as: checking for loose connections, testing components for proper operation, and analyzing circuit diagrams to determine the root cause of the issue.
With time and experience, electricians develop skills, and the amount of time they take to find the electrical fault decreases; however, new apprentices struggle more and take longer to fix these issues.
This is why HGL Tech Solutions developed a procedure and training apps that help students and new electrician apprentices quickly develop troubleshooting skills to be able to identify the problem faster and resolve it. It also helps experienced electricians refresh their knowledge.
1. Identify and define the problem: What the issue is? This may involve listening to the equipment operator or end user of the system, and observing the symptoms, such as flickering lights, tripped breakers, or a complete loss of power.
2. Analyze and consult the circuit diagram and understand how the system should work under regular conditions.
3. Safety considerations before touching the system. Make sure you have safety glasses, the right shoes, electrical gloves, Lockout-Tagout procedures, etc.
4. Check the power source. Make sure that the power source to the affected area is switched on and is providing the correct voltage.
5. Define what type of fault: Check that circuit breakers or fuses are not tripped or blown.
5.1 If breakers or fuses are tripped or blown, we might be in a short circuit or overload event.
5.2 If If breakers or fuses are not tripped or blown. we might be in an open circuit event.
6. Once you have determined that the power source is good, and what type of faults are check the components in the circuit. Before start using the multimeter always remember that the root cause can be obvious and detected just by observing the circuit. If the suspected fault is an open circuit, check for loose connections. Make sure all connections in the affected area are tight and secure. If the suspected fault is a short circuit sometimes it can be observed that the line wire is touching a ground or neutral wire.
7. If after observing the system nothing is visually obvious then use the multimeter to check the continuity and voltage in different parts of the circuit to locate the fault. Is always a good practice to start checking at one point and follow a logic order.
Note: When checking resistance or continuity do not forget to remove power.
8. Once the faulty component or wire is being identifies, then proceed to repair or replace. Make sure to follow safety procedures and work with care when dealing with electricity. Remove power and apply the Lockout and Tagout procedure before replacing an electrical component.
9. Test the system: After making repairs or replacements, test the system to make sure the problem has been resolved.