Choosing the Right Cable Fault Locator for Maintenance and Troubleshooting

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Cables are often difficult to troubleshoot especially when they are several thousands of feet long. Pinpointing a cable defect can take too much time and effort if you do not use the right test equipment. With a cable fault locator, defects can easily be spotted and located within seconds. This tester can give you the exact location of the defect which helps reduce the guess work. 

With the number of cable testers offered on the market today, choosing the best one can be confusing. It may not be advisable to just get the first tester you see. If it doesn’t meet your needs, you may end up wasting the money you’ve invested. Below is a comparison of various cable fault locators to help you choose a device that meets your requirements.

Utility Products Corporation Fault Wizard

A compact and portable fault location system designed for underground cable installations. It is very easy to operate and requires minimum training. This device has the capability to ignore transformer reflections and automatically lock into the fault location.

Product Features

  •        Utilizes arc-reflection technology
  •        Automated readout of fault distance
  •        Portable and durable
  •        Powered by batteries
  •        Variable charge voltage ranging from 0 to 10 kiloVolts
  •        Thumper mode for easily pinpointing defects
  •        10 kiloVolt Hipot mode for proof burning
  •        Lets you view waveforms using the bundled Fault Wizard Computer Application
  •        You can select to display the distance of the fault in feet or meters
  •        Can locate faults up to a distance of 10,000 feet
  •        Variable impulse voltage to reduce cable damage during troubleshooting
  •        Adjustable velocity of propagation

Megger Power Cable Fault Locator PFL40A

The PFL40A offers quick, accurate, effective and safe cable diagnostics. It allows easy cable fault diagnosis, fault prelocation, fault conditioning, pinpointing cable defects using acoustic methods. The PFL40A is portable and allows customizations to comply with local testing standards. 

  •        Rugged, portable and easy to use
  •        High voltage insulation testing up to 40 kiloVolts
  •        Proof up to 40 kiloVolts at 12 mA
  •        Variable output voltage for sheath testing at 5 kV or 10 kV
  •        Automated ranging and library of cables
  •        Single knob operation
  •        Adjustable current trips
  •        Standard 3-range
  •        Has 1500 or 2000 Joule surge output
  •        Ground safety module
  •        Analog and digital metering
  •        Ingress Protection 54 rating
  •        Weighs 149 kg
  •        Emergency stop button
  •        Safety interlocks
  •        External beacon circuit
  •        Time Domain Reflectometer
  •        Large color XGA LCD screen
  •        Various fault locating modes

o   Arc reflection

o   Arc reflection plus

o   Voltage decay

o   Differential arc reflection

o   Impulse current

Megger PFL20M1500 Fault Locator System

The PFL20M1500 Power Fault Locator System is designed for cable diagnostics of underground residential distribution systems. It also includes a set of new features like an integrated MTDR, inductive filter for arc reflection and an onboard power inverter for various power input options.

  •        Integrated Time Domain Reflectometer with large color screen
  •        Selectable fault location options
  •        1500 Joules energy surge output at 16 kiloVolts
  •        20-kiloVolt proof/burn tester at 60 mA
  •        Ingress Protection 54 rating
  •        Large wheels to easily move the unit around
  •        Zero start and external safety interlock switches
  •        High Voltage indicator lamp
  •        Automated grounding and discharge after shutdown
  •        Multiple ground connections
  •        Circuit breaker overload protection
  •        Manual grounding mode
  •        Analog metering which is active even after unit power down
  •        12, 120, 220, 240 V AC 50/60 Hertz power input
  •        Variable pulse interval from 2 to 10 seconds
  •        Weighs 80.8 kg
  •        Keyboard for data input
  •        Configurable user tables
  •        Weatherproof and durable to tolerate the rough outdoor conditions
  •        Fault location options:

o   Arc reflection 

o   Impulse current

o   Proof and burn

o   High voltage surge

Protec Equipment Resources is a reliable provider of cable testers and other diagnostic equipment. Our inventory has a wide selection of diagnostic equipment to cater to your needs. We offer various choices for test equipment acquisition to suit your needs and budget. Talk to one of our application specialists today for a consultation and for a quote.