Newer Detection Technology Speeds Up Finding Underground Cable Faults

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Using a cable fault locator can make finding underground cable faults easier and is much less time consuming than other detection methods. The basic methods most people are familiar with when locating cable faults are sectioning and thumping. 


The sectioning method relies on actually cutting and splicing cable, and by dividing the cable into smaller and smaller sections, the technician is able to narrow down the location of the fault. The issue with sectioning is it requires repeated excavation in order to find the cable fault.

The thumping method, on the other hand, involves sending high voltage through a faulty cable and then listening to the arc of the current since it makes a loud noise that can be heard above ground. The drawback of thumping is that it requires extremely high voltage to create enough underground noise to be heard.

Newer detection technologies help technicians with getting rid of these laborious methods of detecting cable faults. Using time domain reflectometry, techs can send a low energy signal without causing the cable insulation to deteriorate. Other high voltage or HV diagnostics basically use radar to locate cable faults through arc, surge pulse or voltage pulse reflection methods and measuring with a low resistance ohmmeter.
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