From flickering lights to overloaded outlets, electric wiring problems can be both a nuisance and a hazard in industrial electric applications. If you’re dealing with faulty wiring, you must understand the source of the trouble to know how to fix the issue safely. Before that, let’s discuss some of the most common problems with industrial and commercial electrical wiring that might have hindered your operations – so next time you’ll know if you already need professional help.

Common Problems Found in Industrial Electric Wiring

As the owner or manager of your facility, it’s best to know the signs of your electric wiring problem so you can address it immediately. Some of the most common issues include:

Power Surges

The most common problem in faulty electrical wiring is power surges. It may be caused by multiple sources, such as:

  • Lightning strikes
  • Equipment malfunctions
  • Power surges

The best way to prevent power surges from happening is to ensure all electric circuits are properly grounded. One useful tip is to always unplug your equipment after a power surge and have an electrician inspect it for damages.

Open Circuits

Another common electrical wiring issue is open circuits, which may happen due to a piece of equipment not receiving the adequate voltage to power it. It will lead to part or the entire circuit shutting down. Fortunately, it can be easily recognized by a qualified electrician. One of the leading causes is a loose terminal or connection. This is an area of concern because it can result in the conductors overheating and or sparking, which can result in a fire. A great way to determine if a circuit has a loose connection is by having a licensed electrical contractor perform an infrared study, which involves the use of an IR camera. At which the contractor would take thermal images of the panelboard and terminals to measure the heat generated, which can indicate whether an issue exists.

Overloaded Circuits

Overloading a circuit is a direct result of either the circuit was not sized properly to begin with or in many cases over the course of time things were added onto that circuit, which resulted in the load exceeding the circuit size. 

You can avoid overloading the circuit by distributing each electrical load evenly across multiple circuits. Prior to doing so, you should identify all loads being fed from that circuit and their respective power consumption.

Short Circuits

Short circuits are often confused with open circuits, however, they are not the same. A short circuit is a result of either the ungrounded conductor coming in contact with either a grounded surface/conductor or with another ungrounded conductor. This causes an excess  in current flow through the power source which can lead to expensive repairs and or extended downtime, resulting in a loss of production. In most cases, until the fault has been cleared, the overcurrent protection device will not reset.

Mechanical Failure

Mechanical failures are in many cases the result of not performing preventative maintenance (PM) on the equipment. Other factors that might cause this are:

  • Wear and tear
  • Nearing its end of life
  • Improper maintenance
  • Power surges
  • Excessive heat and corrosion

These elements play a role which can cause your equipment to fail. It can result in lost profits due to downtimes, expensive replacements, and lost productivity. Since pinpointing the issue can be difficult and time consuming, it’s best to prevent this from happening through a regular preventative maintenance schedule.  

Be Prepared by Identifying Common Industrial Electric Issues

Safeguard your facility or business from potential safety hazards by knowing the common problems mentioned above. If you notice any of these signs, never hesitate to call for professional assistance to prevent further complications and ensure the safety of your operations.

Marshall Industrial Technologies specializes in installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical wiring in industrial, commercial, institutional, and government sectors. We also offer HVAC repair in New Jersey so you can rely on us for all your facility’s needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services; you can also request a quote to receive a cost-effective solution!

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