Basic Troubleshooting Strategies Every Electrician Must Know


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One of the many rewarding aspects of working as a dedicated electrician is overseeing convincing evidence to be a developing electrical problem. Identifying what has been going on, creating wise and practical decisions, and using advanced technologies like construction scheduling software is also very satisfying. Successful troubleshooting for any intricate electrical equipment pieces will ultimately give technicians a great sense of satisfaction.

When troubleshooting starts, it might be taking a long time to go diving into the full process. However, as the laws have previously predicted, the electrical system’s issues typically occur with the possible worst timing. That is why it is always wise to be extra prepared with a comprehensive troubleshooting plan and deploy a builder trends software during work and servicing. 

This blog will be focusing on simple yet effective methods of investigating electrical issues. A 7-step procedure will be presented below.

1. Gather information

Collecting data and information is the very logical first step in any troubleshooting scenario. Electrical contractors must start figuring out and look for signs that trigger the current issues. Instead of directly diving in and randomly attempting anything to get the equipment running, electricians have to gather info about the issues as much as possible. The collected data can be saved, edited, updated anytime, and anywhere using a construction scheduling software. This software tool is a cloud-based application, which only means that accessing it can be done anywhere at any given time.

Below are the many things to consider when gathering info.

· What is the available technical documentation of the equipment?

· Are there any lessons learned from the previous scenarios?

· How the equipment supposed to operate?

· Reviewing of the equipment’s material history that currently exists

· Identifying similar equipment which can be compared to the malfunctioning equipment

2.      Understand the malfunction 

Having the knowledge and understanding of the occurring malfunction only means that Electrical professionals understand how and what the process is all about. It is also practical to know what portion of that particular process is operating correctly and incorrectly? Consider the following questions below.

· What parts are not functioning well?

· How will the process suppose to work?

· What would cause these malfunctions?

Troubleshooting isn’t executed only by one experienced technician. In the majority, there are other crew and subs involved. It is practical and beneficial for the contractors to implement construction crew management to manage all participating crew efficiently.

3.      Determine the parameters that need to be evaluated

One has to determine which parameters necessarily have to be evaluated. Before doing so, the electrical contractors must have a clear and better understanding of the discrepancy and the initial idea about the signals that possibly affect the suspected malfunctioning component. Identifying parameters is also necessary and it is equally important to have it all recorded. Using a builder trends software is proven to be very useful to record and save it all accurately. Accessing, storing, and updating can all be much easier using the software tool because it is cloud-based. Besides, the recorded parameters set to confirm or reject suspicions regarding the occurring issues.

Below are several factors that need to be determined:

· Which of those input signals directly control the components?

· What parameters will be measure?

· What are the assumptive values for the measurements that have to be taken?

· What type of test equipment is needed?

· Is there any alternative method available to collect the required readings?

· Is there any access to any required readings?

· Could other attached components possibly affect by this particular fault?

When the first three steps are performed, it is the right time to execute the necessary measurements and observations to identify the faulty components. Electrical contractors like you have to ensure that all of the essential safety procedures have to be adhered to while executing or performing any tests. It is also proven to be very crucial to use a crew schedule software for better management of the electrical projects and supervision of the crew members.

4. Identifying the source of the problem

This is the same stage wherein the electrical technicians are required to identify the primary source of the problem and, at the same time to isolate components. The next thing from these procedures is to evaluate circuit parameters to isolate the circuits per group. This should be necessarily executed when technicians deal with any complex circuits to quickly identify any faulty components using the saved and recorded data.

To easily confirm a possible anomaly and establish a severity, a particularly recommended test must be followed – comparing the two similar machines’ current profiles. This test is at times, referred to as a process analysis test. Equipped with valuable data and a crew schedule software, it is easy now to determine what needs to be done with the suspected components. Several times after the first rounds of troubleshooting, the first two steps might need to be repeated. However, this time around, you now have more additional info and data to process with.

5. Correcting the components

Repairing or correcting the specific components identified as damaged based upon the recorded data is one of the troubleshooting procedures. It is the most awaited part because at last, the electricians will apply and showcase their electrical skills. They tend to execute the required repairs to the circuits together with other crews. Step 5 is a very satisfying stage and completing it can range from necessary adjustments to complex component replacements. Yet, either way, experienced technicians will found it both a challenging and enjoyable setting. That is why they consider the implementation of construction crew management to enhance the team’s productivity and communication.

Let’s take a boiler feed pump as an example. Electricians will inspect these two engines and eventually, they found out that the one motor has damaged or bent rotor bars. Technically, the damage found at the rotors is no surprise. Thus, it is due to the high pole pass and its frequency indications amidst the analysis. Electricians have already figured out that the two motors were mounted directly to a standard shaft and later discovered the tremendous damage to load end bearings.

6. Verifying the repairs

Electricians have to verify the repairs right after the completion. They also need to ensure that the equipment used is operating as it has been designed. It is also crucial to perform additional testing rounds to know that it is working/running correctly and has no other existing discrepancies. These procedures have to be executed to verify the equipment thoroughly. Retesting is also essential to ensure that the installation will never result in a similar failure mechanism.

Furthermore, to appropriately troubleshoot, it is a must-know how every electrical component inside the unit is functioning to evaluate the performance. Electrical records, schematics, prints, and even the manufacturer’s handouts – combined with the technician’s professional and vast knowledge – will help in determining each of those components operate.

· Electrical drawings – defined as the “as-built” blueprints and it indicates the size and location of the power supply and its control devices like circuit breakers and switches. Standard signs or symbols commonly represent most of these items.

· Schematics – commonly known as ladder diagrams and these are the detailed drawings that will show how a particular device will exactly function electrically. Schematics usually have a few written explanations.

· Installation drawings – described more as pictorial representations of any electrical equipment and devices found useful for locating wiring and connection points.

Once again, testing for power, frequency, power factor, phase rotation, capacitance, inductance, and many others are usually expected in some situations. Before starting any tests, it is practical to answer the five following questions listed below.

· What is the current condition of the breakers?

· What are the immediate results of visual inspections?

· Is the meter functioning?

· Are the circuits on or off?

· Is the meter functioning properly?

7.      Execute root cause analysis

Regardless of this stage being mentioned in the last part, this usually begins at the first step in the troubleshooting process. Electricians have to obtain further technical knowledge and use this knowledge to the entire troubleshooting process to determine what could go wrong in the components that it fails. Has the component failed prematurely? Is any of the other attached components get affected by the faulty one? These were just a couple of questions that may come to light and become apparent when the entire process evaluation is done.

It is wise to remember that the repairs will always be only temporary without determining the possible causes that lead to immediate failure. Electricians still have to conclude and assume scenarios while going through the troubleshooting process to find answers.

Key Takeaways

Troubleshooting any electrical systems that have faults can be tough and challenging, but it is ultimately an enriching task for Electricians in a more real sense. By following a well-planned systematic process outlined above, electrical experts can improve their overall work performance and troubleshooting skills.

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