Electrical troubleshooting – no need to be out of your depth
Posted on 29th July 2022
One emergency call recently was due to an irrigation system failure at Overstone Park Golf Course.
In the recent hot weather that could have been a pretty serious problem.
Thanks to our troubleshooting skills the issue was diagnosed and repaired with new parts in a couple of hours, so there was a tank full of water ready to use the next day.
Troubleshooting – how it works
As an electrician finding solutions to sudden and unexpected problems is a rewarding part of the job, but it isn’t always easy.
Sometimes all our customers can tell us is that a unit is overheating, making an unusual noise, or has stopped working completely. The rest is down to us.
It all starts with a process of troubleshooting to identify the exact electrical problem so that we can fix it. Here’s what we do.
Gathering information – the first step is to find any technical documentation that’s available so we can understand how things are supposed to work. It’s always worth checking whether anything similar has happened before and to see maintenance records if they’re available.
We can also research similar equipment to find any common problems and their causes which is especially helpful when we don’t have much technical data.
This might lead us to carry out some tests which could narrow down the source of the problem, if not the actual cause.
Understand the problem – it’s important to narrow down the possibilities one step at a time. Once we know which process has failed we can find out more about how it should operate, what could prevent it from working properly, and the possible causes.
Diagnosis – once we know where to look, we can start checking individual components. We can look at input control signals and what should happen. We can check to see if things are performing within their expected limits. Of course, often it isn’t as simple as a single faulty component so we will also check for dependencies in the system.
Specification – once we have isolated the source of the problem we can define what needs to be done and how to check that it will provide a solution. This might involve new parts and specific test equipment.
Repair – the next step is to make the repair based on our troubleshooting so far. This might be as simple as some adjustments or it could involve replacement parts and resetting the system. It’s important to keep track of what we’re doing. In case our repairs don’t have the expected results we’ll know how to work back through the process.
Test – to make sure that we have solved the original problem and haven’t caused a new one, part of the process must be reliable testing and verification of the whole system.
Maintenance – once we understand the problem we can probably give some advice about how to prevent it happening again. It might be as simple as having replacement parts in stock or it could involve regular inspections, testing and maintenance. In some cases, it might highlight the need for a longer-term plan for replacement of the equipment. We’ll always be happy to give you our honest advice and recommendations.
Please get in touch if you have an electrical problem or would like to discuss routine inspection and maintenance of key equipment.
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