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# Substation Design EET 414/3 Laboratory Module

EXPERIMENT 3

## INSULATION RESISTANCE & CONTINUITY CABLE TESTING

1. Objective
To conduct testing on cable condition and connection by using real tool equipment.

2. Introduction

The purpose of insulation around a conductor is much like that of a pipe carrying water,
and Ohms law of electricity can be more easily understood by a comparison with water
flow. Fig. 1 shows this comparison. Pressure on water from a pump causes flow along the
pipe. If the pipe were to spring a leak, youd waste water and lose some water pressure.
have seen that, essentially, good means a relatively high resistance to current. Used to
describe an insulation material, good would also mean the ability to keep a high
resistance. So, a suitable way of measuring resistance can tell you how good the
insulation is. Also, if you take measurements at regular periods, you can check trends
toward its deterioration.

## Insulation resistance testing

The insulation resistance test is an electrical test which uses a certain type and level of
voltage (500V d.c. for low voltage installations i.e.: 230V) to measure insulation
resistance in Ohm`s.

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Substation Design EET 414/3 Laboratory Module

The measured resistance indicates the condition of the insulation between two
conductive parts. An infinite resistance would be the perfect result, but no insulator is
perfect, so the higher the reading the better.

The table below shows the required test voltage and the minimum required resistance in
accordance with BS 7671.

## Nominal Circuit Voltage Test Voltage Minimum Resistance

Between 0 V and 50 V a.c. 250 V d.c. 0.5 Mohm
Between 50 v and 500 V a.c. 500 V d.c. 1Mohm
Between 500 V and 1000 V a.c. 1000 V d.c. 1 Mohm

3. Equipment parts
1. Meggar Insulation Tester
2. Meggar Continuity Tester or Multimeter

PROCEDURE

## IR Value Measurement (Conductors to conductor (Cross Insulation))

The first conductor for which cross insulation is being measured shall be
connected to Line terminal of the megger. The remaining conductors looped
together (with the help of crocodile clips) i. e. Conductor 2 and onwards, are
connected to Earth terminal of megger. Conductors at the other end are left free.
Now rotate the handle of megger or press push button of megger. The reading of
meter will show the cross Insulation between conductor 1 and rest of the
conductors. Insulation reading shall be recorded.
Now connect next conductor to Line terminal of the megger & connect the
remaining conductors to earth terminal of the megger and take measurements.

## Connect conductor under test to the Line terminal of the megger.

Connect earth terminal of the megger to the earth.
Rotate the handle of megger or press push button of megger. The reading of
meter will show the insulation resistance of the conductors. Insulation reading
shall be recorded after applying the test voltage for about a minute till a steady

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Substation Design EET 414/3 Laboratory Module

## Insulation Test Result

Phase A to Phase B
Phase A to Phase C
Phase B to Phase C
Phase A to Neutral
Phase B to Neutral
Phase C to Neutral
Phase A to Earth
Phase B to Earth
Phase C to Earth

Continuity testing
Continuity is the presence of a complete path for current flow. A circuit is completewhen
its switch is closed. A digital multimeters Continuity Test mode can be used to test
switches, fuses, electrical connections, conductors and other components. A good fuse,
for example, should have continuity.

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Substation Design EET 414/3 Laboratory Module

PROCEDURE

Step 1

For safety, disconnect the power supply to any electrical circuit that you are working on.

Step 2

Turn the dial on the multimeter to the indicator marked "ohms" to test for resistance. A
continuity test is actually a test for the amount of resistance in a circuit or, more
precisely, that resistance exists and there is not an open or broken circuit. The multimeter
has two test lead wires on it that look like ballpoint pens. The red is the positive side; the
black is the common side.

Step 3

Place the end of each test lead of the multimeter at each end of the wire or circuit to
determine if there is an indication of resistance. If there is resistance in the wire, then the
continuity test is positive and will show a value on the multimeter. If the amount of
resistance shows zero, then the wire or circuit is open or broken.

Phase A
Phase B
Phase C
Neutral
Earth

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QUESTIONS

## 1. Why Insulation Resistance and Continuity test is needed?

2. State the minimum resistance for insulation test at transformer and HV cable

3. You have been asked to test an office enviroment. It is Saturday and you have switched
off the main switch on the 36 way 3~ distribution board.
Most loads are still connected (impossible to disconnect everything).
r2 on accessible parts etc. All seems fine and dandy.

So you test neutral to earth and you get a reading of 300.000 ohms , well below the
acceptable value of 1Mohm.

## At this point what do you do ?.

So far you have a code 2 and the client needs a satisfactory report.

Do you practically strip down the installation until you find the cause of the low reading
which is not necessarily a fault ?.

Do you code it as a 2 and carry on with the rest of the tests ? Are you allowed to carry on
with the remaining tests ie earth loop and rcd tests if the insulation tests are not
satisfactory.

I do not do much testing but the few that I have done lately have all had low insulation
resistance values.

## If the client needs a satisfactory report how far would you go ?

If the distribution board was like a rats nest with nothing corresponding how far would
you go ?

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DISCUSSION
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CONCLUSION
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