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Cable faults/fails

There are only 2 distinct types of Cable fault
1. Due to system Parameter or operating conditions - which you have to take care at the initial design stage for selection of the cable. There is a long list of checks - Design Engineers know.
For example, if 50 cable is adequate for a particular Load, you may have to choose higher size in relation to the Fault Level. In urban Distribution system, you will find large size of cable is connected to a small size distribution Transformer.

2. Failure of Cable does not normally occur in the run of the cable unless it is damaged for external reasons. Damaged cable may not fail unless there is ingress of moisture / water through the damage. You will find cable failing during rainy season, high tide in the coastal areas.

Cable fails at the joints mainly because the (construction) characteristics of Cable are changed at the joints - joints become weak links in the run of the cable.

It is a well documented phenomenon that underground cables fail a week or so after lightning activity. Some of the can be attributed to lightning surges that enter the primary conductor and reflect off an open as you indicate. I believe the majority of the failures come from lightning strikes on adjacent structures or trees that reach the cable through ground and cause slight damages to the cable insulation. The maddening part related to customer service is the cables end up failing on a sunny day. Most customers understand outages during inclement weather but are not so understanding of outages on clear days.

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