How to Make Sure Your Cable Insulation is of the Highest Quality

By North Central Electric,

  Filed under: Electrical
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Cable InsulationAs with all electrical equipment, you want to make sure your cable insulation is performing its job. Not knowing if your cable insulation is up to par can lead to inefficiency with your equipment and a potentially dangerous situation for your employees—that’s why the engineering experts at North Central Electric are here to help! Here’s how to figure out if your cable insulation is meeting expectations so your facility—and your employees—can continue to conquer the work day.

Quality Cable Insulation

When cable insulation is deemed as “quality”, it means that the cable’s leakage current does not exceed a specific design limit. Therefore, the cable is able to efficiently send electrical energy to a destination. How do you find out if your cable insulation is of high-quality? Bring in a professional to perform a Overpotential Hipot Test—if there is parallel or insulation resistance, your cable is good enough to play the part of the hero.  The two most popular over potential Hipot methods are utilizing a DC of VLF test source.

How Cable Insulation Quality Can Suffer

Cable insulation quality suffers when the size of the leakage current exceeds the design limit. When this occurs, the cable is no longer able to efficiently deliver energy. There are a few different ways that a cable can go bad:

  • Age – Over time, cable insulation ages and naturally deteriorates.
  • Substances – Chemicals, oil and water can contaminate cabling and shorted the life of its insulation, leading to serious issues.
  • Treeing – Cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) is especially susceptible to this. It occurs when moisture containing contaminants, irregular surfaces or protrusions, combined with electrical stress, create an environment for trees to grow in the polyethylene material.
  • Series fault – When a high fault current, dig-in or failed splice blow open the phase conductor.

When cable insulation quality deteriorates, it will prevent your equipment from working properly and your employees from being able to do their job efficiently. But most importantly, it can make your equipment more susceptible to a dangerous situation, putting your employees’ safety at risk.


Not sure if you cable insulation is performing its job? Not to worry! The team at North Central Electric is always here to save the day. Contact us today to schedule a Hipot Test to ensure your cable insulation hasn’t fallen to the dark side.