When bringing power to any electrical installation, one of the most important aspects is to have strong connections. Even the best designs or power connections that are perfectly installed can loosen over time, resulting in serious problems. Continue reading to learn more about why power connection integrity is so crucial and what happens without this type of protection.
Good Connection Elements
Making a good connection at the contractor or circuit breaker starts with the selection of the correct cable. To prepare the cable, it involves removing the right amount of insulation- not too much and not too little- along with twisting the cable end. Occasionally, it also includes adding surface treatment when needed.
Careful preparation of the cable is an important step that should not be overlooked. The preparation ensures that a tight mechanical connection can be made- a significant advantage of screwed connections. While spring connections offer more convenience than screwed connections for the installer, threaded connections ensure the specified connection pressure is attained. A tight connection serves two main purposes, as it helps make the electrical resistance as low as possible at the connection, and prevents the cable from being pulled out of the connection.
Screw connections have a specified installation torque to ensure installers achieve the proper mechanical clamping force. However, thermal changes, creep, and external vibrations can all result in looseness in the connection over time. This causes a serious problem, as any looseness in the connection increase its resistance, and can accelerate oxidation of the conductor. With the increased resistance, there is a high chance of overheating.
When overheating is discovered early, it is a warning that something in the connection should be investigated as soon as possible. The problem can often be fixed by retorquing the connection. However, since the temperature of a connection is related to the current passing through the connection at the moment of testing, the testing must be done when the circuit has been operating at its normal operating level for a while. Except even then, the current may not be high enough to generate overheating.
Essentially, overheating at connection points is a warning sign of a bad situation that needs to be remedied quickly. To avoid this problem entirely, it’s crucial only to buy well-made products consisting of high-quality components, such as Schneider Electric’s EverLink technology. Our technology ensures that full contact is maintained in power connections even as material creep occurs.
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