The top 8 reasons to use fault indicators on your distribution system:

  1. Distance-to-fault relays tell you the distance from the station to a fault, but not which tap the fault is on. Fault indicators complete the job by pointing the line crew down the correct tap.

  2. Reclosing and sectionalizing to find the location of a fault puts line crews' safety at risk. Use fault indicators instead, with the added bonus of reducing system wear and tear.

  3. Remote displays on underground fault indicators eliminate the need to open an enclosure to determine the fault indicators' statuses. In snowy, icy environments, or in areas with heavy vegetation, remote displays save time and make life easier for the troubleshooting group.

  4. Use a midpoint sectionalizing method to improve reliability and reliability metrics. Installing fault indicators at the mid point of a line allows the crew to restore power to the unaffected portion of the system…even before identifying the specific location of the fault.

  5. Installing fault indicators at dips and risers allows troubleshooters to quickly determine whether a fault occurred on the overhead or underground section of line.

  6. Fault indicators are available with a variety of displays (with and without batteries) and with several trip and reset characteristics, making it easy to select a fault indicator appropriate for most applications.

  7. Apply timed reset fault indicators and fault counters in areas affected by brownouts, momentary outages and flickering lights as an efficient means of identifying the location of temporary faults. Using fault indicators as preventative tools reduces costs to utilities and their customers, and improves utilities' reliability indices.

  8. Systematically applied and installed fault indicators, coupled with training for troubleshooting groups, provides one of the most efficient, cost-effective means of improving system reliability. Fault indicators' ability to reduce fault-finding time by 50% or more make them a particularly powerful way to improve CAIDI.

Provided by the E.O. Schweitzer Manufacturing Division of SEL.