How to Spot Faulty Wiring in the Workplace

spotting faulty wire
900 669 Admin A


Before we start, please be aware:

  • Faulty wiring can be extremely dangerous.
  • Do NOT make contact with any suspect wiring or systems using that wiring, particularly if it’s a live electrical system.
  • Notify your manager of any wiring issues ASAP.
  • Repairs MUST be done by licensed commercial electricians.

Faulty Wiring Basics

All electricians will tell you that faulty wiring is the single most hazardous part of their work. Faulty wiring is a major, potentially lethal, workplace hazard. It can cause fires, electrocutions, and serious injuries.

Faulty wiring includes:

  • Damaged or loose connections: If a wire looks out of place, not properly connected, or obviously damaged, it’s a hazard.
  • Bare wires of any kind in any system: Electrical wires are supposed to be covered and properly insulated at all times. If not, they’re dangerous and need to be fixed. (Ignore any backyard genius who says a bare, live wire is safe. It can’t be safe.)
  • Wiring related to a malfunctioning system or equipment: If electrical equipment isn’t working properly, electrical problems should be considered to be likely causes.

Spotting Faulty Wiring

Signs of faulty wiring include:

  • Scorch marks around connections: This is a very bad sign. The wiring is definitely unsafe. Report it immediately.
  • Electrical smells, like burning plastic: That’s not supposed to happen. Have it checked out right away.
  • Equipment behaves erratically, turning itself on and off: This is a wiring problem, for sure. A power connection may be compromised, meaning the wiring is unsafe and still has power going through it. Report the problem ASAP.
  • Unusual sounds: Crackling or popping in electrical equipment can mean a fuse, or some other part of the circuitry, has failed. DO NOT TOUCH the equipment and get help.
  • Old or sloppy looking wiring: Electricians will also tell you in very clear language what they think of people who wire up these death traps or don’t fix them. The bottom line is that if wiring looks decrepit or iffy, it MUST be checked out by a qualified electrician. Don’t use risky-looking wiring at all.

Electrical Hazards Safety

If you suspect faulty wiring:

  • DO NOT TOUCH OR USE AFFECTED EQUIPMENT: The power may be still connected.
  • SWITCH OFF AT THE POWER SOURCE: Never use any onboard power switches on equipment with faulty wiring. The risk of electrocution and/or severe burns is almost certain.  If possible, turn off at the switchboard.
  • DISCONNECT ALL POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS EQUIPMENT. High rev and high power equipment like lathes, industrial equipment and cutting machinery can turn on unexpectedly if the wiring is faulty.
  • IF THERE’S WATER NEAR FAULTY WIRING: Evacuate immediately. There’s no way of knowing if the electrical systems have been penetrated by the water. Don’t be a dead hero. Get everyone out and let the professionals handle the problems.

Need a Commercial Electrician in Brisbane?

EPG Electrical Plumbing Group Pty. Ltd.  are your one stop commercial plumbing and electrical contractors in Brisbane. We provide a full range of services for commercial and industrial premises. Call us on (07) 3319 5068 or contact us online for any electrical services you require.


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