5kV Cable Mischief

5kV Cable Mischief

The photos of the damaged 5,000-volt cables are from three plants that recently entered operation (at time of inspection).  For every photo shown, there were dozens of similar defects.

In some instances, the cuts and holes appear to be deep enough to damage the copper shield tape.  Damage to the outer jacket will allow moisture into cable jacket and cause premature failure.

The cables were seemingly not installed in a workmanlike manner and appear to have been damaged during cable pulling.  This casts suspicion of the installation methods, field construction supervision, and quality control inspection processes.  As a reminder, pulling cable in a raceway with sharp edges or in a manner that damages the cable is a code violation.

This type of defect does not need much explanation, but in addition to being prohibited by electrical codes, the EPC contract also had specific language related to damaged cables and accepted project methods for resolving such issues.  In the absence of an Owner approved exception, there were none, the cables needed to be replaced.

In addition, the photos show an abundance of other defects that will lead to premature failure including, unsupported cables, cables tied with steel wire, cables on cardboard softeners, incorrect jacket repairs, and a sharp fence laying on the cable jacketing.

As a related matter, most the raceway was installed in a substandard condition with debris, sharp edges, among other conditions that present high risk to cables.

Contractor Savings


Repair Costs

Cost of proper repair is cost of replacement.  This is very high.  Cost to Owner depends on how many failures related to fires, outages, or injury occur.

Supporting Images: 

Sharp fencing edges on 5kV cables.

Cable damage.

5kV Cable tied with steel wire.  What could go wrong...

Cardboard and cable over tray rails.

Long unsupported and unprotected cable runs.  Many code violations.

Damaged cable against ungrounded conduit fitting on turbine enclosure.

Damaged cable; incorrect and unapproved repair.