Insulation testing can help to determine whether the insulation is performing at an effective and safe level. Routine testing can identify problems before they result in injury or equipment failure.
Much like a leak in a water pipe, an imperfection in the insulation of a wire allows a steady flow of electricity to escape, which can be detrimental to electrical circuits and machinery. However, insulation is subject to many elements that can cause it to perform at a less-than-acceptable level. Excessive heat or cold, moisture, vibration, dirt, oil, and corrosive vapors can all contribute to deterioration.
While there are cases where the drop in insulation resistance can be sudden, such as when equipment is flooded, it usually drops gradually, giving plenty of warning if tested periodically. These regular checks permit planned reconditioning prior to service failure and/or a shock condition. Routine testing will ensure the health of the asset is tracked and reported.