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Distribution Equipment Failure Investigation

Dates & Locations


This 2-day course will cover equipment failure investigation on distribution systems. Analysis techniques applied to actual failed equipment will be demonstrated at Kinectrics facilities. The course will be specifically tailored to equipment and devices such as transformers, network protectors, cables, splices, terminations, SICs, switches, and distribution switchgear.

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Course Outline

General Overview

  • Principles of forensic engineering

  • Benefits of failure investigation

After the Failure and Before the Investigation

  • Immediate Response
  • Incident appraisal
  • Planning the investigation
  • Preserving evidence
  • Documentation

Fundamental Steps in Failure Investigation

  • Gathering information and evidence
  • Observational techniques; visual, microscopic, arc mapping, X-ray, SEM
  • Examination and analysis (disassembly, dissection, laboratory testing, modeling, etc)
  • Power system modeling of stressors and other useful computations
  • Postulating failure mode and possible root cause
  • Determining the most likely root cause
  • Reporting conclusions and recommendations

Applicable Root Cause Analysis Methodologies

  • Fault Tree Analysis
  • Cause and Effect Diagrams (Fishbone diagrams)
  • Charting observations and Possible Root Causes
  • Kepner-Tregoe Principles

Equipment Specific Failure Analysis

(Including known aging and failure modes of specific distribution system equipment)

·         Distribution transformers
·         Network protectors
·         XLPE cables
·         Splices
·         Terminations
·         Switches
·         Distribution switchgear




























Who Should Attend

​This course is designed for:

  • Engineers and technologists involved in power system equipment failures

Key Benefits

​Course participants will learn how to: 

  • Investigate equipment failures at their utility
  • Use a systematic approach to failure investigation
  • Save time and money
  • Increase safety and reliability
  • Provide answers to management and regulators
  • Prevent future failures



  • Stephen Cress P.Eng

    Stephen Cress is the Manager of Kinectrics’ Transmission & Distribution Departments. He is an authority and recognized expert in arc hazard analysis and a co-developer of the ARCPRO™ software application.​

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Training Locations

  • Toronto

    800 Kipling Ave., Unit 2
    Toronto, Ontario, M8Z 5G5