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ELECTRICAL FAULT FINDING

Updated: Jun 2, 2023


Electrical Fault Finding

When Tree Roots Attack: How to Spot and Solve Electrical Faults Caused by Underground Damage


As trees grow, their roots can extend deep into the ground, sometimes causing damage to underground electrical wiring. If you're experiencing electrical faults in your home, it's important to consider whether tree roots could be the culprit. Here's what you need to know about spotting and solving electrical faults caused by underground damage.



Spotting the Problem


The first step in solving an electrical fault caused by tree root damage is to identify the problem. Here are some signs that tree roots may be damaging your underground electrical wiring:

  • Frequent Tripping of Circuit Breakers: If you're experiencing frequent circuit breaker trips, it could be a sign that tree roots are causing damage to your electrical wiring;

  • Flickering Lights: If your lights are flickering or dimming, it could be a sign of an electrical fault. Tree roots may be causing damage to your wiring, leading to fluctuations in power;

  • Burning Smells: If you smell burning or notice black marks on your outlets or switches, it could be a sign of electrical damage. Tree roots may be causing damage to your wiring, which could lead to overheating and burning.



Solving the Problem


If you suspect that tree roots are causing damage to your underground electrical wiring, it's important to act quickly to prevent further damage. Here are some steps you can take to solve the problem:


  • Call a Licensed Electrician: The first step is to call a licensed electrician to assess the damage. They'll be able to identify the source of the problem and recommend the best course of action;

  • Identify the Location of the Damage: The electrician will use specialised equipment to locate the exact location of the damage. This will help determine the extent of the damage and the best way to repair it;

  • Remove the Tree Roots: If tree roots are causing the damage, the next step is to remove them. This can be a delicate process, as it's important to avoid damaging the electrical wiring further. A professional arborist can safely remove the tree roots while minimising the risk of further damage;

  • Repair the Wiring: Once the tree roots have been removed, the electrician will repair the damaged wiring. This may involve replacing the damaged wiring or installing protective measures to prevent further damage.



Preventing Future Damage


To prevent future damage to your underground electrical wiring, there are several steps you can take:

  • Avoid Planting Trees Near Electrical Wiring: If you're planning to plant trees on your property, be sure to avoid planting them near electrical wiring;

  • Regularly Inspect Your Property: Regularly inspect your property for signs of tree root damage. If you notice any signs of damage, call a licensed electrician right away;

  • Install Protective Measures: If you live in an area with a lot of trees, it may be worth installing protective measures such as tree root barriers or conduit to protect your electrical wiring.


In conclusion, if you're experiencing electrical faults in your home, it's important to consider whether tree roots could be the cause. By spotting the problem early and taking steps to solve and prevent further damage, you can ensure that your electrical system remains safe and reliable for years to come.

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