What is fault current?

The fault current is the electrical current which flows through a circuit during an electrical fault condition. A fault condition occurs when one or more electrical conductors short to each other or to ground. The fault types are classified as: phase to ground, double phase to ground, three phase to ground, phase to phase, and three phase.

A fault current is usually several times larger in magnitude than the current which normally flows through the circuit in a non-fault condition. By exceeding the designated ampacity or current carrying capacity of the cable it can result in damage to the cable itself, to the electrical circuit it connects, and potentially cause severe risk of electric shock to anyone who comes into contact with it. 

Fault interruption devices include fuses, circuit breakers and relays.

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