Electrician’s Troubleshooting and Testing Pocket Guide Third Edition By H. Brooke Stauffer and John E. Traister

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Electrician’s Troubleshooting and Testing Pocket Guide Third Edition By H. Brooke Stauffer and John E. Traister

Electrician’s Troubleshooting and Testing Pocket Guide Third Edition By H. Brooke Stauffer and John E. Traister is available for free download in PDF format


Brooke Stauffer is Executive Director of Standards and Safety for the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in Bethesda, Maryland. He is responsible for developing and publishing the National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS), a series of ANSI-approved best practices for electrical construction and maintenance work. He also has written a number of electrical books, including Residential Wiring for the Trades (McGraw-Hill, 2006). Mr. Stauffer has been a member of three different National Electrical Code-Making Panels (CMPs). John E. Traister (deceased) was involved in the electrical construction industry for more than 35 years. He authored or co-authored numerous McGraw-Hill books for electrical professionals, including Illustrated Dictionary for Electrical Workers, Electrician’s Exam Preparation Guide, and Handbook of Electrical Design Details.


Introduction vii

1 Analog Test Instruments 1

2 Digital Multimeters 25

3 Troubleshooting Basics 39

4 Troubleshooting Dry-Type Transformers 49

5 Troubleshooting Luminaires (Lighting Fixtures) 57

6 Troubleshooting Electric Motors 91

7 Troubleshooting Motor Bearings 159

8 Troubleshooting Relays and Contactors 175

9 Troubleshooting Power Quality Problems 191

10 Troubleshooting with Infrared Thermography 209

Index 213



Electrical measuring and testing instruments are used in the installation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of electrical systems of all types, particularly in commercial and industrial facilities. Electricians and technicians involved with installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical equipment need a good working knowledge of portable testing instruments and how they are used to diagnose and fix problems in the field. Most operational problems of electrical equipment and systems involve one of four basic faults:

  • Short circuit
  • Ground fault
  • Open circuit
  • Change in electrical value

This guide describes troubleshooting techniques to identify such problems using portable field-testing instruments. Although it covers many types of test equipment, this book emphasizes the use of digital multimeters (DMMs), the most common and versatile electrician’s diagnostic tool. This new third edition of Electrician’s Troubleshooting and Testing Pocket Guide includes updated information on testing and troubleshooting lighting systems, expanded information on diagnosing power quality problems, and a new chapter on thermographic diagnostic tools.

Scope of This Book

Electrician’s Troubleshooting and Testing Pocket Guide covers the use of digital multimeters (DMMs) and other testing equipment to troubleshoot electrical and electronic circuits used for power and control applications. In general, it concentrates on traditional electromechanical and inductive equipment found in commercial and industrial occupancies—motors, transformers, lighting, and power distribution equipment. In general, this guide does not cover the testing and troubleshooting of the following types of equipment and systems: Communications systems. The use of network cable analyzers, optical time domain reflectometers (OTDRs), optical power meters, and other equipment used for testing and troubleshooting communications systems such as telecommunications, computer local area networks (LANs), and outside plant fiber-optic installations are outside the scope of this publication. Electronic components and systems. This book touches on testing of electronic components such as resistors, small capacitors, and diodes. However, the broad subject of troubleshooting electronic components and circuits using digital multimeters and other portable test equipment is covered in much greater detail in a different McGraw-Hill publication: Electronic Troubleshooting and Repair Handbook by Homer L. Davidson (1995; ISBN 0-07-015676-X). H. Brooke Stauffer Executive Director of Standards and Safety National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Bethesda, Maryland

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