Ever wonder what kinds of tests cable manufacturers execute in order to have their products pass quality inspection? One of the many quality inspection tests that is performed is the HiPot test, short for high potential test. This test is also known as the Dielectric Withstand Test, which checks for functioning insulation.
What does functioning insulation mean? This tests checks to make sure that current does not flow from one conductor to another. You may know the opposite test being the continuity test, which tests the current flow of current. The HiPot test is a high-voltage (2000V) test that takes two insulated conductors and applies a very high voltage between the conductors for a period of time. If too much current flows then the insulation fails the test.
So what happens when it fails? When current goes from one conductor to the other this indicates there was a weak spot – this ultimately means that a hole was literally blown in the insulation and caused the current to flow. You definitely do not want holes in your insulation as this can cause various hazards to both equipment and people.
All in all, making sure the isolation is functional via the HiPot test helps guarantee the safety and quality of electrical circuits.