1. Introduction — to earth leakage and the need to protect against it.
In the context of electricity, for its proper conservation, right distribution to the desired points of utility and also to safeguard the precious life and valuable property from damage, it is very important to insulate the point of voltage and the passage of electric current through the conductor. Every student and user of electricity must clearly understand and appreciate the importance and role of sound insulation which guides the correct passage of electricity through desired conductor. Any leakage of current, besides being a loss of electrical energy, may be a potential danger to lives of human beings and cattle flock, examples of which we find in plenty in day-to-day life. Large animals, besides human beings, loose their lives due to electrocution when a very small amount of current, in the order of milli-Amperes, flows through their bodies on account of leakage of current from the potential point.
Human safety is the worst victim in case of weakening of insulation because the deteriorated strength of insulation brings harmful potential close to the human body, increasing the chances of flow of intolerable extent of current. This is in brief, the perspective of electrical leakage due to deterioration in fortification of electric power with network of varieties of insulating materials and gadgets.
It must be clearly understood and always born in mind that earth leakage protection device is not the surest way of saving human life. As can be seen from the analysis of the subject electrical network, there may be many instances and situations wherein man can be subjected to harmful voltage, in spite of ELCB being in place and active in operation. Hence, the need to be realistic and away from the false notion that we are always safe with the use of ELCB.