Locating electrical appliance interference | ACMA

Locating electrical appliance interference

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The portable radio method

Many common electrical appliances can cause interference to TV and radio reception.

A battery-operated portable radio can be used successfully as a tool for locating electrical appliance interference. By using the following procedure, the source of interference can be readily localised and the offending faulty appliance identified.

WARNING: The suggested test procedure should be carried out by suitably qualified personnel only.

Step 1:  Turn the portable radio on, select the AM band and check that the identified offending interference can be heard. Normally, the interference will be heard across the AM band. Tune the radio so that the interference can be clearly heard. This will generally be between radio stations.

Step 2:  Hold the radio near the fuse box.

Step 3:  While the interference is occurring, turn the mains power switch OFF. If the interference stops at the time the mains switch is operated, the interference is within the property boundaries. If the interference continues, then the interference is coming from a source outside the boundaries of the property.

Step 4:  Turn the mains power ON. The interference will generally return. If it does, individual electrical equipment within the property should be switched off until the interference stops to identify the problem piece of equipment.

Permission of the building owner or manager must be obtained before switching off mains power. Do not trespass.

Devices connected to a building’s electrical service may be adversely affected by mains switching. Care should be taken to ensure that such devices are turned off appropriately before undertaking the test procedure.

Individuals working or living in or around the building(s) should be made aware of the proposed test procedures and be warned not to interfere with electrical equipment during the testing period. These tests should not be carried out if medical equipment or procedures are used or undertaken in the premises.

Last updated: 18 February 2019