In a way to reduce electrical hazards in our homes and workplace, electrical products undergo safety tests.
This is to make sure they are safe and reliable for public use.
Electrical testing involves using a test equipment to compare the rating of a product with the required standard.
A technician or an experienced DIY does the test using the required equipment.
What are the electrical testing equipment?
These are the electrical devices used to create signals and also capture responses from the product under test.
The tester measures and displays the quality of the device under test (DUT) so you can compare it with the required standard.
A product must pass the test to be safe for public use.
Why Do We Need Testing Equipment?
Testing equipment helps to validate the performance of all electrical or electronic devices.
It helps to identify the components that undergo timely degradation due to the device’s exposure to stress such as heat, shocks, vibrations and fluctuating environmental conditions.
Measurement of electrical parameters such as capacitance, current, impedance, inductance, resistance and voltage helps to detect faults and defects in the device under test.
The test equipment measures these parameters to identify the errors and risks which, when corrected, lead to more effectiveness and reliability of the product.
What Job Roles Require The Use Of Electrical Testing Equipment?
There are a number of job roles and industries that make use of electrical testing equipment. They include:
- Automotive engineers–mechanics also use test equipment to trace electrical faults in a motor vehicle.
- Electrical engineers–electrical engineers use this equipment when testing an appliance, and also during troubleshooting.
- Electricians–electricians use testing equipment in their day to day work. They use it to install new components, find faults, and to perform safety checks.
- Design engineers–design engineers use testing equipment when they are building circuits or are testing their prototypes. They use it to test certain levels of voltage, current, or resistance. They also use it for fault finding.
- Testing engineers–engineers that perform various tests such as PAT testing, voltage level testing, and others also use the testing equipment. It helps them to gather readings and identify any faults with large-scale electrical circuits and systems. Without the testing equipment, their jobs would be hard
Below is the most common equipment used in electrical testing.
A multimeter also called VOM (Volt-Ohm meter) is a device used to measure current, resistance, voltage, and frequency.
It is a multi-purpose tool used to troubleshoot electrical faults in both homes and industrial appliances, such as the wiring system, electronic equipment, power supplies and others.
They are of two types, the analog and digital multimeters (DMMs).
Analog multimeters use a microammeter with a moving pointer to display readings, while digitals display numeric readings. Digital multimeters are more accurate, cheaper, and easier to use.
The insulators usually undergo the test after production to make sure they are safe and can withstand high voltage without damage.
Megohmmeter provides high DC voltage through battery powered internal circuitry or a power generator to output voltage ranging from 500 V to 15 KV at a specified current capacity for the test.
Ground Resistance Test equipment
This instrument helps to check for ground faults or earth leakage. It injects current into the earth between the test electrode and the probe, measures the voltage drop caused by the soil to the electrode, and then uses Ohm’s law to calculate the resistance.
Hipotential test equipent (Hipot)
Hipot or dielectric withstand test is used to check for good insulation on high and medium voltage appliances.
During the test, they subject the insulation to a very high voltage and also ensure there is minimal leakage of current from the insulator to the ground.
Power recorder is a type of testing equipment used to record the data of current and voltage.
This data can be transferred into a software and analyzed if you want to know the condition of the electrical system.
Power recorder also helps to troubleshoot electrical faults such as flickers, sags, voltage swells, and poor power factors.
It is also used to measure power consumption over a period of time, which is useful for engineers planning to expand a system or customers that wish to audit their energy bills.
A clamp meter is a device used to measure electrical current in a conductor without having physical contact with it.
It has two jaw probes which you can open and place around any conductor you want to test.
They are very useful in troubleshooting electrical problems.
An LCR meter is a type of electrical tester used to measure the inductance (L), capacitance (C) and resistance (R) of an electrical component.