Electrical devices have become invaluable tools in our daily living today, allowing us to do our routine tasks effectively – and not to mention making our lives much easier. But, at the same time, usage of these appliances come with various risks owing to the fact that they are still subject to failures and mishaps. That said, it is crucial to examine these electrical devices with the help of applicable electrical safety testers.
Electrical Testing Devices and Their Uses
Professional electricians make use of a range of electrical testers for checking a variety of electrical functions and devices in both residential and commercial wiring. These testers make it possible to check the efficiency, durability, and working condition of various electrical appliances.
Some of the common uses of these electrical testers include the following:
- To test for the presence of live voltage
- To check the voltage levels of the AC and DC circuits
- To test for amperage
- To test for continuity of electricity flow
- To determine short circuits and open circuits
- To identify polarity
Electrical testing tools aren’t just necessary and useful tools for electricians, but for DIY homeowners as well, so they can perform their own tests for safety and maintenance checks, ultimately cutting down hazards and ensuring the smooth running of electrical devices.
Some Types of Electrical Testers
Most electrical testing devices today are automated. They are programmed for easy testing and come with easy-to-follow manuals. Here are some types of electrical testers that can come in handy when doing electrical works:
Continuity testers come with a probe at one end and either another probe in the end or a cord with an alligator chip. They are powered by batteries and are great for checking if an electrical path between two points is working properly.
Continuity testers must only be used with the power source to the circuit turned off. To use it, unplug the device and disassemble it to get at the component you want to be tested. Fasten the tester’s clip to one wire or connection of the device, and touch the tester’s probe to the other wire or connection. If the device is receiving electricity and transmitting it, the tester should either light up or buzz indicating that the circuit is continuous. Otherwise, the device is faulty.
As the name implies, a multimeter is a versatile electrical tester. A typical multimeter can provide readings of AC and DC voltage, capacitance, continuity, frequency, and resistance. Multimeters have a box-like body with an analog or digital display, a dial to set the test function, and two metal probes.
Neon Voltage Testers
Also known as neon circuit testers, a neon voltage tester is a straightforward and easy to use tool. It is consist of a small body with neon light and two insulated leads with a metal probe on both ends and tells you whether or not there is voltage running in a circuit.
Non-Contact Voltage Testers
Non-contact voltage testers are also known as inductance testers and are the easiest, and probably the safest electrical tester tool to use. This device allows you to test for voltage without the need to touch any parts or wires. To use the device, simply stick the tester’s tip into an outlet and the tester typically lights up or buzzes if a voltage is present.
Plug-In Circuit Analyzers
Inexpensive and easy to use, a plug-in circuit analyzer is useful in verifying proper wiring and GFCI or grounded outlet operation. The tool provides different light patterns to indicate a correctly wired receptacle, an open circuit, a reverse-wired receptacle, and the presence or absence of a ground connection. The plug-in circuit analyzer does not need batteries to work. All you need to do is plug the tester into the outlet to test.
Solenoid Voltage Testers
A solenoid voltage tester is a multi-function tester which can measure both AC and DC voltage ranging from 100 to 600 volts. Unlike multimeters, they are easier to use and don’t require batteries to work though they are not entirely as accurate as the latter when it comes to providing numerical measurement of the amount of voltage present.
Understanding Electrical Safety Testing Devices
Learning about the electrical safety testing devices, understanding their functions, and knowing how to use them properly will significantly add to your expertise and safety when performing electrical works.
Check out the video below for a detailed guide on how to use a multimeter, a multi-function electrical testing tool.