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What are the Types of Electrical Testing?

What are the types of electrical testing?

In the electric industry, there are several different types of testing needed for standard safety procedures, used for a variety of different purposes and certifications. The different levels of testing required will be dependant on what kind of equipment is being testing – for example, CLASS I (earthed) or CLASS II (double insulated).

Different tests are carried out at different stages of an inspection too, as you’ll find out in this article.

Electrical Testing

If you’ve booked a PAT test (which stands for Portable Appliance Test) your electrician may use all, or a variety of these tests to determine whether or not your device is suitable and safe to be used in public spaces. PAT testing is needed as it ensures you are fully compliant with all health and safety requirements.  

The Visual Test 

This is the first carried out for electrical work. This is carried out first and foremost, because around 90% of issues / faults can be identified this way. Generally speaking, the visual test will involve checking the following things: 

  • Smelling the electrics 
  • Pulling on leads  – checking for anything loose or uneven
  • Tapping the appliance – checking for sparks or reactions 
  • Shaking the appliance – same as above 
  • Checking general safety and quality 

If there are any major issues or faults, they can usually be identified through this first stage of testing. 

Earth Testing 

For Class 1 appliances (such as microwaves, extension leads, for example) there next needs to be an Earth test done on the appliance. The Earth test checks the conductor of any Class 1 appliances. It is extremely crucial to ensure the Earth is satisfactory on an appliance before doing the Insulation Resistance Test. 

Resistance Testing 

The next test often conducted, is the insulation resistance test. This is another electrical standards test which uses a specific type (and level) of voltage to measure the insulation resistance in Ohm`s. The measured resistance, can then indicate the condition of the insulation between the two conductive parts in question.

The Leakage Test 

As the name suggests, the leakage test shows any leakage or escaping within the electrical current. Leaks could be down to dampness, fault wiring / connections and every fraying in the wires themselves. Leakages are one of the main causes for electrical shocks, so this test is highly important.

Checking Safety and Ensuring Standards 

It’s important to ensure all electrical items are pass their electrical testing in the correct ways, to ensure they comply with the relevant safety standards and regulations. This is something required by law. Your electrician will be able to advise you on this, and give you their expert opinion where necessary. If you’re unsure any appliance in your home reaches the safety standards, you can contact and electrician to complete these tests for you.


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