How do you test for "leaky" electrical current
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static matic
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How do you test for "leaky" electrical current

by static matic » Sun Dec 03, 2023 6:36 pm

Prior to installing a new floodlight i thought I would give it a dry run and see how it worked.
Not impressed. The PIR cannot be tightened up in the horizontal plane, meaning that it could tampered with and not work for security and now I think I can feel a slight electrical current especially on the corners.
What tester could I use to see if the item is sound?
It has no earth wire.

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Re: How do you test for "leaky" electrical current

by stoneyboy » Tue Dec 05, 2023 10:18 pm

Hi static matic,
A test meter with a resistance range will be a good start.
Connect one lead to the positive wire and touch the other end on the casing ( bare metal part or bolt). You should get an open circuit reading above 1000ohmns.
If it is lower than this, you will need an insulation tester which will operate at 1 or 2 times mains voltage and carry out the same test.
Regards S

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Re: How do you test for "leaky" electrical current

by ericmark » Sat Feb 10, 2024 6:32 pm

There are two types of meter the insulation resistance meter, which typically uses 500 volt to test, but uses DC so not a true reading of leakage, however if a RCD is tripping really the only way. And the clamp on meter, so you can clamp around both the live wires, that's line and neutral so shows true leakage.

A normal multi meter is useless to do this job. The clamp on is shown being used on my own supply, showing an 8 mA leakage, the insulation tester blue, is often called a mega who made the early meters, is a stock picture, both cost me £35 each, although the red clamp on was selected as it can also measure DC there is a cheaper variant I think however one must be careful as many will only measure in 10 mA increments, there is also one more expensive to one shown which will also measure frequency.

The clamp on also can detect non contact AC volts so good to show item is dead before removing cover, but one would then confirm with leads after cover removed, so is a good all round meter, one shown is the UT210E the last letter is important, there are about 4 variants all look same at quick glance but some AC only, some AC/DC, and one will measure frequency.

It is about the cheapest clamp meter I could find with 1 mA increments and can measure DC.

The VC608 was also about the cheapest I could find, has a 250, 500, and 1000 volt option, and will also show voltage if in error connected to live cables, however it does not have a low ohm range, only the insulation resistance, most the insulation resistance tester will also test low ohms, again can't use a multi meter as regulations require 250 mA current to measure low ohms, and the standard multi meter including the clamp on shown do not pass enough current to measure low ohms it only goes down to 0.1 ohm, it has a meg ohm range, but the voltage is too low. It also has a volt test to test diodes with, it shows the threshold voltage of the diode.
Diffrence line neutral 8 Feb 24 reduced.jpg
Diffrence line neutral 8 Feb 24 reduced.jpg (15.39 KiB) Viewed 34 times
VC60B.jpg (81.06 KiB) Viewed 34 times

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