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Posted By Topic: Competency course

May 21 2015 14:10

Will a multimeter be sufficient for the testing requirements or will I need to source a multifunction tester?

May 21 2015 14:15

All the courses I\'ve been to have had a limited number of insulation resistance meters and multifunction test equipment for participants to take turns using. If you have your own it would probably speed things up, but some of this equipment is pretty expensive and most companies I know of don\'t have one per van.

May 21 2015 15:58

No a multimeter will definitely NOT be OK.

As anyone who knows how to test, or has read the testing requirements in Section 8, would know.

The only compliance testing a multimeter is any good for is checking that switches are in the active.

You need
1 an insulation resistance tester
2 a low range ohm meter (NOT a multi meter)
3 a trailing lead of known resistance (you won\'t need this in a training set-up, but you will need it for real-life testing)
4 a voltage meter
5 an EFLI meter(the \"dead\" method is ONLY permitted when no supply is available)

They need to be known to be accurate, and checked regularly.
And they need to be of appropriate safety rating, at least Cat IV 300V for mains / MSB and Cat III 400V for subcircuits.

Most important, you need to know how to operate them, so using borrowed gear is a bit pointless.

Yes this gear is expensive. but it\'s essential, and you can\'t call yourself a proper tradesperson without it.

Test instruments are as basic as screwdrivers & pliers. You simply can\'t do the job without them.

If your employer doesn\'t have a full set per van / team, ask yourself why on earth would they buy a lot of expensive gear for you to mis-use & abuse ? They hired you as a tradesperson, and if you don\'t have your own, you\'re not one - just a glorified labourer.

May 21 2015 18:24

AmonE wrote: \"most companies I know of don\'t have one per van.\"

That would be very unprofessional, but I suspect not uncommon.

I\'ve lost count of the number of times a network inspector asks me \"do you want me to test the RCDs for you\", after they have completed their required testing. Even though my $2000 installation tester is sitting right there while we are working on the switchboard.

I can only assume from their question, that most jobs they go to, the electrician doesn\'t have the required equipment available to them.

May 21 2015 23:34


My gear is in Australia, I just needed to know what to bring to the course that\'s all.

I didn\'t need a rant.


May 22 2015 08:35

It depends on what sort of work you do, though. Granted, most people I know have an insulation resistance tester and trailing lead (and so they should) but I\'ve worked in fields where most of the company\'s electricians never need to fit off and test an installation, or, if they do, it comes near the end of more than a month\'s worth of work on a single site - and then they book out the company\'s test equipment before putting the installation into service.

Think industrial service and repair - they\'re not \'glorified labourers\', they\'re skilled electricians, but for the work they do it makes no sense for them to each be carrying around thousands of dollars worth of equipment that they\'ll seldom use.

May 22 2015 08:37

I have just done a refresher course with a reputable provider and there was no requirement to even show that you could turn on a tester let alone actually test something.
And I was wanting to whip out the Megger MFT and get into some testing.

Check with your course provider as to what they require. Most will be able to accommodate you especially if you explain your circumstances.