Posted on

AS/NZS3551 Medical Training Is Here!

You may not know this but Metrotest’s online courses are continuing to improve and expand and we want to be the best in the industry. With that being said, most people don’t know that we now offer the AS/NZS3551 Online Medical Refresher training, which we launched several months ago. Metrotest is currently the only provider of Online Refresher training in regards to testing and tagging of medical equipment in accordance of the AS/NZS3551 in New Zealand and Australia.

What is the AS/NZS3551?

To put it simply, the AS/NZS3551: 2012 deals with compliance and outlines procedures required to develop equipment management for medical equipment and includes the electrical safety testing of medical equipment. Particularly, Metrotest’s AS/NZS3551: 2012 Refresher training deals with Appendix B of the standard. The main Standard that deals with in-service medical portable appliance testing is AS/NZS3551:2012.

What is in Metrotest’s AS/NZS3551 Online Refresher Course?

It’s important to note that Metrotest is the only provider to offer Online Refresher training for the AS/NZS3551 Standard and it is only for those who have previous attended and passed Metrotest’s initial AS/NZS3551 training. This course isn’t mandatory to test medical equipment but it is highly recommended for those who are carrying out medical testing, especially as medical equipment tested incorrectly can lead to very serious consequences. During the course trainees review Class I and Class II testing, Applied Parts, how electricity causes harm in relation to medical equipment, specific electrical tests in relation to the AS/NZS3551 and legislation requirements and so much more.

Who should be trained to perform medical testing in accordance to the AS/NZS3551:2012?

AS/NZ 3551: 2012 should be used for those who work in medical environments but isn’t necessarily just those working in medical centres or hospitals. It can also be for those who are around any medical equipment like medical beds or hoists used in medical/rehab environments or even medical hire events.

I’m interested in testing medical equipment; how do I sign up for initial training?

That’s easy, Metrotest periodically runs medical AS/NZS3551 training throughout the year. Just give us a call and we can book you on our next available course.

If you have already done your initial training and are after Refresher training then get in touch with us. We do have it on our website but because of the nature of the course not just anyone can access it so be sure to let us know if you are interested.

What about the course itself, how does it work?

Well, like other Metrotest online courses, simply sign into your account and add the AS/NZS3551 training to your cart for purchase. Once you have done this our team will review your order and if you have done your initial AS/NZS3551 training you will be granted access to our online refresher course. The course can take several hours to complete with an optional practical one-on-one Zoom assessment at the end of the course. Once you have worked through each lesson and completed your final exam you will be awarded a certificate and issued a special AS/NZS3551 photo ID card.

Then your set is ready to continue to test medical equipment according to the AS/NZS3551 standard in accordance with Appendix B. If you would like more information regarding our 3551 Refresher training be sure to get in contact with us today at 0800 638768 or 1800789973.

Safe testing everyone!

Posted on

Worst PAT testers for 2024

 

It’s a new year and it’s time for a new review. You may have read our best testers for 2024. So we were thinking, what about the worst ones, which testers should you avoid buying in 2024?

 

One reason why we thought of this list is because of the updated standard; the AS/NZS3760:2022 which has made several changes that your workplace should be aware of which you can also find a link to here (link). We also want to make sure you don’t end up spending thousands of dollars buying a lemon.

So we have broken it down into several areas, which we think are important to look at when it comes to what not to buy in 2024.

Keep in mind every person’s needs are different so one of these testers may still be suitable to your individual needs and at the end of the day you should make an informed decision before deciding on what tester to use. This likely includes:

  • Data and reporting features
  • Safety features
  • Future-proofing/upgradability
  • Testing functions

These areas revolve around the updated Standard and the updated requirements, which put a stronger focus on detailed results being recorded and kept.

 

1. Kyoritsu 6201A

 

This little tester we must say would have caused some users a few headaches. It has one usability problem where the mains power supply cord and IEC cord can accidentally be plugged into the wrong socket during testing which can result in some smoke if you know what I mean.

Not surprisingly this tester has a simple pass or fails function during test and tag, no numeral values that can be used for tags, even written tough test tags. Sad to say this tester doesn’t have much going for it and even as a resell we would say steer clear of it. We can say it’s no sad loss that it is no longer produced as it has no real upgradability options either. While you may be tempted by the price of one for sale as a second hand we would recommend the much newer and more well-designed Kyoritsu 6205 which will give you all those basic features for still a really reasonable price from the same manufacturer. 

2.  Seaward PAC3760 DL

 

This one may be a little controversial for those Seaward lovers out there but we have to mention this little battery-powered tester because of the areas we are reviewing testers on. Firstly, we have to say as an entry-level tester for those not wanting to spend too much, it could be a good option with simple upgradable features like a printer. However, we are in 2024 and this tester shows its age when you realize you can’t have the option of a wireless printer, which several other entry-level testers do and you can forget about any wireless or Bluetooth options.

 

In regards to other features, it’s great that it does give you numerical test values but it doesn’t give you the option of a 10A earthbond continuity test function, a true safety test over a compliance test. Adding to test functions, you can use it to do 3-phase testing but from what experience we have had, and customer’s experiences, its usability isn’t great and you could find better options even in the same price bracket that are more user-friendly for the average Joe.

Lastly, while it’s great that this little tester can allow you to download your test results you are limited in options of creating reports. Don’t expect an app for this tester so a phone or tablet is out for usability, instead, you have the CD shipped with the tester, which, in 2024 how many computers are made with a CD drive – we could be wrong though.

All around we do love the durability and size of this tester and when it was first released it had some advanced features for the entry-level user but now it’s showing its age and you would be better off getting something that has more future-proofed features.

3.  Aegis Patrol Pro CZ5001

 

Currently, no longer in production, the Aegis Patrol Pro is a tester that in 2024 we would highly recommend stays on the shelf. It may be tempting to pick up one of these testers cheap second hand on eBay but you could end up paying more in the long run. The Aegis Patrol Pro doesn’t meet the updated AS/NZS3760: 2022 Standard. 

Let’s begin with its useability, yes, it is simple to use with push button features but while this can be a benefit, in the Aegis Patrol Pros case, it becomes its Achilles heel as it doesn’t give you numerical test results, rather just a pass or fail indication. This is compounded by the fact that you won’t know why exactly it has failed and by how much. Pass or fail indications aren’t suitable for the updated standard.

Of course, being in the lower tier of PAT testers, you aren’t going to have any data capture or recording features and you can forget about upgradable options like a printer.

In the way of testing, you also aren’t given any option for testing PRCD which is a must-have and bare minimum for a tester and if you are a builder or plumber needing to get your PRCD’s tested, it isn’t going to cut it.

In 2024, we really would say resist the temptation of getting this cheap tester and look for something else that gives you data capture, essential test options and upgradable solutions.

 

4. Wavecom TNT -el

 

The brand that prides itself on being Australian-made, and we don’t have anything against Australian testers, it is just not all are created equal. To start off this tester is small, great for the average tradie needing to keep it in the back of the van.

We also have to say there are options here for this tester, having other models; the TNT RCD and the TNT Titan. The base model here isn’t going to give you some important functionality; RCDs are a no-go as you will need the TNT RCD or above so think carefully before purchasing this tester model. You may not need to test RCDs now but what about a year from now? It’s better to have this feature and not need it than to need it and not have it, an expensive mistake for $700.

While we do appreciate that we get numerical values of test results with this tester, it has to be said you aren’t going to be doing any printing or downloading of data with this particular tester, you’ll at least need the TNT Titan for that. Your options on software are pretty limited too, being limited to their WinPATs reporting software.

We have to say that while we love the aesthetic design of the tester and its futuristic look it isn’t very forward thinking but as we have already stated it does have other versions more suitable but we have to wonder, is it really good value for money? Yes, it’s cheaper but in the long run, it could cost you more money as its base model isn’t upgradable so you will have to buy another tester on top of it once your needs change. A big fat no from Metrotest, check out their TNT Titan instead from the same manufacturer.

Conclusion:

And that’s our, most probably, controversial list of what testers not to buy in 2024. However, that’s just our opinion and maybe you disagree. Whatever your opinion is, we highly encourage you to do your own research first. If you get stuck Metrotest is always here to help, so why not give us a call today or check out our other article on the best testers for 2024?

Safe testing everyone!

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Earth continuity, How the science works.


The term “Earth continuity test” might spark your imagination, conjuring images of scientists exploring the Earth’s core with sophisticated equipment. While the practice is a bit more down-to-earth, it plays a vital role in ensuring your electrical safety in a very practical way.

Earth Continuity Test

Understanding the Power of Grounding:

In the world of electrical appliances, a strong earth connection, also known as “grounding,” is important.  Imagine your home or workplace as a bustling city with electricity flowing through its “streets” (wires) to power various devices.  An earth connection acts like a well-maintained sewage system for this electrical city. It provides a safe and designated path for any stray current, like a leaky faucet, to flow away from the appliance and the user. This prevents electrical fires and shock hazards, keeping your electrical environment healthy and safe.

Multiple Tests for Complete Peace of Mind:

Electricians rely on a toolbox of methods to guarantee a secure earth connection and overall electrical safety.  These methods work together to give you complete peace of mind:

Visual Inspection: This meticulous check ensures there’s no damage to cords, plugs, or the appliance itself that could compromise the earth connection. Think of it as a thorough inspection of the electrical city’s infrastructure, identifying any cracks in the “sewage” pathways.

Insulation Testing: Insulation tester measures the strength of the insulation material surrounding the electrical wires within the appliance. Proper insulation acts like a robust network of pipes, preventing current leakage and potential shock hazards. Just like well-maintained pipes, strong insulation keeps your electrical city functioning smoothly.

Earth Leakage Current Testing: This test, sometimes called “earth bond testing” or “bond testing,” measures the amount of current that might leak from the live parts of an appliance to the earthed (grounded) parts. Ideally, this leakage current should be very low. A high reading indicates a potential problem with the earth connection, similar to a leak in the electrical city’s sewage system.

Test and Tag: Your Regular Electrical Check-up:

Test and Tag procedures incorporate these individual tests to ensure the overall safety of your portable electrical appliances.  Think of Test and Tag as a regular electrical check-up for your appliances, similar to how we get medical checkups for our health. It ensures that your appliances:

Have a secure earth connection, keeping your electrical city’s “sewage” flowing safely.

Have no damaged cords or plugs, eliminating potential weak points in the electrical system.

Possess adequate insulation to prevent current leakage, maintaining a healthy electrical environment.

By understanding the importance of a strong earth connection and the various tests conducted during the electrical testing procedures, you can create a safer electrical environment for yourself and those around you. Remember, a qualified electrician can address any concerns you have about your electrical system or the functionality of your appliances. Just like a well-maintained city, a safe electrical environment requires regular checkups and proper maintenance. To view our test and tag services, please head to the homepage. 

Posted on

Electrical Safety Inspections, When Do I Need Them?

Electrical Safety Inspections, When Do I Need Them?

Your home’s electrical system is one of the important things that you need to check to ensure it is safe and functioning optimally. This is where electrical safety inspections take place. These inspections, conducted by qualified electricians using test and tag equipment, are important for identifying potential electrical hazards and preventing electrical fires, shocks, and other dangers. But when exactly should you schedule one?

It’s time for an inspection if:

  • Your home is getting older. Electrical codes and safety standards are constantly changing. If your home is over 25 years old, there is a high chance the electrical system might not meet current safety codes. An inspection can determine any outdated wiring or components that need to be upgraded.
  •  You are in a home flipping business – Electrical safety inspections are often required during real estate transactions. A clean bill of health from an inspection can give you peace of mind as a buyer and increase the property’s selling value as a seller.
  • You’ve renovated your house – Adding new appliances, rewiring rooms, or installing a pool can all impact your electrical system. An appliance check and wiring inspection ensures everything is properly integrated and functioning safely.
  • You’ve experienced electrical issues – Flickering lights, buzzing outlets, or tripping circuits are all problems that shouldn’t be ignored. An inspection can diagnose the problem and prevent it from escalating into a bigger problem.
  •  You suspect faulty wiring – If you notice any exposed wires, burning smells near wiring or outlets, or sparks when plugging in appliances, get an inspection immediately. 

 

Knowing your electrical system is safe reduces stress and allows you to focus on enjoying your home and sleep well. Early detection of electrical problems can save you money in the long run by preventing them from becoming big damage that can cause major repairs or fire damage. This is also a way to protect your investment, a well-maintained electrical system can contribute to the overall value of your property. Additionally, for your own home, regular inspections can help prevent electrical fires, shocks, and other dangers, protecting your loved ones. 


How to Choose an Electrician for an Inspection? 

 

  • Look for Licensed and Insured Professionals to ensure the electrician is licensed in your area and carries proper insurance. 

  • Ask for references from friends, family, or neighbours for recommendations. 
  • Get quotes and ask questions to compare different electricians and inquire about their inspection process. 
  • Check online review platforms to see what other customers have experienced. 

 

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late: 

Electrical safety is not a laughing matter. By scheduling regular electrical testing and inspection, you can ensure your home remains a safe and comfortable place for you and your family. Remember, a proactive approach is always better than a reactive one. So, take control of your home’s electrical health and schedule an inspection today!

 

Posted on

Electrical Safety Rules In New Zealand

Electrical safety should be taken care of seriously, from homes and workplaces to public spaces, to prevent accidents and protect lives. In New Zealand, a set of standards and regulations rule electrical safety to ensure that installations, appliances, and systems follow safety requirements. 

New Zealand follows strict electrical safety standards such as AS/NZS 3000:2018 and AS/NZS 3760:2010 to ensure the safety of its residents. Electricians and test and tag professionals play distinct yet complementary roles in ensuring the safety of electrical systems. The boundary between electrician and test and tag responsibilities is important for ensuring comprehensive electrical safety. Both roles contribute to the overall safety of electrical systems, but each of them focuses on different aspects of electrical structure. 

Here’s a detailed explanation of their respective responsibilities and where their boundaries lie:

Electrician Responsibilities Test and Tag Responsibilities
Installation and Maintenance Inspection and Testing
System Design Tagging and Documentation
Repairs and TroubleshootingFault Identification
Compliance with Wiring RulesOngoing Safety

The boundary between Electrician and Test and Tag Responsibilities

Installation vs. Equipment Safety – Electricians focus on the installation and maintenance part of the electrical structure, while test and tag professionals concentrate on the ongoing safety of individual electrical appliances and equipment. 

System Design Vs. Equipment – Electricians design and execute the entire electrical systems, whereas test and tag professionals specialise in checking and testing individual devices within those systems.

Preventive Measures Vs. Reactive Measures – Electricians work on preventing hazards through proper installation and maintenance, while test and tag professionals adopt a more reactive approach to identify and address potential hazards in individual pieces of equipment. The electrician ensures that electrical installations comply with the relevant standards, such as AS/NZS 3000:2018 (Wiring Rules), to minimise the risk of electrical hazards. Test and tag professionals follow guidelines outlined in AS/NZS 3760:2010, conducting regular electrical safety testing to identify potential faults or hazards in specific devices.

Boundary Clarification

System-wide vs. Device-specific Focus – Electricians mainly focus on the entire electrical system, while test and tag professionals concentrate on individual devices inside the system. 

Installation vs. Inspection and Testing – Electricians are responsible for the installation of the entire electrical structure and test and tag professionals focus on the post-installation inspection and testing of the parts of the devices. 

Understanding and respecting these boundaries ensure that both electricians and test and tag professionals contribute effectively to an effective electrical safety strategy, covering both the infrastructure and individual devices.

After understanding the crucial roles of electricians and test and tag professionals, it’s time to strengthen your understanding of electrical safety. Check our test and tag courses or contact us for more questions.

Posted on

What is a tough test and tag?

Test and tag is a systematic process designed to verify the electrical safety of appliances and equipment. One of the musts that play an important role in maintaining safety standards is the “Test and Tag” procedure. 

Test and Tag is a systematic process designed to ensure the electrical safety of electrical appliances and equipment. This procedure has two main steps: testing the equipment for electrical problems and tagging it to indicate its safety status. 

What is a hard test and tag? A hard test and tag may involve meticulous testing parameters or additional steps to ensure the equipment’s safety, especially in challenging environments. Here’s an example of a more comprehensive test and tag process for equipment used in an industrial setting:

Visual Checking and Inspection – This usually begins with a thorough inspection of the electrical equipment. Check for any visible signs of damage, wear, or corrosion. Check if there are frayed wires, exposed conductors, or plugs that have been damaged. 

Electrical Testing – Perform standard electrical tests, such as insulation resistance, earth continuity, and polarity testing. These will help identify potential electrical faults that may not be seen during a visual inspection. 

Load and Stress Testing – Subject the equipment to load and stress testing. This includes running the equipment at its maximum load for an extended period to make sure it can handle heavy usage without overheating or malfunctioning. 

Environmental Testing – Simulate the harsh environmental conditions the equipment might encounter in its intended setting. This could involve exposure to dust, moisture, extreme temperatures, and vibrations. 

Functionality – Test the functionality of the equipment under normal mode. This includes checking all the features and functions to make sure they are working perfectly fine. 

Periodic Inspections – Set a periodic schedule for inspections, not just stick to the standard intervals. Depending on the equipment’s usage and environmental conditions, more frequent checking may be necessary to see potential issues before they become critical. 

Documentation and Record-keeping – Maintain detailed records of all tests and inspections. Involve information such as the date of testing parameters, issues identified, and actions taken to address those issues. This record is crucial for compliance and tracking the equipment’s history. 

By using these additional steps in the test and tag process,  you create a more comprehensive safety protocol. Particularly suitable for equipment used in challenging environments. If you need help with hard and challenging tests and tags, please don’t hesitate to contact us.