A portable RCD is an essential part of any testers kit for any test & tag job. But what are they and why are they so vital for testing and tagging electrical devices. More importantly, how do portable RCD differ from a regular RCD?
What is a RCD?
A Residual Current Device is used to prevent electrical shocks or electrical fires. By measuring the current in a system it can detect whether the electricity is flowing through an unintended path and automatically shut off the circuit. For example if electricity enters a person the residual Current Device will cut the power before it can give you too nasty a shock. Potentially saving a life or preventing an electrical fire.
Typically you can find RCDs throughout your home in places such as in the fuse box. They may also be built into socket outlets and some extension cords.
What is a PRCD?
A portable RCD is an especially useful piece of kit for any electrician or tester. By having a PRCD the user can guarantee their safety when working with an appliance that is of safety concern. It can plug into any standard socket and automatically cut the power when it detects any issues.
Whether you are a professional or planning on doing any DIY involving appliances, an RCD is a must have. Metrotest has a selection of reliable RCDs to choose from. Visit our store or get in contact with us to find the right portable RCD for you.
Metrotest are pleased to announce the availability of a facial recognition scanner, complete with a covid temperature scanner.
The MET20 Facial scanner is an all-in-one Facial recognition and Temperature scanner with the ability to provide access control and staff attendance details. In the case of the workplace, the MET20 can allow access to authorised individuals and/or prevent those with a dangerous fever from entering. Thereby protecting others from the spread of diseases such as covid-19.
Facial Recognition Scanner Security benefits
This amazing little unit uses thermal imaging along with artificial intelligence assisted facial recognition software to accurately record body temperature as well as control door entry.
This is an ideal device that can be used in a wide range of environments and applications. Such as in areas where the management of people’s movement is important for security reasons. The exit and entrances of the following may benefit from a system that does not require easily lost or stolen keycards:
Schools and Universities
Factories and industrial manufacturing
Healthcare environments such as hospitals and research laboratories
Research and development
Increased security can help protect the sensitive information, expensive equipment, or the spread of viruses to the sometimes large workforces.
Covid-19 Temperature Scanner for public safety
If security is not of importance, the MET20 can function solely as a covid-19 temperature scanner. Perfect for the entrances of shops and other areas frequented by visitors. Stopping the spread of the virus.
The MET20 Facial recognition and covid-19 temperature scanner is only active when a scan has been completed and uploaded. Meaning, it does not passively scan those simply walking past. So, no need to worry about big brother!
Available from $1490+GST per unit these are an amazing addition to any work site and help to keep everyone safe, while providing excellent security. Contact us online or visit our store for more details.
Are you looking for a portable appliance tester PAT? before you go online to check the many options, it helps to define your requirement and prepare a features list for you to use in your search for a PAT that suits your needs. There is a vast array of models and brands that you can choose from- this might make the task more difficult than you would expect some PATS are also better than others paying more does not always mean better either.
So, whether you are running a professional test and tag business or just conducting small scale or random test and tag, it helps to know what you are buying and that it suits your requirements.
This will ensure that you buy the right PAT for your business or professional application avoiding ‘buyers regret’!
If you are buying your first PAT or just upgrading your current tester there are some things you may want to consider before you make that all-important purchase:
1 What industry are you in and what will you be testing.
2 How many tests will you be conducting?
3 How much are you willing to spend.
4 What you intend to for Tagging and Recording of results.
5 Is your focus ‘safety testing’ or ‘compliance testing’, there is a big difference.
Firstly consider do you need to test everything, everywhere, if this is the case you will likely be a test and tag professional, so choose extra carefully, think 3 phase testing – most PATs won’t do the powered up testing required for 3 phase Leakage testing, think speed, (liability if you or your people get it wrong), consider the whole system, not just the PAT only, printing systems and scanners can make life much easier, sometimes it’s also little things like usability and how it is moved ie do you need to open lids or is it just ‘plug and go’.
Separate Printers seem to be common but having it ‘altogether’ works so much better and quicker, tiny, very small scanners are easily lost, big sometimes really is better!
Or maybe you are just wanting to test your office equipment this will not likely be frequent so unless you have lots of it, handwriting Tags or basic data entry will be fine.
If however you’re a multiple type environment with workshops, Labs, kitchens and offices etc a PAT that has a rated output test current and/or socket of 15Amp is essential if you’re going to avoid relay damage to your PAT and expensive repairs or the possibility there are many items you can’t test.
Number of Tests
This is a vital factor when you are considering buying your PAT. If you’re going to test appliances every once in a while there’s no need to buy a costly PAT with features you will likely never use now or in the future, the priority needs to be on making sure it does what it needs to do.
However, if you own a test and tag business or have hundreds if not thousands of tests to do, then you should go for a higher-end tester you will thank yourself later when you realise how useful some of those super features are to your business. More expensive testers will also help lighten your workload and improve business operations in the long run. Remember some features are more useful than others and do not forget the reasons why you are testing in the first place!
PAT prices tend to range from $900 to 9000 this likely highly impacts your decision so you should determine your actual budget so you’ll know what features you will get and more importantly what is essential for you that you must have.
PATs below $2,000 will work for many users wanting to test a basic range of equipment they are focused around compliance more than safety testing, data logs will often be by hand and these Users will generally have smaller volumes to test, meaning speed and efficiency aren’t as important, battery and Mains operation will now normally be available on these PATs also.
PATS above $2,000 like the cheaper PAT will have an RCD test as well as being able to easily store and retrieve data. More of these PATs are concerned with safety testing than mere compliance only testing, as compared to the cheaper ones, but there are still many popular and expensive PAT systems out there, that only enable compliance testing and not safety testing.
Something else to consider is 3phase testing, this could be a very big unexpected extra cost if you have not thought about it and then find that you have lots of 3 phase items that need testing.
Some PAT’s only require an additional leakage clamp to enable 3 phase testing allow $400 extra IF the PAT is designed to have the clamp attachment. (most are not).
High – end testers- will likely provide the complete solution( not necessarily 3phase or safety testing) and are perfect for those who operate a test and tag business or test and tag large appliance quantities in house and / or test high volumes. These testers often called SupaPATs will have printers and scanners in the complete package this enables you to re-test appliances and quickly gather information with minimal effort you also have the option to generate reports and automate retesting dates giving you more control over the data you collect another example of a great feature is on the new METROiPAT SupaPAT system this enables users to get different coloured tags from a single roll of material direct from the printer. This further enables a huge timesaving.
This PAT also has the ability to print a tag for the lead of the appliance when the lead is detachable from the appliance being tested and a second tag is required as per the requirements of ASNZS3760.
Another feature on a Seaward PAT is the inbuilt camera however whilst this could be handy on some occasions most users probably already have this function available via their mobile phone, an onboard 3 phase test function would probably have been more useful or better still the high current protective earth test which is also absent from this top of the range model from Seaward, it does however look very nice and can take your picture.
The above feature shows what some people’s priorities will be and maybe their lack of understanding in what testing is really about.
Writing your results by hand is good. However, this task will prove very difficult especially when you are testing hundreds of appliances and you need to keep track of each one. A PAT that comes with a scanner and printer is the wiser choice. The wisest option is a tester that stores your results which you can download later because it will save you much time, money, and effort in the future.
Auditability of the results is also desirable some systems allow users to change pass and fail settings this may sound good but it also allows for the pass /fail results to be compromised unchangeable locked in test codes are by far the most secure system. Any facilities manager contracting a test and tag provider will likely look for this type of security/ auditability and large ‘in-house’ testing managers to ensure the security/accuracy of the actual test results.
I do not think spending time or money on dodgy results is a good investment in safety.
Safety Focused or Compliance Focused
Here’s the thing if you choose the right PAT you can easily get speed, accuracy, auditability second to none… AND REAL SAFETY TESTING and all for no more (often less) than Compliance only box type ticking testing!
The very big difference is when the protective earth is tested to see if it’s safe it can be either tested at a very low test current ( likely way below what would happen in a dangerous fault situation ) or at a high realistic potential fault current.
So, what is the difference? Simply put the high current test proves the earth can successfully conduct a high current flow back to the ground effectively proving the protective earth works AND that someone holding on to the Appliance should not get
(a possibly) fatal electric shock.
Think of it this way would you rather wear a life jacket when out sailing that had been tested just to see if it floats …OR floats with a heavy weight attached!
Seems pretty obvious, I think.
Sonel metroEasi 10
Earth test 200 milliamps and 10Amp
Most obvious pass/ fail testing displayed ( 4 methods)
Fail safe Pat protection system( prevents damage to PAT in case of incorrect lead input)
NO other handheld PAT currently has 10 amp protective earth test
Are you looking for the best Portable Appliance Tester (PAT) in the market? Do you want to do the testing yourself? At Metrotest Electrical Safety, you not only find products to purchase, you can also get training to go with them you’re guided and safe.
What Are Portable Appliance Testers?
A Portable Appliance Tester consists of a number of testing instruments created into one case. Its main objective is to easily, quickly, and accurately test appliances and electrical equipment.
Unlike other types of test equipment, a PAT does not have multiple test leads to be attached and inserted. Simply plug the appliance into the PAT and one fly lead called the “wander lead” is attached to the equipment that you are testing.
Once the appliance has been tested, the PAT will show the results as pass or fail. Depending on the tester, it also gives actual readings and no interpretation of results is usually required.
PAT: All-in-One Equipment
Technicians tend to choose a PAT because it has everything they need all in one equipment. Sure, they can use a combination of other test instruments but that slows down and complicates the testing process. This requires more time and training from the operator.
PAT is the number one choice for electrical testing because of its speed, ease of use, and practicality. For non-electricians, it is the only and safest choice.
Technicians who test appliances need more than just a PAT, they need one with a printer as part of the package.
Why Choose Metrotest Electrical Safety
Do you know why Metrotest Electrical Safety is your best choice when it comes to PAT Testers and trainings? The reason is simple – we offer nothing but the best. Our goal is to deliver the necessary equipment and training to you, our customers.
Our newest, most comprehensive, and user-friendly PAT comes in a complete testing package. Included are thermal transfer printer, scanner, and comprehensive software all neatly contained in a specially designed carry bag.
The package includes:
Sonel Metro iPAT Portable Appliance Tester Standard Set
Symbol Laser Scanner
CG2 Thermal Transfer Label Printer
Roll of 400 Tough Vinyl (Valeron stock) Labels and Ribbon
USB download cable
All Connection cables from Printer to PAT
Customized Business logo for Printer (additional software required to change logo)
Handmade custom vinyl bag
1 year warranty
This product comes with trainings that you can book ahead of time on the website.
This PAT Model is designed to make testing easier and faster without compromising on safety. The newly developed operating system is both user friendly for the testing technician and rich in features for the varied needs of testing companies and their clients. Retesting has become easier with the introduction Dual Time Tags (DTT) and a whole new tagging system.
Designed around the needs of AS/NZS3760 (not adapted to) by a nationwide Test & Tag Company
Real Safety testing (including high current earth bond test), speed, audit ability and a truly flexible operating system sets it apart from its’ nearest competitor
Custom Designable ‘Help Menu’/Site inductions/Individual SOPS/JSA/Task Analysis sign off signature can all be placed on-board
Full color touch screen to enable easy access, fast and efficient testing and data input without the need of other devices and minimizing paper based systems
Output voltage and frequency constantly displayed
Intuitive user interface
Manual & automatic test codes
Single test ability
RCD tests both installation and portable RCDs including ramp test.
Dual Time’ tagging and printing
Comprehensive download software Sonel PAT+ with easy data management
USB flash drive downloadable
These are just a few of the vast array of PAT Testers with printers. Take your pick among the many choices featured on our website. We guarantee you high quality products and top notch training to help you use your brand new equipment properly.
Metrotest is your industry professional partner in product supply and training. Metrotest is the leader in test and tag equipment. They have the latest products and services when it comes to testing and tagging.
Here are 5 of the most in-demand test and tag equipment on Metrotest:
Sonel Metro EasiPAT Portable Appliance Tester
This amazing little fully functioned PAT is the next step in do-it-yourself (DIY) testing.
The Product Includes PRCD (portable Residual Current Device) testing with battery and mains operated. This requires mains for powered up leakage testing. The tester can be used for insulation testing and polarity testing.
Flashing warning lights are activated when used for powered up testing-providing extra safety for the operator.
The Sonel Metro EasiPAT Portable Appliance Tester has 1 Push test selection with Bright Pass/Fail Indicator and a light up LCD display. It is direct Wi-Fi capable. It also comes with a great carry bag with room for all your accessories and mini thermal transfer printer (Tough Tags).
Basic limited memory capability:
The Sonel Metro EasiPAT Portable Appliance Tester has a built in a basic memory recall, which can be downloaded with Sonel Pats Reader and is able to basic printing.
A future App is planned for development.
Metro iPAT SupaPAT
Our newest, most comprehensive and user-friendly PAT in a complete testing package with thermal transfer printer, scanner, and comprehensive software all neatly contained in a specially designed carry bag.
The Metro iPAT SupaPAT includes the Sonel Metro iPAT Portable Appliance Tester Standard Set,
Symbol Laser Scanner, and CG2 Thermal Transfer Label Printer. It also comes with a Roll of 400 Tough Vinyl (Valeron stock) Labels and Ribbon, a USB download cable, and All Connection cables from Printer to PAT.
The Metro iPAT SupaPAT comes with a customized business logo for printer and additional software required to change logo. It comes with a handmade custom vinyl bag and a 1-year warranty.
Designed to make testing easier and faster without compromising on safety. The newly developed operating system is both user friendly for the testing technician and rich in features for the varied needs of testing companies and their clients. Retesting has become easier with the introduction Dual Time Tags (DTT) and a whole new tagging system.
The Metro iPAT are designed around the needs of AS/NZS3760 (not adapted to) by a nationwide Test & Tag Company. It allows for Real Safety testing (including high current earth bond test), speed, audit ability, and a truly flexible operating system sets it apart from its nearest competitor.
The Metro iPAT comes with a Custom Designable ‘Help Menu’/Site inductions/Individual SOPS/JSA/Task. It also features analysis sign off signature that can all be placed on-board.
Its full-color touch screen enables easy access, fast and efficient testing, and data input without the need of other devices and minimizing paper based systems.
Its output voltage and frequency is constantly displayed. The Metro iPAT comes with an intuitive user interface, manual and automatic test codes, and single test ability.
RCD tests both installation and portable RCDs including ramp test. It comes with Dual Time tagging and printing, as well as a comprehensive download software Sonel PAT+ with easy data management and a USB flash drive downloadable.
The PAT150R is a cost-effective, full functionality PAT, which is ideal for use in a wide variety of PAT testing applications. The PAT 150R includes dual insulation test voltages, can be used to test portable equipment, has exclusive 10ma/30mA portable RCD lead testing, adjustable PASS testing limits and mains powered leakage testing procedures.
Key Features include a large LCD display and Push Button Tests. The PAT150R tests single Phase Appliances up to 10A with an earth test of 200mA and an insulation Test of 250/500V.
The PAT150R is able to conduct mains powered leakage test (operational) 230V and can test via its onboard rechargeable batteries. It allows for Lead Testing and offers a 1-year warranty.
CEM DT-9054 RCD Tester
The CEM DT-9054 RCD Tester features include a fully programmed operation, accurate digital read out of tripping time, and current 450ms readout for testing latest delay action breakers.
It has two LED lamps that give quick check for correct wiring. It is compact, lightweight, and simple to operate.
Metrotest is not just a sales company, or just a test and tag company, or just a development company – we do all three! We know our products inside out and use them. You really can’t beat old fashioned knowledge and service.
Metrotest is an electrical safety company that has built a reputation as a supplier of electrical safety equipment in both New Zealand and Australia. We are also a training provider for electrical safety testing ‘competency’ training. We operate a nationwide electrical safety testing operation.
What Metrotest Offers
Metrotest provides services including electrical safety competency training and assessment,
Nationwide Test and Tag Service, training to enable compliance with AS/NZS3760 and AS/NZS3551/5761/5762. We are also an Accredited Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) training provider.
Metrotest offers direct import of many brands of testers resulting in affordable prices. We provide Australia and New Zealand’s largest range of Portable Appliance Testers for sale.
Here at Metrotest, we offer you what you need and not what we think you need. We look out for your requirements and provide you with the products and services that you desire. Call us today for more details about test and tag equipment!
The Metrel DeltaPAT has been on the market for many years, it enables compliance with ASNZS3760 is very quick and easy to use in most testing situations, it was when introduced to the Australian NZ market by Metrel, there first compliance only PAT, previous models such as the AlphaPAT had multiple protective earth testing options, which meant people could choose ‘safety testing’ rather than just ‘compliance testing’.
Originally not being Bluetooth capable the unit would frustrate users when trying to enter data by ‘scrolling’, however with the App and Bluetooth functionality the data entry issue all but disappears
Here’s a Quick Review of the Metrel DeltaPAT 3309 BT
A big positive feature of this unit is the ability for the user to select Auto Test Codes, this ensures if the correct code is entered and correct testing performed that the result is always correct be it a pass or fail.
For those more keen on getting the job done quickly and not so concerned with the best practice testing this little PAT seems a good choice and this’ll be why it has proven very popular, it is quick and easy to use and providing it’s not used as a total “test and tag print solution” and is light and small.
It is often sold in a big bulky and heavy pelican style case making a very small light PAT the opposite
The unit has always been unable to successfully test RCDs when used in some of the auto test codes
Bluetooth operation is only available on Android devices, so for some user’s data entry will be a nightmare or alternatively they may choose not to keep records which is not a step forward for safety!
Other negatives are the ability to muddle up the test leads ie putting them in the wrong socket.
The biggest shortcoming of this PAT is it’s in ability to test the integrity of the earth, what I mean by that is it cannot simulate a REAL likely fault current through the protective earth!
Please remember the protective earth is what may save someone’s life.
The earlier model Metrel AlphaPAT could test the protective earth by applying up to 25000 milliamps through it whereas the Delta can only apply 200 milliamps, quite a difference we think!
As with any other old yet updated equipment there are numerous other issues, but most are of a more minor nature.
The DeltaPAT when compared to most other PAT ‘s stacks up pretty well on price and features.
In its defence other small handheld PAT ‘s can only do similar ‘compliance only testing’ except the new EasiPAT 10 which as its name suggested can test the protective earth at either 200 or 10000 milliamps.
Both are similarly priced and of a similar size and weight, but some other features of the EasiPAT 10 suggest the designers were more focused on safety than the Delta designers.
Summing up it is an easy to use (mostly) PAT at a reasonable value for money price capable of complying with ASNZS3760, but definitely not the leader amongst its peers.
All the necessary features and many useful and desirable ones are available on board or as an optional accessory however unfortunately what could have made this a very good tester is missing, that being the ability to test not only for compliance but also for safety!
Data entry works well, if done through the App, the Tag printing systems available for this PAT haven’t really changed since their introduction many years ago except for the introduction of the QR code so the tagging system is fairly primitive.
Failed / Danger tags aren’t always particularly distinguishable from a pass tag which isn’t ideal.
The Green for pass or Red for fail LED system on the Delta works very well ensuring the actual testing person cannot really mistake the outcome of the test result.
The Delta can be used in 3 modes Auto test shortcut, Simple test or Single test, organisation’s wanting to ensure there testing remains consistent amongst all users are best to use the Auto test codes as these are not user changeable whereas the Simple test and Single test are.
Substitute leakage is available on this PAT, but the AU/NZ users need to be aware this isn’t recognized under our Standard and therefore shouldn’t be used.
RCD testing works fine provided you don’t try and use test code 184 as the polarity testing will cause the test to fail
As with all low current (200 milliamp compliance only PAT ‘s) sometimes the testing person may have trouble getting an accurate earth resistance reading which is often indicated by a false earth test failure, this is very annoying and novice testing persons will often end up with many of these.
The Delta also does suffer from this problem, those familiar with the problem will also be familiar with how to avoid the situation but still it just adds another hassle in to your day.
The DeltaPAT looks nice and appears easy to use and enables the user to comply with ASNZS3760 therefore it is an easy seller, however we think it sells well because it’s an easy sell and not because it’s a great PAT, in fact when it comes to testing if you’re interested in safety not just compliance the answer to the question, should I buy one is simple ? No