dmills wrote:Which to my mind sort of misses the point, it is NOT the test box that should be finding problems, it is the visual inspection!Nathan wrote:
I gave up fighting it all and bought a computerised tester -the database helps me keep track of tests and equipment locations, and as electrical testing is easy and almost automatic, I actually test many larger flex cables very regularly - some before each job for peace of mind.
The test box will for the most part only find things that are already broken, where a good visual (inspect the whole cable for nicks and other damage, open up the plugs and make sure the screws are tight and the fuse is appropriate), will often find loose screws, heat discolouration, damaged fuse holders....
please note the bold text Dan, we're actually in agreement here; most problems are visually spotted, but that won't find many earthing and a good many insulation issues. If you set the correct protection (earth) conductor impedance in your PAT tester for the length and conductor x-sect area of the actual cable (rather than use a default setting), you will find strand loss in earth wires and loose earth sockets in extension sockets that would not show up in a visual (yes, I will test all sockets on a six-way dist box).
Damp in some connectors, cables, light fittings isn't alway easy to detect, but with show up in the insulation test (even if it doesn't fail, I look at trends on my outdoor stuff).
You should know from my previous posts on this subject that we concur on most faults being found visually, and it's one of the things many "quantity" companies skimp on. Don't froget that PAT testers can store the results of visual tests, and you can add notes to an asset on them, I rely on this, as well as it telling me where the asset is located (I have over 1000 items of my own to keep track of now, damn festival cabling). The Supernova I got saves me mucking around with various multimeters and current sources, low impedance testers, etc.
The worse bit is writing out the stickers anyway ;)
By testing I did mean the whole visual and connector disassembly inspection too Dan. I feel the biggest point I "gave in" on was the stickers ;)