Installation testers verify the safety of electrical installations in domestic, commercial and industrial applications. They are used to carry out tests to ensure that fixed wiring is working safely, correctly and in accordance with the international IEC 60364 standard (and its national equivalents, in the UK BS7671 IEE 16th Edition wiring regulations). IEC 60364 is regularly revised to increase safety for people at home, at work and in public places.
The test equipment used for verifying safety conformity must itself conform to internationally agreed standards. The relevant standard for installation testers is IEC 61557, which details the performance and safety conformance of equipment for testing and verifying protective measures in low-voltage networks. Instruments that fully comply with this standard must have the appropriate features and functions to carry out tests in accordance with IEC 60364.
The IEC 61557 standard has recently been re-issued to bring it in line with revisions to IEC 60364, and to increase safety for installation tester users. The Fluke 1650 Series Multifunction Installation Testers comply with this update. In principle, the revisions increase the reliability and safety of testing protection measures using appropriate test equipment. Particular attention has been paid to insulation and loop resistance measurements, where information regarding effects that could influence measurements has been re-issued to reflect the latest instrument technology.
As well as providing data about intrinsic errors, manufacturers must now also include the influence of disturbances and operating deviation of test equipment in the instruction manual. Using this data, users are able to make a better estimate of measurement discrepancy for each application, leading to more reliable and accurate measurements.
In insulation resistance measurement, for example, the risk of damage to the installation due to an excessive test voltage is reduced. This is achieved by increasing the accuracy of the test voltage, and allows safer measurements. To increase the accuracy of loop resistance measurement, additional influential effects have been defined. For example, power influences are defined for phase angle, DC offset and power harmonics. By limiting the effects of these disturbances, measurement accuracy is increased.
In summary, the tougher IEC 61557 requirements for test equipment provide the user with safer, more reliable and easier to use installation testers that deliver results in accordance with IEC 60364 (and its national equivalents). The change has been officially in force from 1st January 2007.
Fluke Installation Testers
Fluke is actively involved in drawing up international standards, which places the company in a strong position to offer users compliant test equipment at the earliest possible opportunity. The Fluke 1650 Series Installation Testers for example, which are specifically designed and manufactured for compliance testing, comply with the revised IEC 61557 standard. They contribute to the protection of people and property against injury or damage through electric shocks or electrical fires. Fluke instruments set the standards for safety quality and reliability.
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