Martindale Electric is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year. PE visits the company to find out how it is still keeping people safe after nearly a century of product innovation.
With over 90 years of experience in electrical safety, Martindale Electric is one of the most trusted names in the industry – delivering test, measurement and safe isolation solutions to ensure that circuits have been de-energised and properly isolated prior to maintenance and modifications.
Martindale has been a familiar name in the pages of Professional Electrician for many years and has kept generations of electricians safe thanks to its electrical test equipment. Its history is long, but not without twists and turns that sees it still thriving today, fully committed to helping anybody who works around electricity keep safe.
“Since its inception in 1928 as the UK base for the US-owned Martindale Electric Company Inc, known as ‘Meco’, the company has established a reputation for providing innovative and time-saving electrical measurement solutions for electricians, service and maintenance professionals, all backed up by a high standard of local service and support,” says Steve Dunning, Managing Director when we meet him at the Watford HQ.
“Over the decades, the company continued to expand its product portfolio. In the 1930s, Martindale exhibited at the first British Industries Fair in London and the 1950s saw the company focus on product development and a split from the US parent company.”
In the 1960s, the focus shifted predominantly toward test and measurement equipment, and the classic patented Ring Main Tester (the Check Plug) was launched in 1968. The Check Plug became an enormous success.
“Although records are lost over time, our best estimate is that over 2,000,000 Check Plugs have been manufactured and supplied to date,” says Steve. “It really was an iconic product for the company and remembered fondly by many electricians down the years.”
Herts and minds
In the 1990s, Martindale Electric relocated to Watford and introduced a much wider range of electrical test products designed to keep electricians and electrical engineers safe when testing electrical systems. The company’s products, such as the FD500 low-cost fuse finder, won awards and simplified the task of identifying which socket was on which circuit. By 2001, the Martindale portfolio had expanded to approximately 70 products.
“In 2017 we moved to a new large facility – Metrohm House in Watford – bringing under one roof R&D, Service, Calibration and Sales in a modern eco-friendly building, enabling the best integrated support to the customer base,” explains Steve.
Today it’s fair to say Martindale Electric is one of the leaders in Safe Isolation, offering a comprehensive range of electrical test equipment and support to meet the varied needs of customers.
“Electrical safety is fundamental to Martindale, and the company’s commitment to developing, manufacturing and supplying the most trusted, safest and reliable solutions while ensuring value for money has made it one of the most respected brands in the industry,” says Steve.
In the 2000s, Martindale continued to expand its range by product innovation and acquisition, and the catalogue now includes over 270 products. A wide range of safety products have been introduced, including the patented non-trip, no battery, no test button loop tester displaying PE, PN PFC & PSC – the EZ2500 – and the HandyPAT range, consisting three of the smallest, lightest handheld battery-powered PAT testers on the market.
“We’re proud to celebrate 95 years of providing electrical safety solutions to our customers,” Steve says.
“We remain committed to delivering the highest level of customer service and support, and will continue innovating and expanding our product portfolio to meet the evolving needs of the industry. We’ll also look forward to the centenary celebration that’s coming in 2028!”
Browse the full Martindale Electric range of products here
CONTINUING TO INNOVATE AFTER 95 YEARS
If further proof was required that Martindale continues to improve, adapt and innovate to meet the demands of modern day applications, two new advanced socket and non-trip earth loop testers – the EZ156 and EZ365 – have recently arrived, providing electricians or engineers who need to check mains sockets with a ‘must-have’ companion.
These conveniently compact but powerful testers detect 28 fault conditions, check the mains voltage level and show how safe the earth wiring is by carrying out a non-trip earth loop test and indicating its value in six discrete ranges. This test is critical for ensuring the safety of an electrical system, as a low earth resistance is essential for safety disconnection devices to work properly and prevent electrocution when faults occur.
The EZ165 and EZ365 testers have a variety of features to make fault diagnosis fast and easy. The combination of red and green LEDs quickly identifies neutral, earth, and live connections, and makes it easy to spot common faults. A look-up chart provides further fault diagnosis. The testers also indicate high and low voltage levels and their tough, sculpted design makes them easy to unplug, transport and use in a variety of environments.
The EZ365 model includes additional features, such as an incoming supply polarity swap test and the ability to trip test 30mA RCDs. The L-NE cross polarity test detects a serious fault condition that cannot be identified by many normal socket testers and is easily activated by using the touchpad on the EZ365. Faults are also indicated audibly on this model.