Pete ‘Monty’ Monfort, Proprietor at Monty Electrics and Director at Arena Training Centre, tries the T150 Tester from Fluke for size.
I’ll start by stating straight off the bat that I was really impressed with this bit of kit – a versatile two probe tester that lends itself to all those working on electrical systems, especially those that undertake a lot of fault-finding and day-to-day maintenance on a regular basis.
The rugged test leads are really strong, and the unit also features a handy device for storing probe tips. This then doubles-up as a useful tool that can be inserted into a UK socket outlet to release the line and neutral guards, allowing for direct probing of a socket outlet.
Another thing to add is that the device is GS38 compliant, so it was used regularly to prove disconnection of supply. This everyday task is made simple in that it has an inbuilt proving unit, so you simply place the probes together and the LEDs light up.
The instructions do make it clear, however, that the LEDs (and not the LCD screen) provide evidence of a voltage present (or not).
One feature that I liked is that the device can measure the resistance of a cable. It checks continuity with an audible sound, has an inbuilt test button to check RCD additional protection function (<30mA) and indicates phase rotation as well.
A handy built-in torch is a nice extra touch, and proved particularly useful when I discovered one really poorly positioned and ancient consumer unit located under the stairs on a job I was working.
Because I combine my teaching duties at college with running my own electrical contracting firm, the T150 was used in a whole range of scenarios. Mapping out the continuity of circuits was a doddle and the resistance measurement was also useful for identifying loose connections and high resistance joints.
An obscure switch in one installation with no marking was easily checked for function with the audible continuity tester, while the phase rotation tester saved me a long walk to get my MFT on another occasion when I’d moved a three-phase rotary isolator and forgotten to mark up the line supplies.
The instrument allows for the probing of UK socket outlets and, in most cases, a satisfactory reading was obtained, although I did test a couple of sockets and discovered that the probes didn’t enter deeply enough to make a good contact.
From a safety perspective I’d prefer to see the probe tips permanently shrouded to 2mm as some people may be encouraged in such scenarios to forego the GS38 shrouds. That said, the instrument ‘auto-senses’ voltages, ensuring operator errors are largely eliminated in general use.
Overall I’ve found the T150 Tester from Fluke to be a very useful addition to my ‘immediate action’ tool bag, which is by my side at the start of every job. As such, its gets a top recommendation from me!
For more details about the T150 Tester from Fluke, go to: www.fluke.co.uk