Surge protection devices: can you check them using a MFT? | Metrel

Surge protection devices: can you check them using a MFT? | Metrel

Brendan Beaver, Manager of Metrel UK, looks at why the SPD function on Metrel’s MFT equipment is helping contractors to overcome this common issue.

I was having a coffee at a recent exhibition when a contractor I was sharing the table with looked across at a stand and asked: “how do you test them then?”

Unsure of what he was talking about at first, I soon realised we were looking straight at a stand that was displaying and selling surge protection devices.

“If RCDs can fail out of the box, why don’t surge protectors?”, the same contractor enquired. “Of course there is the indicator, but we all know that things can go wrong in manufacture. The 18th Edition drives us to fit them now, but at the end of the day I’m responsible if these devices fail. There seems no way I can protect myself”.

I was about to sympathise with him when I remembered that Metrel multi-function testers have offered a SPD function test for many years now. It’s just never really been highlighted or spoken about because the installation of surge protection was relatively unusual until the 17th Edition (Amendment 1) brought it to the forefront of contractors’ minds.

How does it work?

The SPD function test is a very simple two-wire test. The instrument ramps up a test voltage and detects when current flows. It can then display and record the value of the voltage at which this happens.

Quick, easy and reassuring.

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