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Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
Hi Folks,
After having finally got this job for a customer from the US completed, there was the question from him as to why I have to "test" all of the wiring and socket-outlets I've just installed, as it is all new.

Now before I start on this, this guy is from Texas and was rather hard to deal with, but our Electricity Regulations and Safety Rules are as they stand, I have to comply with them or risk losing my Registration.

It was hard enough to tell him and his wife that they needed RCD's (or GFCI's as you guys know them) installed on all of the lighting circuits and all of the socket-outlets (receptacles as you guys call them).

But, the guy was NOT willing to pay for the final testing and inspection, his idea was that in his former country, Electricians do NOT test anything before hooking it up to the mains.
The wiring in this building is all new and should pass all of that, no need to test. mad

I then stated that under OUR regulations here, the building will not be connected to the Energy Supplier unless they can cite a Certificate of Compliance (from me) with test results.
And also a ROI (Register of Inspection) for the new Mains and Earthing.

Is it true that Electricians (or anyone else) that connect stuff to the electrical system can do this without even the following simple tests:

  • A simple Earth/Ground Continuity Test - this ensures that the Ground conductor is connected to a stake in the Ground.
  • Polarity Test - This ensures that the Supply Line and Neutral conductors are not transposed.
    If you have poor Grounding and these two wires are backwards, you can liven all of the exposed metal inside a house, not good if you are in the shower.
  • Ground Loop Impedance - Yes this does require a different tester, but it tells you what the impedance back to the supply transformer is and also gives you an indication of how good or poor the installed Circuit Protection is, this is measured in kA (A x 1000).

These are only 3 tests, to ensure what you connect is electrically safe to do so.

I find it hard to believe in 2022, that electrical workers in the US can connect stuff to a supply without actually testing it first.

What are your thoughts on this?

Mike Trump.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,935
Likes: 34
You are right, there is no requirement to test every circuit. It is typically a spot check of a few and testing GFCI/AFCIs in some critical locations. I used an Ecos tester that did all the stuff you are talking about (polarity, ground impedance etc. Most inspectors just use a bug eye tester with a ground fault test button. My Ecos would trip GFCIs when doing the ground impedance test tho.
I did have one project, converting a WWII barracks to a medical facility where I did test every circuit. It was wire in pipe and they pulled the redundant ground. I tested the conduit integrity. Surprisingly, it was all good. (<1 ohm to the end of the run) Workmanship seemed to be better back in the 40s. wink

Greg Fretwell
1 member likes this: Trumpy

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