Has anyone used the Ideal Sure Test circuit tracers. I was thinking of trying one. I saw the article about the 61-958 in the October issue of "NEC Digest". It sounds nice, but there is 3 different models. Any suggestions or thoughts are appreciated.
Kevin, I have used an Ideal Sure test for several years. I like it because it gives an instant reading for circuit impedance for an actual measured circuit load of 12 amps and calculates for 15 and 20 amps. I've caught a loose neutral on a new circuit with it. It also tells you the neutral to ground voltage quickly. When you test a GFCI and AFCI, it tells you the time in milliseconds and the amount of current needed to trip. Customers seem to be reassured when they are concerned about their power circuit to a sensitive piece of equipment if I whip out the Ideal to test. Larry
The sure test looks nice and may be great for some things but I believe it does have issues.
One day we did a panel upgrade for a home inspectors house. While doing the job he said something like "How come most electricians never ground the outlet next to the panel right? Seems like every home I inspect the GFI by the panel is done wrong".
Around here everything is pipe and steel boxes so I just figured he was talking about installing a bonding pigtaiol from the box to the GFI. Not wanting to have an issue with the HO we ran an EG from the GFI under the panel to inside the panel.
Finishing up the home inspecters job he pluged the Sure Test in and said we did not ground the GFI right (in a metal box under the panel with EG to the panel). Looking at the tester it said something like "faulse ground". Tried it on other locations and any box near the panel would say "faulse ground". Figured out the tester could not see enough differance between the EG and the Nut on devices close to the service so it thought the EG and Nut were tied together on the circuit. Every home inspection he misdignosed the panel GFI's as being a faulse ground.
Active, there is a warning that came with my Ecos tester that tells you there will be a ground/neutral short indication if you are less than 25' of #14 from the main bonding jumper. They gave us a 25' orange cord to test this.
I got the high-end kit with the clamp-on signal injector.
The whole thing is excellent. With four levels of sensitivity on the receiver, I can trace romex through sheetrock, and positively identify a breaker.
The clamp-on signal injector comes in real handy for a conductor that's accessible but doesn't have a termiantion of splice where you could clip onto the conductor itself. snap the "amp clamp" over the condictor or even conduit, and trace.
It's big bucks, but the efficiency I get from it is worth it.