Mandatory Electrical Testing Property Owners Need to Know About
Need help identifying electrical shock risks in the vicinity? Do you want to schedule an inspection? If yes, you should conduct electrical safety testing.
Electrical testing is critical to companies who want to establish safe and efficient operation. Electrical testing procedures help you predict and prevent electrical failures in your property.
Whether you’re an industrial, commercial, or residential setup, electrical testing is mandatory. Even if you want to delegate this responsibility to a professional, it’s important to be familiar with the process first.
Let’s discuss the basics.
What is Electrical Testing?
Electrical testing is an extremely important safety measure for all types of properties. Using specific tools, you can check different electrical systems, gauge their performance, and measure electrical output.
With electrical testing, you can also acquire necessary certifications for electrical and non-electrical equipment to ensure their safe use in hazardous areas. As per Australian standard, testing and tagging become applicable when:
Equipment (stationary equipment, computer stations, and fixed electrical equipment) is used in non-hostile or low-risk environments
Equipment (commercial hand-held appliances, electric saws, power boards, portable tools) is used in hostile or high-risk environments
What do you mean by testing and inspection?
Both on-site inspection and testing work hand-in-hand to secure electrical installations against workplace hazards. While the former focuses on identifying critical issues, the latter uses testing equipment to measure and record performance.
Is electrical testing a legal requirement?
According to the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, electrical inspection, testing and tagging, are mandatory for electrical powered equipment. The legislation also requires electrical operations to maintain compliance by ensuring electrical installations are in safe operating conditions.
Periodic inspection and testing offers a detailed examination of an electrical installation or electrical appliances, giving insight on compliance, safety protocols, and more. Inspection, testing, and tagging helps companies:
Identify faults or risks with an electrical installation
Safeguard property and personnel against electrical hazards
Lower insurance premiums and maintenance costs
Stay compliant with electrical standards and protocols
How often should you conduct electrical inspection and testing?
Periodic inspection and testing allows you to determine how much your electrical system has deteriorated over time.
But the tag intervals depend on the type of installation or equipment, use and operation, and any known maintenance it is subjected to.
The frequency of inspection and testing will also vary depending on the risks associated with the electrical equipment or installation type.
Here’s a more detailed look:
Construction sites – Every 3 months
Medical facilities – Every 1 year
Industrial facilities – Every 3 Years
Offices and shops – Every 5 years
What Electrical Tests are Mandatory?
Under Australian standards, all electrical appliances need to be considered safe by testing and tagging. Electrical testing also helps you record, document, and maintain records for future inspections.
Here are 6 mandatory electrical tests you need to consider for your property.
Earth and Ground System Electrical Test
Earthing and grounding units direct electrical current towards the earth to control electrical impulses that often result in shock. As a safety measure, this process regulates the voltage created by spikes or surges by disrupting electrical current.
To ensure earthing remains consistent in the presence of all kinds of electrical situations, you must conduct an earth continuity test. This safety test allows you to measure the quality and effectiveness of earthing and grounding units. An experienced electrician will test earthing and grounding units by:
Utilizing a meter to test loop impedance of specific electrical circuits
Measuring resistance of the matter connected to the earthing unit
Testing individual parts of an electrical system and its connectivity
Insulation Resistance Electrical Test
Proper insulation of wires and cables is mandatory to prevent any hazards that result from open wire exposure.
Insulation resistance testing helps you achieve exactly that. It determines total resistance between two points separated by insulation. Using IR testing equipment, you can check the quality of the insulation at regular intervals.
As a result, electrical testing helps monitor, control, and prevent impending insulation failures.
Short Circuit Electrical Test
A digital multimeter is often used to conduct short circuit electrical testing. With this test, you can identify and address electrical issues in a circuit that result from voltage disruptions or faulty wiring. This form of testing also helps measure resistance from ground connection by conducting a visual inspection of electrical components.
Electrical Faults and Overloading
Electrical overloads happen when a distribution network becomes unstable with too much power. This causes your circuit breaker to trip, overheat, and damage other components in the meantime. With electrical testing, you can determine whether your system is facing critical damage. In case of an overload, general electrical testing procedures are:
Resetting tripped circuits by testing the system
Visually inspecting each appliance for any faults
Turning off all appliances of one circuit during a test
Protective Device Electrical Test
Whether you’re running a large-scale operation or a small-sized facility, protective devices are crucial to workplace safety.
Applied to electric power systems, such devices can detect abnormal conditions and initiate appropriate corrective actions. Common examples include switch boards, lightning arresters, fuses, circuit breakers, and surge protectors.
Electrical appliances featuring RCD switches help prevent electrical shocks. These components are extremely important which is why it’s essential to gauge their effectiveness. Protective device electrical testing helps you determine whether such safety devices are working or not.
Leakage Electrical Tests
Conducting a line voltage leakage current test helps verify whether an electrical circuit is safe to use or operate. It measures leakage current that streams from the AC/DC circuit in an equipment to the ground.
However, incorrect grounding results in unintended connections between the ground and a conductor or an activated component. Using electrical testing equipment, you can measure the current flowing through the conductor or metallic parts of the earthing unit.
Do You Need Electrical Testing Services?
It’s important to understand which electrical component in your grid may be weak due to faulty wiring or improper installation.
For instance, you can prevent electrical hazards by installing a residual current device. This safety device cuts off power the instant it detects an electrical fault. But you will need someone who has the time, knowledge, and the resources to conduct appropriate testing and tagging.
This is where you need a qualified expert who can ensure all of your outlets and lighting fixtures are functional and efficient. Besides ensuring proper installation, the best companies offer electrical testing services, such as:
Inspecting external framework of equipment and connecting facilities, for instance, a dc voltage test for the power cable
Conducting protective continuity tests to check earthing conditions for class 1 equipment, cord sets, and power boards
Determining insulation integrity of a system with testing equipment to measure properties insulation resistance
Recording every test by specifying contact information about the personnel conducting the test, date, and outcome
At Fix Electrical Contractors, we use high standard thermal imaging cameras to conduct electrical inspections. Our high standard tech helps identify apparent temperature changes in industrial electrical circuits.
Schedule an Inspection
The only proven preventative safety method is regular inspection, testing and tagging, of electrical equipment by an experienced, professional company.
By partnering with Fix Electrical Contractors, you can rest assured that our licensed electricians will address all legal obligations. We have the industry experience to keep critical electrical assets operational and safe.
We can provide the right resources and personnel to carry out an on-site inspection, including testing and tagging. Our technicians also provide test and tag services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to keep your business compliant.