Simple plug-style circuit testers are good for the basics, but what about when you really want to test the capabilities and functionality of AFCI circuits? For the pros, there’s Ideal SureTest Analyzers. Most electricians simply set up wiring, test them and that’s the last they ever need to worry about. It’s important, however, to note that GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) and AFCIs (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters) rely on mechanical parts that, due to surges from lightning and other causes, can wear out over time. In fact, according to a recent study performed by the Leviton Institute, an average 15% of [installed] GFCIs were inoperative when tested. This is where the Ideal Suretest Digital Analyzer 61-165 comes in handy.
The IDEAL SureTest Circuit Analyzer 61-165 has two functions. First, it can test the physical structure of the branch circuit. The SureTest Circuit Analyzer calculates Voltage Drop and Percent of Voltage drop at 12, 15, and 20 amp loads in a matter of seconds. With its patented technology, it can perform this test even if there are loads on the circuit, and without tripping a breaker or interrupting the load. The Available Short Circuit Current, and the resistance of each conductor Hot, Neutral, and Ground are also measured and displayed. The second function is that it can test the performance of AFCI/GFCI protection from different points on the branch circuit. The Models 61-165 and 61-059 tests the branch circuit performance of the AFCI by simulating an arc fault between hot and neutral. This simulated arc meets the present UL guidelines for AFCI testers. The Model 61-165 can also test GFCI devices at 6mA and 30 mA per the UL guidelines for GFCI testers.
Ideal Industries notes that AFCI devices cannot detect a glowing contact, which is a high resistance fault in either the hot or neutral conductor unless it is arcing. You can detect possible glowing contacts and locate series arcing points with the 61-165 SureTest, which has the ability to measure the resistance of the Hot, Neutral and Ground. By measuring and comparing the resistance of the hot and neutral conductors, you will see a resistance fault as a difference between what should be two very similar resistance readings. By measuring at different points in the branch circuit, you can pinpoint the location of the high resistance connection.
All of these tests are done simply by plugging in the unit with the included 12″ IEC power cord and controlling the analyzer with the simple navigation controls. Since there are only 4 buttons, the device is extremely simple to control and configure. You can also purchase separate Ground Continuity, Isolated Ground and Alligator Clip connectors.
Voltage and Frequency are accurate to within 1% and Impedance and Voltage Drop are good to 5%. Ground-Neutral Voltage and the GFCI Test Current is good to within 2%.
Ideal Suretest Digital Analyzer Features
- Arc Fault Tester
- Tests AFCIs for proper operation
- Tests for shared neutrals
- High accuracies
- Measures voltage drop under full load (12A, 15A, 20A load tests)
- True RMS
- Line Voltage
- Peak Voltage
- Ground to neutral voltage
- Ground Impedance
- Hot and neutral conductor impedances
- Identifies proper wiring in 3-wire receptacles
- Identifies false (bootleg) grounds
- Tests GFCIs and EPDs for proper operation
- Conducts testing without disturbing sensitive loads
- Verified isolated grounds (with 61-176 adapter)