What is the Purpose of Insulation Resistance Testing?


Over time, terminations within accessories can become loose. When this happens, it’s a major cause for concern because it can lead to a fire. In the year ending September 2021, the UK fire service attended to 537,039 incidents. Don’t let yours be another one for the already stretched fire brigade to contend with by properly testing your insulation resistance.

Typically done by electricians, although can be done yourself if you have the correct reliable electrical equipment. This inspection will test accessories such as socket-outlets on radial and ring final circuits to ensure they have the correct insulation between two conductive parts.

Without periodic insulation resistance testing, there may be undetected issues that could put your building and the people within them at risk. So, whether it’s a business filled with employees or an apartment block filled with tenants, this must be done as a basic safety practice.

Here’s everything you need to know about insulation resistance testing.

What is an Insulation test?

Measured in Ohm’s, this test determines the condition of the insulation between two conductive parts. In doing so, it will reveal if there is any current leakage. This is done by applying a stabilised DC voltage across a dielectric. You will assess the amount of current flowing through it which will give you your resistance measurement. It is using this resistance measurement that you can understand the integrity of the insulation.

How to complete an insulation resistance test

  1. Disconnect the live conductors from the required circuit’s distribution board.
  2. Take your insulation tester and connect one lead to the line conductor and the other to the neutral conductor.
  3. Set the tester to the required voltage and hold the test button.
  4. Repeat the process but this time place one of the leads on the line conductor and the other on an earth conductor.
  5. The test is now complete. Ensure measurements are as they should be. If they are not then you may require some new equipment.

Stay safe whilst taking the test

When working close to live wires, there is a lot of risk for electrocution which could prove fatal. Did you know that there were 142 deaths caused in the workplace in 2020/21? Don’t let this number rise this year and ensure you take the correct safety steps before conducting this test. Here’s what you can do:

  • Personal protective equipment – wear the correct equipment to protect you from the dangers.
  • Risk assessment – Assess the situation. Highlight the risks at hand then create a plan to overcome them.
  • Access up-to-date training – Training only makes us better at our jobs. Seek training in this area and make this task even easier.

When you take the correct precautions to keep yourself safe, completing this insulation resistance testing will be a breeze.

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