What is a Leakage Test?

A leakage test, also known as a leakage current test, is performed to measure the amount of electrical current leaking from an appliance.

For a Class 1 appliance the leakage test measures the difference between the current flowing in the phase and neutral conductors. Any difference between the active and neutral is considered leakage. For Class 2 appliances the leakage test is performed by attaching the test lead to any accessible metal parts of the equipment.

Excessive leakage current can indicate potential safety hazards such as electrical shocks or fire hazards.

How much leakage current is acceptable?

AS/NZS3760 states that the maximum allowable leakage for Class 1 appliances is 5mA. For extension leads, power boards (EPODs) and Class2 appliances the maximum allowable leakage is 1mA.

When should a leakage test be performed?

According to AS/NZS 3760:2022, if the equipment must be energised to close or operate a switching device to test the insulation then the leakage the leakage test shall be performed.

Appliances that are likely to have internal switching devices include computers, photocopiers, printers

What should I be aware of when performing a leakage test?

You must remember that the appliance under test will operate when performing a leakage test. Therefore, it is extremely important that you place the clamp lead in a safe location. Avoid rotating items such as disks, chucks and any heating elements.

Is it OK to perform a leakage test on appliances with no internal and/or external switches?

A leakage test can be performed on any appliance. A leakage test not only checks for any leakage but also confirms that the appliance is operating correctly.

If during the leakage test the appliance is making an unusual noise or emitting an unusual smell you should apply an Out of Service tag.

Does the leakage test have another name?

The leakage test is sometimes referred to as the Run test or a Load test.

Can all Appliance Tester perform a leakage test?

All late model appliance testers should perform a leakage test. Some older model appliance testers do not give the option to perform a leakage test.

When electrical equipment is first put into service, it should undergo a leakage test as part of the initial testing procedures. This ensures that the equipment is not only working but also meets safety standards before being used in the workplace or any other environment.

Importance of Leakage Testing

Leakage testing is crucial for identifying potential safety hazards associated with electrical equipment. By measuring leakage current, it helps to detect insulation breakdown, damaged wiring, or other faults that could lead to electric shock or fire. Regular testing in accordance with AS/NZS3760:2022 helps to ensure compliance with safety regulations and standards, protecting both personnel and property from electrical hazards.

AS/NZS 3760:2022, leakage tests should be performed at various stages including initial testing, after repair or maintenance, during periodic inspections, following incidents or damage, and prior to reuse of electrical equipment. Adhering to these guidelines helps to maintain the safety and integrity of electrical equipment, reducing the risk of electrical accidents and ensuring compliance with safety standards.

ETA Training Test and Tag Course

As a reputable training provider, ETA Training offers a comprehensive Test and Tag Course. This course covers all aspects of test and tag procedures, including the safe use of Portable Appliance Testers (PAT) ensuring participants are well-equipped to carry out inspections in compliance with industry standards.

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