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chris watkins

Esteemed
Plumber
Have you got a combi check ? i.e. Voltage & continuity such as this one.

What sort of work do you do ?
You are likely to use this far more than a multimeter.
 
OP
M

macka09

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Which one lol? I haven’t got anything other than an electrical screwdriver and a volt pen.
 

chris watkins

Esteemed
Plumber
Which one lol? I haven’t got anything other than an electrical screwdriver and a volt pen.
You can't carry out safe isolation with either of those, please get a similar checker to HSE GS38 standard, it could save your life.

You can do most of what you need using one & it be kept close at hand rather than the Multi's which normally have to live in a bag / box out of your day to day tools.
 
Last edited:
OP
M

macka09

Plumber
Gas Engineer
I’ve just started installing combis and heat onlys really. Majority of what I do is general plumbing or bathrooms
 

ShaunCorbs

Staff member
S. Mod
Plumber
Gas Engineer
fluke 116
 

Murdoch

Res.Electrician
Have you got a combi check ? i.e. Voltage & continuity such as this one.

What sort of work do you do ?
You are likely to use this far more than a multimeter.
Those have an inherent weakness - the cable will fail where it goes into the base of the unit

AVOID this DiLog product is my advice - based on actual experiences.
 
I can only assume the Flukes have some good points to justify the ~ £200 cost. My MS2108A does the usual things and measures high AC and DC current as well. Doesn't do low current through the leads, but I've not needed that.
 
B

Burger

hi folks. As the title really. I’m a complete novice on the electrics.
If you are complete novice, are you able to safely isolate? If you are then as others have suggested a 2-pole voltage tester to HSE GS38 tip for safe isolation, live testing, etc.

Multimeters are so prevalent in the industry, my own are an extech (owned by flir)auto ranging and a ethos 2nd hand one off ebay. I wouldn’t go too cheap, but heard the £10 ones from Lidl and Aldi are supposed to be ok. I also have a brand new (maybe selling as bought by mistake) amprobe multimeter.
 
A

Aire

If you are complete novice, are you able to safely isolate? If you are then as others have suggested a 2-pole voltage tester to HSE GS38 tip for safe isolation, live testing, etc.

Multimeters are so prevalent in the industry, my own are an extech (owned by flir)auto ranging and a ethos 2nd hand one off ebay. I wouldn’t go too cheap, but heard the £10 ones from Lidl and Aldi are supposed to be ok. I also have a brand new (maybe selling as bought by mistake) amprobe multimeter.
I'm curious as to how you buy a multimeter by mistake? o_O
 
I bought this one in 2016. About £32 at the time. Made in China but works fine, I'm well pleased with it. Link quotes $$ and says not shipped to UK, but if I remember right I ordered it from Amazon OK. My model looks (very) slightly different but still MS2108A.
http://www.amazon.com/MS2108A-Range...qid=1443188314&sr=1-7&keywords=dc+clamp+meter
Personally I’d chuck that in the bin, having seen the charred remains of several no name multi meters it’s not something to mess about with.

The cat ratings describe what sorts of faults the meter can survive without putting you at risk. In my experience the Chinese ones generally have little of no separation/protection.
 
You should never use a multi meter to prove an electrical isolation.

The fluke voltage detectors listed above are great but you can achieve the same with a martindale voltage indicator for about £35.

When proving dead you should always follow the same procedure:

1) Prove your voltage indicator
2) Prove your isolation
3) Prove your voltage indicator again

You don’t need to buy a proving unit, you can use a live socket etc near by.

You also want some means of locking off/labelling a circuit you plan to work on. Chances are the boiler you want to work on will be on a circuit powering other sockets etc. Someone else on site comes along, wants to use a drill (or home owner wants to use kettle). Doesn’t think, flips the breaker back on and throws you across the room.

The second thing you want is a digital multi meter. The Fluke 11x series meters are great, if you can afford £150 you’ll pick up a fluke 115 with a set of decent test leads (clips etc).

At least in buying a recognised brand you can be fairly sure, when you stick it in the wrong place or have the leads connected wrong as we all inevitably do at some point you’re not going to be showered in glass/flames.

Kewtech, Martindale and Megger are also brands that make safe/quality test equipment.

93627D26-5144-42DB-B53E-4EA2B585FE7D.jpeg
 

WHPES

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Megger AVO410 multimeter.

Fluke voltage checkers are worth the extra money than the basic Martindale ones
 
B

Burger

hi folks. As the title really. I’m a complete novice on the electrics.
Apologies macka09, I thought I’d typed this but it didn’t post? Anyway, if you’re a complete novice then if you’re going to be working on or near live equipment then you need basic electrical safe isolation (course), a brief description by offshoregas. If you have this then fair enough, if you don’t then you could end up injured or worse.

Do not use a multimeter for safe isolation, or if you are not competent.

I have already typed some info so won’t repeat, but both of my multimeters that I use are adequate for what I want and as far as I know provide accurate enough information.
 

gmartine

Gas Engineer
I can only assume the Flukes have some good points to justify the ~ £200 cost. My MS2108A does the usual things and measures high AC and DC current as well. Doesn't do low current through the leads, but I've not needed that.
I had a bag of fluke meters till they were nicked, I now have three Mastec meters including an amp, continuity and multi. An electrical engineer friend of mine checked two of them over using his reference test gear and said they were fine for what I needed and great value and they have been for the past six years or so. Are they as well made, function rich or as accurate as a Fluke? No but they don't really need to be.
 
I can only assume the Flukes have some good points to justify the ~ £200 cost. My MS2108A does the usual things and measures high AC and DC current as well. Doesn't do low current through the leads, but I've not needed that.
With fluke or any other recognised brand you’re paying for safety compliance. Each meter has a CAT rating. This is a measure of how likely the thing is to kill you if anything goes wrong. You get what you pay for with Fluke, Megger etc.
 
I had a bag of fluke meters till they were nicked, I now have three Mastec meters including an amp, continuity and multi. An electrical engineer friend of mine checked two of them over using his reference test gear and said they were fine for what I needed and great value and they have been for the past six years or so. Are they as well made, function rich or as accurate as a Fluke? No but they don't really need to be.
With Fluke etc you’re not paying for improved accuracy and stability you’re paying for the engineering/testing/design that stops the thing killing you.
 
It's industrially rated equipment I grant you but that's the point isn't it? CAT 4 isn't domestic.
The problem is the cheap Chinese gear isn’t actually tested/designed to meet the CAT safety standards. The same way they all carry CE marks but very few if any have been through any sort of conformance testing.

Some things don’t really matter, how much damage can say a battery drill do but if you’re going to be poking it in things with 240v you want to know it’s safe/tested.

Sooner or later you’ll check an AC voltage with the leads in the current measurement terminals, we’ve all done it. With a decent quality instrument with fused protection and isolation slots etc you’re looking at a new fuse or possibly a new meter. With the cheap Chinese crap you may well be picking shards of glass/plastic out your face.

Would you buy a Chinese £300 combo boiler and install it in a customers house?
 

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