Current Leakage help

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Old 09-20-18, 05:07 PM
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Current Leakage help

Hello all,

I have a basic Commercial Electric digital multimeter. I've been able to use it to check voltage and ground. Do any of you know how to use it to check for current leakage? I know i have to use the uA or mA settings, but do i need to insert the leads a certain way? What numbers should i bee looking for? Just wondering if i can use the multimeter first before buying a current leakage meter for a few hundred bucks. I'd appreciate the help.
 
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Old 09-20-18, 05:42 PM
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It would help if we knew what you were trying to test. I normally test for continuity.
 
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Old 09-20-18, 05:44 PM
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Or you test for voltage. .
 
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Old 09-20-18, 05:49 PM
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Sorry, i should have been more specific. I'm just testing outlets at work. Whenever we move equipment and it uses a different outlet than it normally has, i test the voltage and ground, but trying to check for current leaks. Is there a way to use the multimeter on the outlet to test for that?

I should mention that my multimeter is very basic. Has a knob for uA, mA, V-Hz% and CAP and ohms.
 
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Old 09-20-18, 06:24 PM
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I do not think you need to check for current leaks when you move equipment around for convenience of use.

Can you explain why current leaks would bother you and from where to where you think the leak is occurring?
 
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Old 09-20-18, 06:31 PM
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It's a requirement from OSHA for our lab. They ask for us to check for current leakage and test grounding when we move equipment.
 
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Old 09-21-18, 04:08 AM
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Why not ask OSHA what kind of leakage test they accept and the written guidelines for doing it.
 
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Old 09-21-18, 07:34 AM
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I've tried, but like most government agencies, it is impossible to get a direct answer. I just want to do a simple one on our outlets so I can document it and fulfill the requirement of having it documented.
 
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Old 09-21-18, 09:22 AM
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If they want you to test AC powered items every time they are moved I would have the device plugged in. Use the AC setting on the meter and put one lead on a ground like the ground screw or socket on the electrical socket then put the other probe on bare metal of the device. If read AC voltage then there is some leakage. You can also test by having the device unplugged and check for continuity between the hot blade of it's plug and any exposed bare metal on the device.
 
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Old 09-21-18, 09:49 AM
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Pilot Dane, I appreciate the help. I'm going to try that out now.
 
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Old 09-21-18, 10:21 AM
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They ask for us to check for current leakage and test grounding when we move equipment.

I think I'd use a portable GFCI device to test for current leakage at each outlet plugging the equipment into the portable GFCI device for a quick test. Something like this.

https://www.amazon.com/26020008-6-Sh...52272940&psc=1
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Old 09-21-18, 12:04 PM
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If having to do this testing on a regular basis why not buy a proper AC current leakage tester?
 
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Old 09-21-18, 12:17 PM
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pattenp, any recommendations?
 
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Old 09-21-18, 01:09 PM
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Depends on the resolution and threshold they require. I agree that a GFCI device would probably be a sufficient test for practical purpose. It will trip if current leakage exceeds 6mA, which is the limit for personnel safety. However, given that it's ostensibly a life-safety requirement from OSHA I'm sure they would require a calibrated and certified HIPOT meter from someone like Fluke. We can't make a recommendation for a meter unless we know what thresholds you have to test to.
 
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Old 09-21-18, 03:22 PM
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A leakage test is testing between the case of the appliance to ground. There should be no leakage measured. You can use your meter to test but you'd need to put something in line as a protector. It could be as simple as a 40w light bulb in one of the probe lines and then use the ua scale.
 
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Old 09-21-18, 03:48 PM
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I looked at the OSHA site and saw reference to 3.5mA max leakage for Class1 grounded movable equipment. Seems to me if you need to prove accurately no more than 3.5 mA you'd need a $700 Fluke current leakage tester.
 
 

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