How To Replace An Old Electrical Outlet With 3 Wires How to Test Electrical Ring Main Circuits

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How to Test Electrical Ring Main Circuits

The UK was the first and is now probably the only country in the world that still uses the 30 amp ring system for socket wiring in electrical installations. The main circuit of the ring has long been the subject of many heated discussions among electrical experts, but as an electrician, without a doubt, you need to test it in the course of your duties. Here is an overview of the Ring Main inspection and testing procedures.

Warning – Please note that this is a “dead” test so the distribution board, consumer unit or circuit must be isolated from the power supply. To begin, you need to perform a Safe Isolation Procedure and get permission to turn off the supply.

Here is the test procedure:

Insulation resistance

Disconnect all appliances and accessories from the ring circuit and perform insulation tests between the CPC Line, Neutral and Earth.

End-to-end ring continuity test

Set your test meter to a low resistance range and “zero” the test leads. Measure the ring continuity resistance of each of the live, neutral and ground conductor ring loops. Record these readings end to end for future reference and enter a test sheet. Note that where the ground conductors are smaller, the resistance will obviously be higher. For example, for twin and ground cables 1.5mm will be 1.66 times higher than 2.5mm.

Super Loop Test L&N

Cross connect the live and neutral conductors from the opposite ends of the ring and to form a super loop. If at first this sounds confusing, try drawing the live and neutral loops of a ring circuit on a piece of paper with opposite ends connected. You will see that it forms a big super loop.

Test the resistance between the ends you just connected. The reading taken between the ends of the super loop should be about half that of your previous continuity reading. Then you can check the main ring wiring and connections by going to each outlet and testing between live and neutral. Where the socket is on the ring and the connections are “good”, your readings should be within 0.05 of your original super loop reading at the distribution board.

These readings are not normally recorded, but form the basis for your assessment of the ring’s main circuit connections.

High readings could indicate that the plug is in a groove in the ring, the connections need to be tightened, or the plug is defective, giving the plug a bad connection and needs to be replaced. Where the readings are not consistent, this could indicate that there are cross connections and the ring circuit has been bridged.

L&E ​​Super Loop Test

Cross connects the line and ground conductors from the opposite ends of the ring and to form a super loop. Try between the two sets of ends you just connected. The resistance reading should be about half that of your previous continuity reading. You can then check the main ring wiring and connections by measuring the resistance at each socket as for Live and Neutral described earlier. Testing between live and ground at the sockets also checks for correct polarity.

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