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Survey Results: Are You Ready For Amendment 3?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 13th November 2015

So we are well past the 1st July 2015 deadline from which all new electrical installations must comply with the 3rd amendment to the 17th edition wiring regulations. If you work in the trade and this is the first you have heard about amendment 3 then you really need to pull your finger out and get up to date by buying the latest book and checking out our free online seminar here.

However we thought it would be worth seeing how many sparkies are ready and how many are not despite moving past this crucial deadline. The survey was originally published back in August and we collected 100 responses over a period of 2 months.

Only 56% feel ready and Only 44% have the new yellow book!

We were surprised despite how heavily publicised Amendment 3 has been that still over 50% of people didn't have the new book. It will be interesting to see how many copies of the new book are sold over the next year. Really most should have been sold already and numbers should have have dropped drastically since the 1st July.

What’s also quite surprising is that 12% of those asked who do feel ready for the latest amendment don’t actually have the latest book so must quite clearly be geniuses!

It is easy to understand that if you are working flat out, for long days  and with little time off it can be hard to find the time to bring yourself up to speed, however we cannot stress how important it is to ensure that all installations are now designed and installed in accordance with the latest amendments. We have done our bit by providing free seminars for our customers and we have even published these on youtube and on our website so that you can brush up in your spare time.


Categories: amendment 3

A Salute to Our Forgotten Heroes

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 10th November 2015

You may or may not be aware but as a company Trade Skills 4U offers a bursary scheme for those who have fought for our country and then fallen upon hard times. The bursary scheme was launched back in 2011 with the aim of offering free and discounted training to ex-military candidates who were injured in service, suffering from conditions such as PTSD or simply fallen upon hard times. So far we have had numerous candidates come through the scheme, most of which have been awarded a full Bronze course to help them on their way to a new life and a new career.

However in running this scheme we as a company have learnt a lot about why our heroes struggle with returning to every day life. When we first launched the scheme the very first person we offered it to didn’t turn up for their first day of training. We contacted them and discovered that they simply didn’t have the means to travel to us to receive the training. Whilst we are able to provide free and discounted training we can’t stretch to funding accommodation and travel. However luckily there are a number of organisation who can assist. Since running the scheme we have worked in conjunction with the Royal British Legion, Civvy Street and SSAFA in order to ensure our Forgotten Heroes can make it to our centre and start changing their lives.

Since launching the scheme we have met some amazing people who have worked their socks of through adversity and pain to pass their courses. What we have learnt is that in the real world, for many of the bursary candidates, the training is just the first step on a long road to recovery and resettlement.

Two of our favourite candidates were kind enough to give us video reviews. You can view them below:

Richard Thompson

Richard Spent 25 years in the royal Navy, initially as a marine engineer, and then as a military photographer. He left the military in 2003 and fell in and out of employment for many years. He applied for the bursary in October 2011 and was offered a Bronze Course. Richard was based in Portsmouth and SSAFA assisted with his travel costs to and from the centre. We knew Richard would excel at his Bronze course due to his engineering and DIY background.

Following his course Richard appeared in a channel 5 documentary called Construction Squad: Operation Homefront where he helped a team of ex-military personnel renovate a Solent rescue lifeboat service facility. Since he took part in the programme and training Richard has done a variety of jobs including some small jobs for friends and family, then a stint as maintainer and most recently he is working as a general hand at Babcock International. Recently Richard said: “The course was great not just in terms of what I learnt but in terms of building my confidence back up again and realising what I could achieve”. He is still working with the charity Combat Stress and hopes he can finally overcome some of his remaining issues from his time in the Navy.

Bobbie Molle

Bobbie Molle served for 5 years as a marine engineer. He was made P8 medically unfit for service due to developing a very rare form of cancer. Bobbie had undergone treatment for his condition which meant even whilst he was training with us he was still in a great deal of pain and struggling sometimes due to the large amount of medication he was still taking. Again we knew Bobbie would make a great candidate. He clearly was very driven, had the technical aptitude and had already planned how he was going to progress his career and set up his company “Blue Phase Electrical”.

Although currently his disease has spread to his shoulders and is still undergoing treatment he is adamant that he will find a path to get himself back into work by utilising, in his own words.

"The invaluable skills, knowledge and qualifications that Trade Skills 4U have generously supplied me with, tied in with the discipline, determination and technical background from my marine engineer naval military service"

Despite a myriad of complications Bobbie is now optimistic for his future as a civilian which he says is "all thanks to the friendly, caring and professional TradeSkills4U team and the associated charities who also assisted to make the course with us possible".

"Almost anything is possible for veterans like myself, so long as places like TradeSkills4U exist to help us".

Bobbie has said that he cannot thank those supporting him from Band of Brothers (a sub section of Help the Heroes) enough. He meets regularly with others like himself and the support they have given him has been fantastic.

What we have learned from working with our forgotten heroes is that they are truly motivated individuals. All have soldiered through our courses many dealing with some quite serious personal and physical issues. However none have ever complained, lost their cool or given up. This is a testament to their resolve and military background. However what is also clear is that the effects of serving in military can for many of our men and women have long lasting effects that can take their toll on their lives in so many ways.

This is why we run our forgotten heroes scheme and why we respect our military men and women so much.

If you know anyone who may be eligible please ask them to fill out an application here


Man Survives Being Electrocuted By 13,000 Volts

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 9th November 2015

Rioler Martinez In Hospital

We say it time and time again. If you have a problem with your electrics make sure you get a professional in to sort it out. Don’t guess at what you are doing and don’t try and fix it yourself. This is basic common sense when it comes to problems in your home but you would think it would be a complete no brainer if you spotted an issue with high voltage lines outside your home on an electricity pylon. 

However for Rioler Martinez from Colombia South America he simply couldn’t wait for an engineer to fix a problem with the power lines supplying his home. So he decided to take matters into his own hands and climb the pole supporting the wires and poke the cables which were causing him issues with a long stick.

It is no surprise to most that he was electrocuted, however it is amazing and a complete surprise that he survived. In fact doctors are scratching their heads as to how exactly he did survive considering that any shock over 11,000 volts is usually fatal.

Rioler Martinez did have the foresight to actually strap himself to the pole before prodding the wires and as such hung there for nearly an hour before he was rescued.

There is video footage of this incident and although Mr Martinez survived we still think it is quite hard to watch even for those with strong stomachs. So discretion is advised when viewing the video below:

Even Cesar Sarmiento who filmed the footage couldn’t believe what they had seen:

“The voltage was strong. I stopped and started crying when I saw it.”

When firemen eventually rescued Mr Martinez he was taken immediately to hospital where medial staff were unable to explain his survival. It appears that Mr Martinez has learnt his lesson. Following the incident he was quoted as saying:

“I’m never touching anything electrical again.”

Wise advice for anyone thinking of trying to tinker with their electrics we think!


Categories: safety

Spark Busters: Halloween Hall Of Horrors!

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 27th October 2015

Can you believe it, Halloween is upon us again. Last year we published our Electrical Hall of Horrors and we thought this would make a great annual post. So this Halloween, keep your eyes peeled to see if any of these horrors are lurking in your house. Like all nasty creepy Halloween horrors you are most likely to find these in dark places such as your loft, under stairs cupboard or basement. If you spot any of these in your home scream at the top of your voice and run a mile, or call an electrician to carry out an inspection and rid your home of any of these ghoulish horrors.

1. One of the most common dangers in the home is probably lurking behind your TV. Overloaded daisy chained sockets can be lethal, add to the mix some random paper and it won't be long until you could be in trouble.

2. Do you rent your home? If so you should make sure your landlord has had a recent inspection. This landlord ended up paying a hefty price when he was fined £15,000 earlier this year. He had tried renting out a house whilst still renovating it which meant dangerous unfinished electrics were exposed in the building.

3. Does your basement look like this? We hope not. This homeowner needs a full rewire!

4. If you see any signs of burns or over heating on your consumer unit get it fixed straight away. Recent changes to the wiring regulations mean you will now need to replace it with a metal one, however this is going to be much cheaper than rebuilding your house.

5. Classic signs of a proper bodge job will be poorly taped connections. Who knows what's lurking inside and who carried out the work in the first place.

6. They say it's good luck if a black cat crosses your path, however in this case I would be worried about the cat surviving in this flat.

7. If this is your under stairs cupboard then you will want to look into upgrading to a new consumer unit. Make sure you get an experienced sparky to do the job as this is not so straight forward.

8. This picture is from Trip Advisor. A hotel in Malta is responsible for this bit of shocking workmanship.

9. Exposed wires even in the loft can still be dangerous.

10. If you don't lift your floorboards you have no idea what is lurking underneath. In this case some really bad jointing. 


Some of the above really is quite scary, plus it's not made up like ghosts and ghoulies, it's all real and could be making an appearance in your home any day now. If you want to be sure your electrics are not shocking then get an electrician to carry out an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) which should pick up on any issues that need to be resolved asap.




Categories: halloween

The Benefits of Electronic Invoicing for Electricians

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 16th October 2015

When it comes to invoicing, it is essential that you are able to keep an accurate record of invoices sent out to clients.  Not only does help to ensure you get paid for the work you do, but also enables you to complete your tax return at the end of the year without getting into a pickle.

Why consider electronic invoicing?

For small businesses, electronic invoicing makes perfect sense for the fact it will save you time.  Time is what most business owners and certainly electricians struggle with so electronic invoicing will free up time to do other important business tasks such as marketing.  What type of software you opt for is up to you, but whichever type of invoicing programme you opt for, you will save time and money and run your business more effectively.

Some Free Electronic Invoicing Websites

It's amazing what you can get for free these days and you will be surprised just how good some of the free online invoicing websites are too. Most will do everythign you need but you may find paying a small fee is worth it to ensure the best possible service:

Wave Free Invoice Software


Zoho (Free up to 5 invoices per month)


Express Invoice (Downloadable software)

Time Saving

The old paper based or traditional system is also more expensive.  The cost of paper and ink plus the postage can quickly add up and there is no guarantee your client will receive the invoice.  Electronic invoices can be sent instantly via email.  Electronic invoicing is not expensive to set up – some programmes can be set for free.  Express invoice is one such programme – you can send invoices for free and set up a clients list.  It is possible to upgrade and purchase the programme for a small one off fee which opens up the full programme features.  Other invoicing software is subscription based which allows you to invoice in return for a monthly fee.  Such subscription programmes often include other items such as quotes, estimates and a diary.


In times gone by a book keeper would have been responsible for compiling each invoice and working out the figures accurately ensuring the VAT and other expenses were accounted for and billed correctly.  This leaves a lot of room for human error especially after a hard day and you have no book keeper!

Electronic invoicing has pre filled fields which ensures you won't forget important detail and can be updated and amended in seconds.

If you don't have a printer can you imagine how boring it would be writing out a template each time you wanted to send out an invoice? Electronic invoicing would be worth it's weight in gold!

Getting paid quickly

Small electrical contracting businesses rely on good cash flow to survive.  It is essential that invoices are paid in a timely manner especially when the work has been completed to the clients satisfaction.  Electronic invoicing clearly lists payment options allowing your client to make payment instantly using one of the methods shown.  There will be no waiting around for cheques to clear or cash which could get lost.

Electronic invoicing can also be done in seconds and sent to your client at the touch of a button.  Many electricians send the invoice before they drive away from their clients home it is so simple and straight forward.

Produce duplicate invoices at the touch of a button

Electronic invoicing programmes allow you to save the details of each customer you enter into the system.  This means that for repeat custom or on going work, your clients details can be retrieved within seconds and another invoice sent out.  This saves the time of having to enter customer details every time an invoice is produced. All you have to do is select the products or services being charged for and the invoice programme will automatically calculate the taxes, due date and when the payment is received.

It is worth including a line or two to explain to the customer how to make payment whether this is a direct bank transfer, card payment or by PayPal.

Does electronic invoicing really save electricians money?

Electronic invoicing makes perfect sense if you run a small electrical contractors or work for yourself.  For the outlay of invoicing software or a small monthly subscription, you will get your money 'back' within a short time of using it.  By the time you have calculated the outlay of paper, ink (plus printer), envelopes, postage and your time in producing the invoices themselves, you will be quids in very quickly.

Anyone who is not using electronic invoicing is missing a trick and you are throwing money away as well as wasting valuable time you could be using on getting more work!


Review: IET Books Now Available Electronically (17th Edition, Guidance Note 3 and more!)

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 9th October 2015

A quick check on the Amazon website will show that the IET books don’t always have the biggest rating from the buyers. Many electricians believe that the regular updates appear to be a money making enterprise. Whilst we understand their concern it is clear that the IET really have consumers and electricians safety at heart when updating the regulations. Some of the reviews can be seen below:

Well it seems that people would prefer an electronic copy but are not aware that these have been available for some time. In fact since the start of 2015 the IET has been publishing books online via a special electrical standards portal. The great thing about this service is you will automatically receive updates and changes to the regulations across all key books that you subscribe to at no added costs.

Key benefits

The IET have been working hard at getting this right and the online books have some big advantages over the paper ones:

You can search in various ways for different sections or topics saving time thumbing through the paper book to answer your queries. This is probably the biggest advantage of having an electronic subscription.

You will always have access to the most up to date information. When amendments come along you will have access to both the new and the old content.

You are able to download whole sections to be viewed offline so if you are going to be stuck in a basement somewhere with your electronic version you won’t be left in the dark.

You can print sections out for use offline too.

You can even compare the latest amendments to the old ones other and view the information side by side.

The biggest complaint most people have about the book is finding the right information and it appears that the online books more than deal with this issue. You can choose to search across all titles you subscribe to or just one book. You can then filter your search results by topics, titles and locations as well as view results in the old and new amendments. See the screen shot below to see a search result for “Special Locations”:

Overall we feel this a great solution and clearly in demand, however at present we don’t think many electricians are fully aware this is available. With cost clearly a big issue you can possibly save money buy going online and improve the service too especially if you are a large company who buys hundreds of books.

How much does it cost?

The IET offer a free, Bronze, Silver and Gold packages. The gold is usually reserved for larger companies who will have a large number of subscribers. This is possibly where the biggest saving of time and money is likely to be made. You can see a table of the packages below:

Most elecricians will take up the Bronze package covering BS7671 wiring Regulations, On Site Guide, Guidance Note 3 and Guidance Note 1. This will set you back £60+VAT per year (£72 per year) compared with roughly a one off £160 for paper copies. However we have noted that the Electricians Guide to the Building Regulations is only included in the Silver Package which seems odd especially if you are just doing domestic installation. As such most domestic installer will probably opt to stay offline until a new package is created or the Bronze package is improved.

So after 2 years you will have spent the same as the books (nearly 3 if you can claim the VAT back), however you must remember the extra benefits above. The portal is accessible via your mobile, table and pc meaning you can have it wherever you are especially if you have 3g or 4g connection.

A word of warning for students

However if you are going to train with Trade Skills 4U and are thinking about buying one of these packages please hold fire. Unfortunately most exams prohibit the use of electronic equipment. In fact you are not even allowed to take in a programmable calculator into most exams so a laptop of tablet or smartphone is definitely not going to be allowed.

If you have already trained and are out there working then the e-books are a good option, however once you enter an exam environment hard copies will be required. This is a huge issue however we are looking into ways to overcome this but are yet to come up with a simple solution. Watch this space for more. If you would like more information on the packages available please visit:










Categories: books

Gate Safe - Five Years of Making Gates Safe

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 22nd September 2015

September 2010 - September 2015

23rd September 2010 marks the fifth anniversary of Gate Safe - the charity founded following the tragic deaths of two young children in separate automated gate accidents – but five years on Gate Safe insists there is still much to be done to improve the safety of automated gates and barriers in the UK.

With a further five deaths and eight ‘near miss’ accidents since the original fatalities in 2010 and industry experts claiming that over 90% of automated gates potentially pose a serious safety risk, Gate Safe has launched a petition.  The campaign encourages government to consider the introduction of planning permission consent (which would require the gate to be fitted by a suitably trained professional installer) in a bid to regulate all new automated gate installations, putting an end to the creation of any further unsafe gates.

Further initiatives planned to support the official fifth anniversary include: the roll out of the innovative interactive Safe Gate Visualiser; the launch of a series of guidance documents designed to provide ‘safe gate’ guidance to a range of specialist audiences; the roll out of a series of blogs written by Gate Safe and various guest bloggers; the launch of a new video; a dedicated media relations drive and the launch of an awards scheme designed to identify examples of best practice within the installer community.

The original Gate Safe Summit, back in September 2010 represented a pioneering step designed to bring together representatives from a broad cross section of companies and generic trade / safety organisations, which Gate Safe identified as all having a role to play in calling for the introduction of tighter guidance pertaining to automated gate safety.   Since then Gate Safe has joined forces with eleven* powerful organisations / opinion former bodies to enlist their support in communicating with their respective audiences to drive home the importance of adopting the appropriate protocol to deliver a safe and legally compliant gate.

Commenting on the anniversary, Gate Safe founder Richard Jackson says, “Although we are proud of a number of important achievements, which includes the origination of the very first accredited training course specifically designed to provide guidance on the safety requirements for an automated gate, we are certainly not resting on our laurels and believe that there is still much to be done to prevent any further accidents or fatalities occurring.  Whilst we are not suggesting that planning permission is the only route to achieving this, we do believe that the introduction of a more formal procedure for anyone wanting to install a powered gate will go some way to reducing the number of illegal and unsafe gates fitted by what can only be termed ‘cowboy’ installers.  We will be working with our Patron, Madeleine Moon MP to see how best we can leverage support for this petition.  In the meantime, we are hopeful that with the continued support of our supporters as well as the introduction of our user friendly Safe Gate interactive tool, we can use the fifth anniversary milestone as a means to reignite public / media interest in the importance of automated gate safety.”

Anyone interested in lending their support to the Gate Safe petition can do so by clicking on the following link: https://goo.gl/9HCfVd.

You can find out more about Gate Safe Courses here.


Should Electricians Take A Deposit From Customers?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 16th September 2015

Securing work from a customer is always a great feeling – all that hard work of quoting and negotiating seems worthwhile when you get that call to go ahead from your customer.  However that feeling can quickly disappear if the customer doesn't agree a start date or worse still pulls out or tries to change dates at the last minute. This can leave you out of pocket and twiddling your thumbs when you could be earning.

So how can you protect yourself from the situation of lost work and in turn lost income?  One of the simplest ways is to request a deposit upfront from the customer once they have accepted your quote.

Not all electricians are comfortable asking for a deposit, in fact most electricians are still not sure whether they should or could ask for a deposit, but today we will discuss why taking a deposit is a good idea and why it won't harm the relationship with your customer.

Dispelling the myth that taking a deposit is a bad idea!

There is often an unspoken feeling or myth that asking for a deposit is in some way a bad idea.  Taking a deposit is not a bad idea.  What is a bad idea is taking a deposit and then not turning up to do the work.  Unfortunately this has led to some hesitation on both sides about paying/asking for a deposit to begin with.

However taking a deposit safe guards you and your business against potential losses such as the purchasing of materials and overheads in advance of the job starting.  It also protects you against turning up to the job to find the customer no longer needs the work doing or got someone else to do the job for them and didn't let you know.

No doubt, the experienced sparkys amongst us will be familiar with the situations above which is why it is important and not a bad thing to do to ask for a deposit.

Taking a deposit means your customer is serious about having the work done and you can confidently plan your schedule. When you have a business to run, you cannot afford to be let down by clients.  It is not unreasonable to take a deposit up front at the point at which you agree a specific date for the work to start.  Customers who are serious about the work won't have a problem with paying a reasonable deposit upfront to not only confirm the booking but also to contribute towards the upfront cost of doing the job.

Asking for deposit is becoming more commonplace now. Here at Trade Skills 4 U we take a deposit for all our bookings on the day we receive a booking request.  We ask that the balance is then paid with 21 days of the course beginning.  This safeguards us against last minute cancellations or non-turn ups when someone on the waiting list could have had the place.

Taking a deposit is not only peace of mind for you from a business perspective, but also means that your customer is not planning on letting you down.  Almost all genuine customers are happy to pay a deposit upon booking.

Taking a deposit protects you incurring costs if the customer doesn't pay

Not being paid at the end of the job is quite rare thankfully, however you do not want to risk your business cash flow by paying for materials out of your own pocket. This is another perfectly valid reason why you should ask your customer for a deposit when securing the booking. If a customer is unable or unwilling to pay a deposit then this could be an indicator that there could be problems with getting paid further down the line. As such taking a deposit is a great way to identifying these potential issues before you start the work.

How to ask for a deposit

You should always make a customer aware that you take a deposit when you quote. It should not be a surprise to them once they confirm they want you to do the work.  When you first meet with a customer it is always worth explaining why you take a deposit and ensure they are confident that you will turn up and deliver what you say you will. If you are established with a good online reputation on a site like Checkatrade then customers are going to feel more comfortable paying you a deposit as there is some comeback if you do not show. If you explain that by paying a deposit now will guarantee you the slot they want in your diary at a time and day they choose, they are normally happy to pay the deposit that you are asking for.

If you are new to the industry you may want to hold back on asking for a deposit until you have a more solid reputation to give customers the confidence to pay you in advance.

Asking for a deposit of 30% on every job above £200 is not unreasonable and will protect you and your business from being out of pocket.  It is not normally necessary to ask for a deposit for jobs under £200 unless there is a large portion of up front costs.





CSCS CRO Cards Changing From 1st October 2015

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 7th September 2015

If you are working on site you will need to have some kind of CSCS card or for electricians an ECS card. The electrical industry has had the dedicated ECS card scheme for many years now and the requirements of this scheme is that you should have a suitable set of qualification or be working towards them (see our blog post here) in order to get a card. However there is a CSCS card which is called a Construction Related Occupation (CRO) Card which is designed for construction workers who work in areas where there is no nationally recognised qualification.

However CSCS has seen huge increases in applications for this card and essentially believe that it is being used as a back door onto site for many who simply haven’t got the necessary qualifications. In fact they have issued over 300,000 CRO cards since 2005. 

In July 2014 they launched the new Labourer card which is only issued if the applicant can show they are working towards a specific occupation. Despite 35,000 green labourer cards being issued CSCS have also seen a huge increase in the number of applicants for the CRO card. They believe this is simply because many applicants simply see it as a simple shortcut to avoid taking the necessary qualifications for their chosen skill.

Part of the reason that the CRO is issued is that the worker may have multiple skills which don’t fall into one category. However even in that situation workers will be asked to pick a single occupation which will be displayed on the card.

What happens on the 1st October 2015?

So from the 1st October 2015 a number of changes will come into to force:

All CRO cards issued from 1st October 2015 will expire on 30th September 2017 and are not renewable.

You will be expected to register for a nationally recognised construction related qualification before the card expires.

Only one occupation will be displayed on your CRO card from 1stOctober 2015.

CSCS will stop issuing CRO cards from 31st March 2017.

It is important to note that existing CRO cards issued before 1st October 2015 that expire after 30th September 2017 will remain valid until their expiry date.

So simply put this means that if you want to keep working on site you must pick a skill and at least register for a qualification and start working towards it. If you still haven’t registered for a construction related qualification by the 30th September 2017 you will be unable to renew your card and will be essentially unable to step foot on a building site.

This sounds quite drastic but realistically it make perfect sense. There is plenty of time for everyone already in the industry to start working towards a clear skill or trade that they can fully qualify in. This will in turn improve standards and safety on site in the long run.

How does this impact electricians?

For electricians these changes should have no impact whatsoever. That’s because the dedicated ECS scheme which is run by CSCS and the JIB has meant that since the year 2000 anyone working with electrics on site should already be qualified or working towards their fully qualified status in order to gain a card. If you know anyone working with electrics who owns a CRO card then they really shouldn’t be.

The real issue here seems to be that it will hit all those multi skilled “labourers” who may be a jack of all trades but a master of none. There are also numerous trades out there that do not have a nationally recognised qualification. In that situation applicants should probably call CSCS for advice as they have said work is already underway to develop new qualifications to fill this gap.

If you are unsure which qualifications you do need then simply use this handy online card finder tool.

Remember if you want to know more about ECS check out our previous blog post here.


Categories: cscs

Which all in one multifunction testers are best?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 2nd September 2015

A multifunction tester is an electrician’s best friend – an integral part of every electrician’s tool box. However, the decision to buy a tester can be difficult.  They're an expensive piece of kit and whilst you don't want to spend more than what you have to, it is important that a multifunction tester is going to do what you want it to.

Does price matter?

To be fair, the clue to the quality of multifunction tester often lies within the price.  The tolerance/accuracy levels tend to be much better with higher end models and some essential features can be either missing or become a costly upgrade.

Saying that though, many electricians have an idea of the main players in the field such as Fluke or Megger, however sometimes budget does not allow for the big brands.  So we have decided to take a look at some of the most popular testers in the field to find out exactly what you are getting for your money.

Megger MFT1720 (£600 - £810)

Megger is well known in the industry and is associated with top quality and features.  Many electricians will use no other tester, and is literally is a household name in the electrical industry.  Therefore the Megger MFT1720 is one of the leading names in the field and is synonymous with quality.  We carried out a review recently of the MFT1720 and can certainly vouch for it's superior quality and features.

Phase rotation service

Auto RCD

2 Wire Loop test

Backlit LCD display

Non trip loop testing

Kewtech KT63 (£430 - £480)

Kewtech is a well known brand within the electrical industry and is known for supplying testers that fulfil the testing obligations.  Their testers are innovative, accurate and reliable.  Their KT63 features a 5 in 1 multifunction tester which includes:

Five in 1 multifunction tester measures insulation, continuity and more

16 different RCD tests for current ranges for versatile testing

Lock down testing for hands free measurements

Seaward Powertest (£330 - £485)

If you are looking for quality and an instrument that will last for years the n Seaward is a great choice.

Loop test in 5 seconds

Integral probe means reading results easily

Auto RCD test

Fluke 1653B (£600 - £900)

Fluke is a much wanted label amongst electricians and is seen as a desirable piece of kit in toolboxes

Fast high current loop test

Variable RCD current mode for customized settings

Pass/Fail indication for RCD tests

Most important features of a multifunction tester

Safety and performance are the two most important features of multifunction testers – they are also two of the most critical requirements for any electrical system.  A properly functioning grounding system is essential for any multifunction tester.

Remember you generally get what you pay for so you may find it is worth investing in a higher end product as it will have all the functions you will need and last for many years saving you money in the long run.