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What is Meter Calibration and Why is it Important?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 21st November 2013

Meter calibration is an essential part of providing a quality and accurate service to your customers.

It is important that regular calibration takes place in order to ensure your test meter continues to produce accurate readings.  Over time, general wear and tear as well as exposure to differing temperatures can affect meter readings.

Giving inaccurate meter readings can have serious consequences for your business and professional reputation.  Although meter calibration can seem like just another expense you can do without, it is actually a small price to pay.

What you must ensure you do before your meter is calibrated?

• All meter calibrations must be traceable back to the National Standards and procedures detailed in BS EN/IEC17025:2005 and carried out by suppliers who are ISO 9001:2008 certified.  In basic terms, this means that the organisation who carries out meter calibrations must calibrate to these standards.  Meter calibration is not something you can carry out yourself.

• Additionally and most importantly, you must ensure that the organisation you use for meter calibration is AKAS accredited.  Only AKAS accredited laboratories should be used to calibrate your meter.  Organisations who are AKAS Accredited have demonstrated the technical competence to produce valid and accurate data and results.

There are many organisations that claim to be meter calibrators, however always check to ensure they are also AKAS accredited.  Practically the entire electrical industry require the AKAS endorsement as confirmation that your business is compliant.

What happens during meter calibration?

Your test meter will be checked for accuracy by comparing the readings of your meter against known standards.  These are the National Standards and procedures we mentioned earlier in our article.  All measurements taken can be traced back to these National Standards.

Organisations offering meter calibration make the process as straight forward as possible for electricians.  Many reputable organisations collect your equipment, calibrate it and return it to you within a few working days.  The manufacturer of your test meter should be able to point you in the right direction of an AKAS Accredited supplier.

Another essential reason to use an AKAS Accredited Supplier

When you have your meter calibrated to the AKAS level, you will receive a certificate carrying the AKAS logo.  This certificate will be required by all scheme providers including the NICEIC, NAPIT and ELECSA before you will be able to join.

Of course, it goes without saying that being a registered electrician is an absolute must do if you run your own business.

The risks of using non-accredited services include:

Not being considered for tenders

Losing contracts and customers

Limited jobs you are able to carry out

Poor professional reputation

Possible legal action due to results inaccuracy

Ensuring your test meter is calibrated regularly is essential to maintain compliance.  It will also give peace of mind to you as the electrician who has the ultimate responsibility in the recording of test meter readings. Meter calibration is one of the most important things you will do for your business and so much depends on it – both your reputation and livelihood.  Ensure you always find the right place to calibrate your meter – so much depends on it.