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What is a calibrator? Basically it checks that a test instrument is calibrated correctly – it’s kind of like testing the tester!
For peace of mind you should check the calibration of your testers between formal calibrations. Independent electrical contractor’s voluntary bodies such as NICEIC and NAPIT highly recommend interim calibrations to verify the on-going accuracy of all test instruments.
A checkbox will allow you to calibrate settings such as:
All pieces of test equipment, as standard, conform to a set of measurements put down by the manufacturer. The in-built calculation capability of that tester is designed to generate results within the parameters defined, but these results generally become less accurate over time due to the effects of drift. Drift can cause a tester to start generating erroneous readings (extremely dangerous if working with electrical installations), leading to you perhaps being convinced that an installation is safe when it really isn't.
Drift can be caused by all kinds of factors. Whether it's a sudden surge in electricity passing through the tester, a bump loosening vital components or just the effects of age, dirt and grime, drift can be caused by a wide variety of different things. This is exactly why we carry out calibration, in order to ensure that test equipment is as accurate as it can possibly be.
Take, for example, a PAT tester. These instruments are generally designed to measure whether an electrical appliance is safe or not. When shipped from a manufacturer, drift should be minimal and the results gained when carrying out testing should be accurate to the standard defined by the manufacturer. If drift is present, the tester may produce incorrect readings, leading to the PAT tester believing that the appliance is safe when it isn't. This can lead to potential electrical accidents and problems arising when the next PAT testing procedure is due. Products such as the PAT Checkbox for Portable Appliance Testers allow users to maintain accuracy in between official formal calibrations.
Regular in-service calibration of test equipment is more likely to keep you within the boundaries of the compliance expected and regulated by the test inspection authorities.
It is also a requirement that test equipment is still calibrated by a qualified calibration lab once a year. The level of accuracy offered by calibration laboratories is generally much higher than using a calibration checkbox, so make sure you remember to carry out this procedure regularly.
It is also worth noting that doing calibration yourself will not generate a fully traceable certificate that may be required by companies wanting a contractor to carry out work. This means that calibration checkboxes are ideal for checking overall accuracy, but the full formal calibration procedure must always be completed regardless.
On Tester.co.uk you'll find calibration checkboxes from many major test equipment manufacturers such as Kewtech, Megger, Metrel and Seaward. Many of the checkboxes in store are suitable for use with PAT testers, but products such as the Metrel CS2099 Eurocheck Checkbox allow users to test multifunction testers (MFTs) and other electrical testers as well.
If you have absolutely any questions about our range of calibration checkboxes, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Our expert advisory team are on hand to answer all questions via telephone from 8:30 to 5:30 every weekday, and you can also use the 'Questions' tab on our products to ask a question that one of our team will be able to answer as soon as possible.