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Socket testers are an essential part of any electricians' toolkit, and allow users to quickly and easily evaluate the internal wiring of a socket without the need to remove the socket faceplate and potential cause damage to the installation.
Generally extremely cost effective and cheap, socket testers are also incredibly simple to use, and require the user to simply insert the tester into a socket and the testerwill do the rest. Depending upon the type of socket tester used the way information is communicated will be different; some socket testers use LED indicators to show wiring status, while other use audible indication to show correct wiring/problems with the installation. Some also use a combination of audible and visual indicators, allowing users to quickly tell if there's a problem with a socket or not.
The visual indicators of socket testers are perhaps the most handy part of the tester. These often come with exact representations of what's wrong with the wiring, so if live earth was reversed, for example, the tester would illuminate with a combination that denotes this problem. Most socket testers also include a handy reference guide on the front so users can clearly determine what exactly the different LED indicators mean.
This section also contains socket adaptors; these differ from socket testers as they are designed generally to be inserted into a socket and the user then uses another tester such as a multimeter and a set of test leads in order to carry out socket testing. They can also includes socket testers attached to specific plugs, such as those plugs used in industrial applications.
Most socket testers and adaptors available in store come with standard UK three-pin plug connectors (expect if they are designed for specific sockets such as the aforementioned industrial sockets).