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Can You Tell Me Any Quirks About The SuperNova PAT Tester?

Some People can be confused about the abbreviations on the test menu. The abbreviations HH/PORT, MOV/STAT, NI and NO IN mean ‘Hand Held and Portable’, Movable and Stationary, Non Insulation and NO Insulation respectively.

  • ‘230V HH/PORT 1’ is 230 Volt Hand Held and Portable Class 1.
  • ‘230V HH/PORT 2’ is 240 Volt Hand Held and Portable Class II.
  • ‘230V MOV/STAT 1’ is 230 Volt Moveable and Portable Class I.
  • ‘230V MOV/STAT 2’ is 230 Volt Moveable and Portable Class 2.

The tests which use the abbreviation of ‘NI’ and ‘NO IN’ do not do the Insulation test, but use the appropriate leakage test in its place (IEE Code of Practice 3rd Edition 15.6 on page 76). This is usually used when there are surge protectors.

Sometimes extension leads are longer than normal and keep failing the earth Continuity test. This is because the extra length is increasing the earth resistance to a point where it exceeds the 0.1 Ohm limit. Table 15.1 on page 74 of the IEE Code of Practice 3rd edition gives the limit for IEC and extension leads as 0.1 Ohms plus the resistance of the cable. You can work this out using table VII.1 on page 124 of the C of P where it lists cable sizes and the resistance per metre and as long as the tester reading is within the calculated limit, you can pass the test. There are testers on the market which have a built-in ‘Limit Calc’ where you can enter the size of the cable in mm and the length in metres and the tester will calculate the correct pass/fail limit. Both the Supernova Plus and Europa Plus have this feature. Once the lead has failed on the continuity test a cross is displayed followed by the ‘FAILURE OPTIONS’ menu. Select ‘RESTART TEST’; this will return you to the test. The middle button under the screen will display ‘LIMIT CALC’; press the limit calc button. The ‘EARTH BOND LIMIT CALCULATOR’ screen will be displayed with two columns; the left column is the size of the cable while the right column is the length. Using the arrow keys select the correct cable size and length and press the ‘OK’ button at the bottom right side of the screen. The limit will be re-set to the correct limit and you can continue the test by pressing the green ‘YES/START’ button.

Sometimes on the leakage or touch current test the message ‘WARNING. POSSIBLE OPEN CIRCUIT OR MISSING FUSE. PRESS THE START BUTTON TO CONTINUE, OTHERWISE PRESS ABORT’ will be displayed. This message is not an error condition. The Supernova Plus and Europa Plus check the loading (Wattage) of the appliance before starting the leakage or touch current test and can’t measure below about 200 Watts.

It means that the tester can’t see a load which usually indicates that the appliance is rated less than 200 Watts (You can check this by looking at the Wattage on the power plate of the appliance). You simply press the green ‘YES/START’ button to continue the test; or, you may not have switched the appliance on in which case you switch it on and continue by pressing the green ‘YES/START’ button