Suretest or a GFCI outlet tester?

Originally Posted By: dvalley
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or out of purchasing a SURETEST.






David Valley


MAB Member


Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: mrose
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David,


Come to the Atlanta SE NACHI chapter meeting and you can win one of those expensive Suretest contraptions.

Three are being awarded as door prizes.

Best regards,


--
Mike Rose
Cornerstone Home Inspection Co. LLC
Lawrenceville, GA

www.cornerstonehomeinspect.com

Originally Posted By: kleonard
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David,


I Pesonally use the standard GFCI (trip button) tester & the three lights. I think if we are going to be sued for not testing for harmonic distortion that we all are in deep sh…t.


just my 2 cents. ![nachi_sarcasm.gif](upload://6HQh6KbNiD73gqTNQInjrR2zeJw.gif)

Kevin


Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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I have several different testers ranging from the $9.99 to the $26.99, and they are all just GFCI trip testers with three lights.


Originally Posted By: jremas
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I always used the regular 3 light testers in the past but recently bought a sure tester. The only advantage was that I was able to find false grounds. There are more bells and whistles with voltage drop but unless it is significant in a detached building or I notice some small wire for a long run, I don’t even talk about it. I am sort of a geek and always used a Fluke in the past so I needed something a little more fancy.


Just remember, it is just something a little more fancy. I don’t make more money because of it so if you don’t use one you may not need one.






Jeff Remas
REMAS Inspections, Inc.
Northeastern PA & the Poconos
www.NEPAinspector.com

570-362-1598

Originally Posted By: jpope
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I stick with the basic - three light - tester also.



Jeff Pope


JPI Home Inspection Service


“At JPI, we’ll help you look better”


(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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Quote:
Just remember, it is just something a little more fancy. I don't make more money because of it so if you don't use one you may not need one.


Some of the best advice stated on this board in a long, long time. Remember what makes you money, and what just shows off!


Originally Posted By: mbailey
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We use the standard GFCI (trip button) tester w/ the three lights. This is also the same tester that most of the code inspectors in my coverage area use on their final walk through.



Mark Bailey


Stonegate Property Inspections LLC


Ponca, NE

Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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Now that you mention it Mark, that is all I have ever seen the county boys around here use too. For that matter, in Northern VA also. Hmmmmm.


Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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David


"A good Suretest runs in the 3 to $400.00 range"

About $250.00. Tests both GFCI's and AFCI's.

If your are going to in the future test AFCIs buy it.

You MUST take the time to "play" with it before you use it.

What I mean is that in some cases it will show a false ground when a ground (no I will not go there) is there. It will also show you voltage drop (which I do not think you should comment on), voltage range (which I do not think you should comment on).

You must give it a cool down time before insertions. About 20 seconds.

This is a very good tool. I have had it show me things that the cheeper testers will not.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: jmyers
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David,


I don't know if you are in for any more or any less liability becuase you do or don't have a suretest tester.

One of the big fights the attorney will use is why did you test for and find these electrical defects but you did not test for or find this one.

I personally believe the best thing you could do to protect the client is recommend further evaluation by an electrician. I usually wait to find several flags before I go that route but when they are big ones, you can bet I won't hesitate even if I find only one.

For those Mike P's and Bob B's that are here, I am not saying that because of unqualified sparkies but more because of the advent of Bob Vila and the big orange. ![icon_cool.gif](upload://oPnLkqdJc33Dyf2uA3TQwRkfhwd.gif)

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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The SureTest. STD1 digital or whatever the digital ones are called now.


Start with the three light nights lights, then, when you have survived, get a SureTest.

I'm on my 4th SureTest.

The first one was replaced by the factory (before Ideal bought SureTest) because I sent it back in to be checked out and was told that they had been improved dramatically, and that for $85 they would ship me a new one (they cost $325 then).

I left that second one in a house and the sellers said that I cost them too much money and, no, they would not let me come back to get it.

That made number 3 (the replacement).

I just recently upgraded to a newer one with the built-in AFCI tester. I doubt I will ever use the AFCI tester, but I bought it at one of the seminars I go to and the AFCI one was the same as the regular one (seminar special).


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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Dave … I like to use the “Harry Homeowner Rule” where I do not use anything that a typical homeowner would not be expected to use. Some don?t agree with that if you read the threads on equipment.


Two big disadvantages of the $5 "night light" testers are that they will not check the ground path for a low resistance (important in general, but especially for older armored cable) and will not pick up a bootleg ground (ground to neutral ?sneaky? jumper).

The Suretest will pick these up. But I think using the Suretest circuit analyzer (the last term is a flag right there) is close to crossing the "electrical evaluation" line, but many inspectors swear by them. They usually don't openly display them though (or shouldn't). You can pick up a decent one for like $210, or one that includes AFCI testing for like $250

Basic SureTest: http://www.goodmart.com/products/83257.htm
AFCI SureTest: http://www.goodmart.com/products/229815.htm

A compromise is to spend a few extra bucks on a $20 outlet tester like a GB SureWire outlet tester, which will check the ground resistance, but will not pick up bootleg grounds which you have to spot check by removing a few covers on any 2-wire system.

GB SureWire: http://www.lowes.com/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=12370-1781-GRT-800

I say go with the GB SureWire and pull a few covers if you run across old 2-wire systems that may have bootleg grounds. Just my 2-nickles.


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: bhendry
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We think the Suretest can provide some marketing wow factor. It can contribute to an overall favorable impression, especially when you show it in action and explain how useful it can be to the client (show & tell). The laser pyrometer can also be used that way, among other tools. We’ve found plenty of ?bootleg? grounds with the Suretest; that alone seems like enough of a benefit to add it to your tool list.


Bill Hendry
352-242-2278
www.HandyHomeInspections.com


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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dvalley wrote:
I?ve been following the ?two prong? thread and I?m curious what Inspectors use to test electrical wiring (at the receptacles) in a home. Do you all use GFCI trip testers or an expensive Suretest?


Dave,

The SureTest is not really "expensive" in that it shows you value you clients enough to use something better than they can pick up at the Big Orange Box for a couple of bucks. It does take some bucks out of your pocket, but it is also more than worth it.

Quote:
I personally use the standard GFCI (trip-button) tester, and have never had any problems finding most existing electrical issues, by using this particular tester. There are many downfalls to this specific tester, as I am reading from past posts. I am not able to fully inspect the line voltage or any voltage drops, existing loads on the circuits, false grounds, isolated grounds, impedance, and any harmonic distortion, by using the GFCI tester.


I guess you've just found found the many problems with using the standard GFCI circuit tester. You just itemized them.

Quote:
I want to know what legal issues may eventually arise if Home Inspectors do not inspect for these hidden issues.


Don't know of any. I've been using the SureTest ever since, well, ever since I started 14 years ago. I've never had any legal issues from using it, and I've never heard of any legal issues from others who use it.

Quote:
A good Suretest runs in the 3 to $400.00 range. Is this digital tester going to pay for itself versus the legal issues that may arise later?


Again, what legal issues? You could have more legal issue by NOT using one. Notice I used "could have".

Quote:
And what problems may occur if I do not thoroughly inspect for the aforementioned issues? Talk me into or out of purchasing a SURETEST.


What problems might you have, other than missing all the things you stated above? I guess none, other than missing all those things.

Legal issues? I'd suspect that using a SureTest would not trigger anything, and if something happened for some other reason, it may actually help get you out of trouble.

"Your Honor, I used some of the best equipment available ... " versus "Your Honor, all I used was the standard homeowner issue ... " oops, I am supposed to be the professional, and I just admitted to the Judge that I am too cheap to buy professional quality tools, either that or I just admitted that I am not as professional as I professed to be.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: gbeaumont
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Hi to all,


I am totaly with Jerry on this one, the sure tester, just tells you so much more, for me this means I would tend to pick up more problems than an inspector using a standard 3 light tester, that means I would tend to be recomending the evaluation of the system by a licensed electrician maybe a bit more frequently, that obviously is reducing my liability not increasing it.

Also they have a real nifty retractable ground pin for use on those 2 wire outlets ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)

Regards

Gerry


--
Gerry Beaumont
NACHI Education Committee
e-mail : education@nachi.org
NACHI phone 484-429-5466

Inspection Depot Education
gbeaumont@inspectiondepot.com

"Education is a journey, not a destination"

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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Quote:
Well your Honor, I am not a licensed electrician so I shouldn't be using that specialized electrical testing equipment that only a licensed electrical professional should be using to evaluate and analyze a circuit, as just the name of that equipment clearly states

or
Quote:
Yes your Honor, I was using a circuit analyzer, but I dont even know what a voltage drop, ground impedance, or circuit harmonics is to tell you the truth

(Duck)


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: gbeaumont
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Hi Robert,


Man, I can't believe your giving up that easily ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)

I was so much looking forward to this debate

But seriously, do you realy feel that the sure test style testers are beyond the understanding of home inspectors, the funny thing is the last time I showed mine to an electrician, who was called out to look at a system i'd flagged guess what.......... he'd never seen one !!!!!

Regards

Gerry

BTW it took him 3 hours to find the loose wire nut that was failing under load I wish I had a pic of the burnt wires !!!!


--
Gerry Beaumont
NACHI Education Committee
e-mail : education@nachi.org
NACHI phone 484-429-5466

Inspection Depot Education
gbeaumont@inspectiondepot.com

"Education is a journey, not a destination"

Originally Posted By: jpeck
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Robert,


You really think it's better to go in under qualified and under equipped than to have better equipment and learn how to use it?

Your post assumes that no HI takes the time to learn anything, yet all of your posts seem to try to teach, which kind of contradicts that 'can't learn anything' assumption from you last post above.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: bhendry
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I now want to invent the ultimate Home Inspector Electrical Tester. Just clamp onto the service entrance conductors and press a button. A few pulses go out, some processing occurs and you have a defect list for the entire electrical system. I might be on to something… I’ll need a time domain reflectometer, a box of calibrated loads, a programmer, some money, approval from the wife…


Bill Hendry
352-242-2278
www.HandyHomeInspections.com