Author Topic: Multimeter safety and independent standards certification / compliance  (Read 5068 times)

AB1BE

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As Martin noted in his 'El Cheapo Multimeter Review', there is a great need for a safe multimeter. The markings on the meter can give an indication of the quality and safety of the meter but there is a little more to the story. Here's my understanding of the subject. Correct me if I'm wrong.

CE Mark
CE mark is not always considered an indicator of quality. It's just a statement that the product complies with the essential requirements of the European law.

Obviously rigorously testing your products takes time, money, dedicated staff and specialized equipment. Imagine how you apply lightning type discharges to products under test in a safe and consistent manner.

Note that CE marking can be "Self-certified" by the manufacturer. As CE marking is a legal requirement for selling to the European Market, CE marking is often misused. We have tested products made in India and found that the Declaration of Conformity document was "inconsistent with the product's performance". Wiki explains misuse found in Chinese products:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_mark

This summary of the CE Low Voltage Directive from Europe (includes 1000V) is interesting reading: http://www.conformance.co.uk/directives/ce_lvd.php


Other certification marks
In addition to the CE Mark, many process control products have to be agency tested and marked for other major geographical and industry markets:

Australia & New Zealand (C-TICK)
Canada (CSA 22.2 No. 142, cUL 508)
China (CCC)
Russia (GOST R)
Merchant Navy, Italian Navy etc.
Lloyds Registry
Factory Mutual [FM Global] (FM)
USA (Underwriters Laboratories - UL, cUL 1604 Class 1 Division 2)
Explosive atmosphere. (ATEX)

There's more!
In addition these European directives are followed in quality products
RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) legislation
WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) legislation.

So in general, when buying a name brand meter like Fluke, we're paying a bit more but that buys quality, safety and peace of mind.

Kiriakos GR

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CE Mark

Note that CE marking can be "Self-certified" by the manufacturer. As CE marking is a legal requirement for selling to the European Market, CE marking is often misused.

For your information there is New CE European laboratories in China.
You can guess that everything manufactured from 2011 and on, it will be truly certified.
The question that still stands are : what about the old stock ?
The answer is simple, do not buy it .
Especially if the manufacturer has poor reputation.     

By the way if you like to buy safety, get an BRYMEN CAT IV 1000V.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 02:18:33 PM by Kiriakos GR »

MJLorton

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Thanks for those postings....I've been made a little wiser.
Play, discover, learn and enjoy! (and don't be scared to make mistakes along the way!)

Torrentula

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Quote
The answer is simple, do not buy it .

But you can't see if it's the old stock your distributor is selling or the new 2011 (or later) batch that is properly branded.

An example would be the UNI-T multimeters. I'd never attempt to measure anything that smells like mains voltage with the one I own, because I can't tell when it was manufactured, at least not without opening it. And who says that they will test products that have already been CE certified again for their CE conformity?

Elia

Kiriakos GR

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Hi Elia, I think that you are a bit lost about how to read the map that called as multimeter.

I did visit your blog, watched your video and all.

About your UNIT meter all that you need to know is the age of the specific design.
You can find out about the date, by downloading the PDF about it and examine the creation date of the file it self.

Also, all the production of those multimeters are made by robots that follows the original plan, every certification goes to the design and not to one single multimeter.

Regards from Greece.  :)