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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Replace SureTest?

    Last week I dropped/ misplaced my $160 Suretest circuit tester and never found it. This is the second one I have lost over 10 years and contemplating going back to the "fishing lure" tester. As I looked back on how I use the tester, 98% of the time its looking for ungrounded outlets, reverse polarity or faulty GFCI's. Most of the time I will not test the AFCI's due to an occupied home or test them at the panel. I know the SureTest will identify false grounds but in most cases I am already calling for an electrician because of the other issues.

    I have no problem buying the best tools for the job but I see little incremental value for the huge difference in cost.

    Dos anyone else feel this way?


    //Rick

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Replace SureTest?

    Mine burned up a month or so ago when I checked an outlet that someone had wired 240. I have not replaced mine yet either.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Replace SureTest?

    I had that happen to me a couple of years ago. Some redneck had wired a basement outlet directly to the main. The Suretest blew out of my hand and hit the opposite wall smoking and semi-melted. Tripped the main when it zapped the Suretest. Think I had to throw that underwear out after the inspection. On closer inspection below the outlet someone had written in pencil "don't use". Nice warning...

    When I explained to Ideal what had happened they replaced it for free.


    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Replace SureTest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Mine burned up a month or so ago when I checked an outlet that someone had wired 240. I have not replaced mine yet either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    When I explained to Ideal what had happened they replaced it for free.
    That is what I was going to recommend to Jack, call Ideal - SureTest (Ideal) is excellent about replacing their units when the units stop working ... well ... except for when the SureTest is not at fault in anyway "Last week I dropped/ misplaced my $160 Suretest circuit tester and never found it." (Guess that might be because the unit might 'still be working'?)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Replace SureTest?

    Too late, I threw it away. I should have thought about it.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Replace SureTest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    Last week I dropped/ misplaced my $160 Suretest circuit tester and never found it. This is the second one I have lost over 10 years and contemplating going back to the "fishing lure" tester. As I looked back on how I use the tester, 98% of the time its looking for ungrounded outlets, reverse polarity or faulty GFCI's. Most of the time I will not test the AFCI's due to an occupied home or test them at the panel. I know the SureTest will identify false grounds but in most cases I am already calling for an electrician because of the other issues.

    I have no problem buying the best tools for the job but I see little incremental value for the huge difference in cost.

    Dos anyone else feel this way?


    //Rick
    That happened to an inspector friend of mine. Stuck it in a standard outlet with 240v power to it and blew it out. Happened to me once with the $10 tester. I vote "No" on the need to replace it.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Replace SureTest?

    Let's see ... there are what - 3-4-5 inspectors just in the posts above who have had their SureTest taken out with standard 120 volt receptacles which were wired 240 volts?

    Seems to me that if someone sent this discussion to Ideal with the suggestion that the SureTest be made to disconnect internally from any voltage over 180 volts or so (whatever the internal dielectric rating of the components is), and ponder that such an idea might just be worth a SureTest in exchange ...

    I've checked normal 120 volt receptacles and measured up to around 180 volts as confirmation of a bad neutral (one leg might be 60 volts, which leaves 180 volts for the other leg) that I would not want the SureTest to disconnect as low as 140-150 volts.

    I don't need a SureTest, already have two I know of, maybe even three (seems that I may have one I haven't seen in a while). One was new until I took it out of the package last year to use for something, been new-in-the-package laying on my garage workbench for the past 6 years or so before I opened it to use it, as I recall I was comparing the new one with my other one regarding the voltmeter readings, they were close or the same, don't recall which now.

    Maybe the reason Ideal is replacing the SureTests when they burn out from that overvoltage is that, maybe, the SureTest is designed to withstand that 240 volt overvoltage (seems like a logical design standard to me as that is only 120 volts to ground, so 240 volts between any two prongs could be an anticipate mis-wiring application one might run into), then again, maybe they are not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Replace SureTest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    I had that happen to me a couple of years ago. Some redneck had wired a basement outlet directly to the main. The Suretest blew out of my hand and hit the opposite wall smoking and semi-melted. Tripped the main when it zapped the Suretest. Think I had to throw that underwear out after the inspection. On closer inspection below the outlet someone had written in pencil "don't use". Nice warning...

    When I explained to Ideal what had happened they replaced it for free.


    //Rick
    There have been recalls.

    61-065, 61-066, 61-067, 61-076, 61-079 & 61-080s mfg btwn Nov 99 and May 02 for example. (CPSC release #03-167 July 31, 2003) IIRC there have been others (leads, etc.).

    Check with Ideal 877-557-8598.

    Of course losing or dropping is another story. A fool and his tools are soon parted? Heck, I have to "pat myself down" before I go anywhere to make sure I haven't forgotten someething...its a good thing my noggin is (still) attached, or I'd have left it somewhere for sure, esp. this last year!


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