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Thread: Clamp on meter

  1. #1
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    Default Clamp on meter

    Do you measure current on the feed using a clamp on volt meter?

    I wish to measure the current on a load without the need to disconnect the electrical conductor from the circuit.
    Unfortunately, I purchased a Fluke A3000 FC Wireless AC Current Clamp with limitations but learning is a curve from the very start.

    Do you use clamp meters on the SEC during a home inspection?
    If so why?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Do you measure current on the feed using a clamp on volt meter?

    I wish to measure the current on a load without the need to disconnect the electrical conductor from the circuit.
    Unfortunately, I purchased a Fluke A3000 FC Wireless AC Current Clamp with limitations but learning is a curve from the very start.

    Do you use clamp meters on the SEC during a home inspection?
    If so why?

    Thanks in advance.
    Way beyond the scope.


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Lewis View Post
    Way beyond the scope.
    Roy, been some time.
    Who's SOP?
    A: 1.1. A general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property (as delineated below), performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. The scope of work may be modified by the Client and Inspector prior to the inspection process.

    B: If you look at the services I provide and the arrangements that can be made, please tell me why?
    I do drop voltage on 15 and 20 amp 120 v circuits during most home inspections.
    Would it not be prudent to remove the feed as the source of Dv?

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Do you measure current on the feed using a clamp on volt meter?
    No need to - the measurement would not be able to be repeated for the same or close measurement (except by luck - i.e., the same exact appliances/fixtures on and in the same mode at each reading).

    I wish to measure the current on a load without the need to disconnect the electrical conductor from the circuit.
    Depending on the conductor, that is a very good practice to do - the grounding electrode conductor from the service equipment to the grounding electrode is the one you would want to start measuring first (there should be little, if any, measurable current on that conductor).

    All other conductors - not much need or benefit from measuring the current on the others as it depends on what is 'on' and at what setting.

    Unfortunately, I purchased a Fluke A3000 FC Wireless AC Current Clamp with limitations but learning is a curve from the very start.
    What do you not like about that clamp on ammeter? Anything specific you dislike or that it does not do you thought it would? Curious.

    Most will allow you to also measure voltage, but how often do you measure voltage (outside of using a Suretest to measure voltage at receptacle outlets)?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    I will rarely measure the SEC. Where the clamp on meter comes in handy is checking the draw on a particular circuit. A couple of weeks ago it was for a range on a 40 amp breaker.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I will rarely measure the SEC. Where the clamp on meter comes in handy is checking the draw on a particular circuit. A couple of weeks ago it was for a range on a 40 amp breaker.
    First off let me say thank you, Jerry & Eric.

    Jerry, the meter allows single AC split phase readings.
    Cons: 1: The clamp is not flexible.
    Thick clamp. I have not been able to isolate circuits at times.
    Being frustrated I put it away in my tool drawer last year.

    I incorrectly ordered the Fluke a3000 FC and not the a30001 FC Wireless iFlex® AC Current Module I wanted.
    The reason I purchased the volt meter is because it is wireless remote.
    I use a Fluke Ti300 IR Camera and thought about integrating AC voltage readings in my reports.
    Please, no SOP remarks. Think outside the box, please.

    Eric and Jerry, to quote Jerry's response, "Depending on the conductor, that is a very good practice to do.
    A: The grounding electrode conductor from the service equipment to the grounding electrode is the one you would want to start measuring first (there should be little, if any, measurable current on that conductor.)
    I concur. It will be introduced into my electrical inspection regime.

    B:
    Where the clamp on meter comes in handy is checking the draw on a particular circuit. A couple of weeks ago it was for a range on a 40 amp breaker.
    I concur and have done the same but the meter I purchased has limitations when the conductors are bunched tightly.

    Last week I inspected a flip. Vd on almost every outlet.
    High ><170v. Low 120><. Normal.
    The lowest reading was 103v or 13.5% Vd on one circuit outlet furthest from the panel or so I hypothesized. I did not follow the circuit back to the panel but could have.

    4.5 v on one circuit neutral. Another circuit
    I hypothesized.
    Ghosting? New panel & NM circuit wiring. No cloth rubber circuitry I could observe.

    I have enlisted the help of an Industrial Electrician into humble Home Inspection company. I have been mentoring the certified inspector as best as I can for several months and hopefully, with the grace of God, the inspector will be a fine addition to my humble company.

    Thanks as always.
    Regards.



    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 04-26-2016 at 03:09 AM.
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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    A clamp meter can be used in checking out the furnace, such as checking to see if certain circuits are energized.

    For checking grounding conductors or plumbing pipe, checking for stray voltages, you need a meter that reads in the tenths of milliamps. Some cheap clamp meters can't do that, but still look good sticking out of your tool bag.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    I use one mainly for one purpose-checking the amperage of the electric resistance heat in heat pumps. I have found a number of them where all stages do not activate. It could also be useful for checking radiant ceiling heat, but that is not common in my area.


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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    It could also be useful for checking radiant ceiling heat, but that is not common in my area.
    The best tool for that is an infrared camera ... hands down ... nothing else even comes close. Same for radiant heat floors.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The best tool for that is an infrared camera ... hands down ... nothing else even comes close. Same for radiant heat floors.
    I concur.
    I have only seen radiant heating in ceilings 3 times.
    All atop wall openings, windows.
    Condensate stains to light rot on all three sills.

    Are you using thermal, Jerry?

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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Are you using thermal, Jerry?
    I was one of the first in Florida to have an infrared camera, and one of the few (maybe the only one?) in the country to use it at every inspection back then (and I've been retired from the business for 10 years).

    How many, even now, use an infrared camera at every inspection?

    I sold my infrared camera in 2006/07 ... sometimes I wish I still had it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I was one of the first in Florida to have an infrared camera, and one of the few (maybe the only one?) in the country to use it at every inspection back then (and I've been retired from the business for 10 years).
    I bring my Fluke Ti 300 60hz to every inspection.
    Happy you escaped bondage 10 years ago allowing you to watching your Jaguar oxidize.
    Dam if you were my neighbour I give you my Ti 100 to have fun with. I rarely use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    How many, even now, use an infrared camera at every inspection?
    Still the same in my neck of the woods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I sold my infrared camera in 2006/07 ... sometimes I wish I still had it.
    What model? What resolution? Cooled or uncooled?
    Uncooled IR was in its infancy and IR camera's back then were expensive as compared to today.
    Dam if you were my neighbour I give you my Ti 100 to have fun with. I rarely use it. I offer the camera to colleagues that shadow me but they are too afraid to hold the dam thing or ask questions.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Clamp on meter

    It was made by Infrared Solutions (that's the company Fluke bought to get into IR).

    Uncooled.

    I don't recall the model or resolution, only that the resolution was higher than anything FLIR had, and many cameras still don't have that resolution (until you get into the pricey cameras).

    And, yes, the camera I bought was pricey ... I paid $13k-14k for it.

    I tried out a lot of different cameras and the one I bought showed things better than the $60k ones FLIR had at the time.

    One disadvantage (many think it is a disadvantage) - no color. I could convert to color (ironbow, etc) on my computer with their software ... but I found that the standard grey scale photos showed more clearly what I was looking for.

    I mounted a digital camera on top of the infrared camera and used it to show the area - I put the visual photo in my report above the infrared photo so my clients could see what (infrared photo) and where (visual photo) ... no Fusion or photo-in-photo back then.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 04-28-2016 at 02:43 PM. Reason: edited many spellin' errors - I was on my phone (is my excuse)
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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