Reading a Hot Stick Tester Q & A

Ask the Linemen

Question:

What reading is considered a fail/no-go condition on a Hot Stick Tester?

(Reference: Hubbell® / A.B.Chance® catalog # C403-3178 & C403-3179)

Answer:

Part 1: A generally accepted rule

A reading of 80+ micro-amps on the wet test or 20+ micro-amps on the dry test is considered excessive and indicates contamination and/or water inside the stick.

Part 2: Industry regulations for hot stick testing – “Live-line tools used for primary employee protection shall be removed from service every 2 years and whenever required under paragraph (j)(2)(ii) of this section for examination, cleaning, repair and testing . . .”
IEEE Standard 978-1984 and OSHA Standard 1910.269(j)(2)(iii)

The hand-held Chance® Hot Stick Tester qualifies for hot stick testing under paragraph 1910.269(j)(2)(iii)(E)(3).

Though no standard has been established for acceptable levels of leakage current concerning Hot Sticks, the Chance® Hot Stick Tester does have an analog scaled meter which shows numeric readout in micro-amps.

Contact us to upgrade your old unit!

The tester comes with a Check Bar to verify the unit is functional before each use, and performs the equivalent of full-scale test setups for both Wet (75kV per foot) and Dry (100kV per foot).

In either case, the meter displays the increase in leakage current due to placing the meter on a hot stick. This value may be compared to the level allowable by the individual utility.

This quantitative test result immediately indicates the stick’s true leakage condition, inside and out. It detects leakage currents due to surface and internal contamination, independent of stray currents because the tester is zero-ed while empty before each use.

If you own a previous Chance® LS-80 or LS-81 Tester with a Pass/Fail meter, the Wet/Dry selector-switch circuitry can be factory retrofitted.