Megger MFT1735 Multifunction Tester Review & Test

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The Megger MFT1735 Multifunction Tester is the latest addition to the popular MFT1700 series of Megger multifunctional installation testers. The MFT1735 builds upon the impressive specification of the MFT1730, now offering extensive earth testing features such as ART (Attached Rod Technique) and stakeless earth testing.

Brief Specification Overview

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Out of the box

The Megger MFT1735 comes supplied inside a moulded hard carry case. The case offers great protection for the instrument and you will find plenty of space for all of the accessories included and detailed below.

The tester comes issued with a manufacturer’s calibration certificate, a quick-start guide which features clear test lead configuration diagrams for different testing methods, a CD containing the full product manual, an evaluation copy of Megger Powersuite software, a 3 year warranty activation registration card and a manual addendum featuring concise diagrams for earth resistance tests and test methods.

The Megger MFT1735 is supplied with a mains charger designed to plug into the tester allowing you to recharge the unit without removing batteries. In addition, there are various socket adaptors included allowing you to recharge the tester in the UK, US, EU and Australia.

Finally, there is a three wire test lead set included with crocodile clips, test probes and long reach probes (handy for RCBO terminals). The tester is complete with a remote test probe, a 13A mains socket test lead, a three pole earth resistance test lead set, with two separate earth spikes and a neck strap.

Testing with the Megger MFT1735 Multifunction Tester

One of the most noticeable features of the Megger MFT1700 range of testers is the impressive size and clarity of the display. The display is backlit and can be clearly viewed from any angle.

Before using the MFT1735 for the first time, it is recommended to programme your own personal test settings into the unit. A setup menu can be accessed using the spanner symbol on the secondary test dial where many parameters such as factory reset, insulation resistance alarms, automatic test start and Bluetooth setup can be adjusted. Test results obtained with the Megger MFT1735 can be stored internally (up to 1000 results), or sent to a Bluetooth compatible device running the Megger Powersuite Software package, or both.

The main test function is chosen using a primary rotary dial selected to the relevant test, each option is clearly printed next to the selector dial. Secondary test preferences are selected using the smaller secondary dial which is colour coded depending upon which primary test function is selected.

Tests can be conducted by pressing the test button on either the left or right hand side of the tester, depending on whether you are left or right handed. There is also an option to lock out continuity or insulation resistance tests by using the lock button; this is great feature for fault finding. The lock button can also be used to send test data to the internal memory or to a Bluetooth device as mentioned previously. Further test options can be programmed using the arrow button next to the display such as RCD polarity, buzzer on/off, or loop impedance test lead configuration.

  • Continuity – The MFT1735 can conduct both 15mA and 200mA continuity tests depending on which you have programmed into the unit. A 15mA test is great for use on inductive loads such as motor windings, whereas the 200mA test is best for use when testing ring final circuit continuity (r1, rn, r2), circuit protective conductors (R1+R2) or protective bonding conductors (R2). Impressively, the continuity test is conducted as soon as your test leads are connected onto the circuit without you having to press the test button. An audible buzzer can be turned on or off using the arrow selector next to the main screen and the test can be continually conducted by selecting the lock switch.
  • Insulation Resistance – Select from 100V, 250V, 500V or 1000V test voltages using the primary selector. Once conducted, test results settle and are displayed very quickly. Voltage output can be locked as per the continuity test which is a great feature for continuous circuit measurement. Limits can be adjusted in the main setup menu to allow for a buzzer to be sounded when a test result over a preset limit is obtained.
  • Loop Test – The MFT1735 will carry out both line and loop impedance tests. By selecting the primary test dial to ‘L-L, L-N’, you are able to conduct a high current, two wire test across line and line or line and neutral conductors. Selecting the primary dial to L-PE will enable you to test between line conductors and earth (Zs or Ze). With this option selected, you can narrow down your test choice to a three wire, low current test, a two wire high current test, or a convenient, patented two wire low current test. This test enables you to conduct a Zs test between a line and CPC conductor without tripping an RCD which may be protecting the circuit. When thinking about this on a day to day scenario, an anti trip loop test can be carried out at a light switch without the need of a neutral conductor. The PFC/PSC value is displayed alongside the impedance measurement; PSC will be displayed when carrying out a L-L or L-N test, whereas a PFC value will be displayed after conducting the L-PE test.
  • RCD Test – You can test 10, 30, 100, 300, 500 and 1000mA RCD’s at 0.5x, 2x and 5x the protective current rating with the MFT1735. Multiple RCD types can be tested, including a ‘B Type' RCD’s which are DC current/high frequency RCD’s generally found protecting DC supplies such as generators or older photovoltaic installations. A ramp test is also available to see what current an RCD trips at, and most importantly the tester offers an automatic RCD test across 10, 30 and 100mA RCD’s. RCD polarity can be adjusted using the arrow key should you be testing an RCD manually.
  • Leakage Current Measurement – You can test a circuit for leakage current by purchasing an additional clamp (Megger's I-Clamp) for the MFT1735. This works in the same way that you would use any earth leakage clamp meter, although by connecting the clamp to the MFT and selecting the clamp selector on the primary test dial.
  • Earth Resistance Test – The Megger MFT1735 is set aside from all other multifunction testers due to its ability to conduct a wide range of earth resistance tests. Earth test options such as 2 pole, 3 pole, ART (Attached Rod Technique) and stakeless earth testing are catered for. Both ART and stakeless methods allow for testing without disconnection of the main earth conductor allowing for a safer testing method, but also eradicating the need for supply isolation which could cost clients money due to mechanical downtime. Both simple and complex electrode and earth rod systems can be tested including primary and secondary electrical earth systems, utility pole earth, lightning protection systems, residential earth, machinery safety earth, computer and communication system earth, EMI/RFI system earth, antenna and pedestal earth and CATV system earth. Although comprehensive earth testing is a benefit of the MFT1735, remember that the Megger I-Clamp is required for ART testing and both the Megger I-Clamp and V-Clamp are required for the Stakeless testing method, both are available to purchase separately.
  • Other test features – Although the MFT1735 is supplied with a comprehensive three wire test lead set, you will experience problems when connecting them to universal 4mm testing accessories such as calibration checkboxes and socket adaptors. This is due to a plastic flange which allows for a great fitting to the supplied crocodile clips and probes, but impedes the leads from fitting properly into a standard 4mm test socket. The MFT1735 allows for TRMS voltage measurement with frequency displayed as well as a phase rotation polarity test. As mentioned earlier, test results can be stored within the memory for download at a later date or immediate transfer to a Bluetooth device running the optional Megger Powersuite software package. Results are organised into a fairly complicated multi layer memory, i.e, Job Number 0-255, Distribution Board Number 001-255, Circuit Reference Number 000-225 and Phase Number 001-003. Tests can be saved as follows:
    • Continuity tests:
      • R1 – Line conductor
      • R2 – CPC
      • R12 – R1+R2
      • RR1 – Ring Circuit Continuity Line to Line
      • RR2 – Ring Circuit Continuity CPC to CPC
      • RRN – Ring Circuit Continuity Neutral to Neutral
    • Insulation resistance tests:
      • L-E – Line to Earth Test
      • L-N – Line to Neutral Test
      • N-E – Neutral to Earth Test
      • L-L – Line to Line Test
    • Loop Testing:
      • L-E – Line to Earth Test
      • L-N – Line to Neutral Test
      • L-L – Line to Line Test
    • Earth Testing:
      • These results can only be stored against a job number.
    • RCD Test:
      • Results can be stored against job number, distribution board number, circuit reference number and phase number.

Conclusion

Pro's – The MFT1735 boasts the highest specification of any multifunction tester on the market whilst being incredibly robust and waterproof (IP54). When you use the tester, you will be able to feel the impressive build quality whilst the extensive specification will assure that you will have the correct tester for your current line of work, but also any new areas of electrical installation work in the future. The lightweight, ergonomic design makes the MFT1735 very comfortable and easy to use, and the hard carry case provides excellent protection when the unit is not in use. Impressively, Megger include a remote test probe and earth spike kit as standard, both are usually additional purchases.

Con's – The flange design on the three wire test lead design can prohibit use with universal 4mm testing accessories, however this can be overcome by purchasing a perfectly universal test lead set; something that shouldn't have to be considered when purchasing a meter of this calibre. Additional peripherals like software, Megger's I-Clamp and V-Clamp can be expensive, but ultimately worth it. We also found storing test results to be confusing. The multi-layer memory is impressive, but the ability to input data into the MFT1735 in order to name circuits and jobs would be far more beneficial, perhaps by using a simple up, down, left and right selector menu for alphanumeric character input.

Additional Images

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