Metrel DeltaPAT MI3309

In the $1,000 – $2,000 range today, we review the DeltaPAT from Metrel.

This is going to be an interesting review on a very popular handheld PAT. As the other reviews I’ve read on this are all from those selling the DeltaPAT, we’ll examine the good and the bad and see what happens.

The unit is supplied in a soft case with all the standard accessories, though it must be removed from this case when in use. This could have been designed better as once it is removed it no longer has any protection.

It is a semi advanced PAT with built in memory and that can be battery powered for some tests, as well as being able to use a printer and scanner.

When used as a basic tester i.e. the user doesn’t want to keep records then this is a very quick PAT, test results are obvious and clear, a green or red light is pretty hard to miss! and that is on top of a tick or cross and actual test value where appropriate, so I think the PAT does very well with making a pass or fail clear to the user.

Unfortunately, if used with a printer then this isn’t the case. A pass or failed tag if folded around a lead is only clear if you can see both sides of it!?

The user can operate the tester in simple test mode as well as an Autotest mode, designed to make tests somewhat auditable. This feature of 3-digit codes, starting with a 1 for class 1 items and 2 for class 2, works very well if consistency and auditability are important to the users.

(These same codes are also used by another PAT brand as there is some shared DNA in their history, they have incidentally further enhanced the coding system -we will no doubt be reviewing that brand in the future). That aside, the Delta can also be used in single test mode though it will not normally be used in this mode.

Controls for the most part work very well, except if you are trying to use the scrolling method to enter data or select a test code. In that case you probably won’t have any further use for a hair dresser, in simple words it’s just Nasty!

The unit has multiple test sockets which have no unique physical fitting to prevent the wrong lead being plugged in, making it easy for a user to plug the wrong lead into the wrong socket. This is ok if it’s an earth test is being performed as the item would just fail but if someone is testing class 2 items for leakage or insulation resistance then something unsafe could easily pass, which is potentially very dangerous. We have seen this happen so if you use or intend on purchasing one of these PATs then make sure you are confident on where the correct leads plug in.

The unit charges while in use so that it has no need for a separate charger – which is the sensible option, so no worries on that front.

Let’s now look at the actual main tests it performs starting with the test for earthing. Sadly this is disappointing, the earth bond test can only be done at 200 milliamps i.e. 0.2 Amp but there’s not much point in doing this test at 200 milliamps as all you really know if it’s a pass is that the protective earth has continuity and that it’s resistance is less than 1 ohm.

In a nut shell it tells you the item being tested is compliant with ASNZS3760 but won’t still tell you how good the earth is; or in other words will the protective earth protect you if it needs too!

The Metrel Gamma and Delta Pats are the only ones Metrel now make that won’t do at least a 10 Amp earth bond test, that must say something we think!

Next on our list is the insulation resistance test, the user can select either a 250 volt or 500-volt test as appropriate and this works very well.

Now we look at the leakage test this needs as is to be expected that the mains power is connected to the PAT ie you cannot do this test via batteries, a requirement for this test under ASNZS3760 is that the item must be tested at normal operating voltage.

As the leakage test is effectively putting the appliance being tested into “Go mode” we think the PAT lacks a major safety feature here as there is very little warning to the user that the appliance is going to actually go!

This is ok if you are testing a computer or lamp or an appliance without moving parts but not so safe if you’re testing a saw or grinder.

All that said, the leakage test functions fine, just be careful when doing it or alternatively keep plasters and some spare fingers handy.

Polarity testing for leads and power boards is next on our list, this works very well and is quick. You can also do multiple tests here for earthing without having to do additional non necessary repeat tests so leads and power boards are easily tested for all functions. This includes polarity but with one exception, that being PRCD’s. If you’ve got an inline Portable RCD then you’ll have problems, big ones, which we will explain below.


10/15 and 30 milliamp PRCD’s can be tested, and they can be tested at half rated current, at rated current and 5x rated current as well as at the top or bottom of the sine wave.

The testing of PRCD’s works well unless you are using any PRCD test codes ie 180, 182 or 184 from the “Shortcut menu”; in which case you won’t actually be able to do the RCD testing, as before when an RCD is tested a polarity test is performed and at this point you will always get a fail! (this is due to the PAT not providing enough power to the PRCD to energize it when carrying out the polarity check).

A feature that surprisingly is missing is that of an increasing current test, often referred to as a ramp test. This tests the PRCD’s actual trip current and whilst it is a non-required test, its very worthwhile for those who want to find nuisance tripping PRCD’s (ones that are too sensitive and disconnect the power to soon).


These are often sold because they are small and then ironically are often packaged in a basic imitation pelican style case fitted with a printer, battery and all necessary leads, power supplies and chargers. This effectively makes a small handheld PAT now a large and heavy one (sometimes weighing up to 12Kg).

As often is the case various software and accessories can enhance the PAT to turn it into a system rather than a standalone PAT and that’s the same with this one.

To summarise let’s look at the 3 big questions:

Q: Does it enable a testing person to comply with all the requirements of ASNZS3760?

A: No, if you are going to be testing inline PRCDs we would suggest looking elsewhere, as the PRCD could be rewired then a polarity check would need to be carried out.

Yes, if you have no intention of ever testing a PRCD that has or could have been rewired/wired incorrectly.

Q: Is it a safety tester or a compliance tester only?

A: Compliance only

Q: Value to money?

A: average plus

And we’ll give it 3 and a half stars out of 5

If this unit was not so heavy when supplied in the carry case with a printer and could carry out the polarity testing, then this could be an extremely good tester.

Happy testing

The PAT review team

Aegis Patrol

In the $1,000 – $2,000 range we review the Aegis Patrol and the Patrol Pro.

Both these PATs are available for little more than $1,000, so the price is nice but let’s see what you get for your money! First of all it comes in a great Pelican style case and is small and lightweight.

Operationally it’s very very simple to use, a pass or fail is displayed very clearly with either a series of red or green lights appropriate to the test being performed and then an overall result is displayed again either green or red.

There is no way of knowing however if something has just passed or just failed; if an LCD display showed the value as well then this would be highly advantageous to a lot of users and I’m sure this would significantly increase costs and most likely size.

The first test being claimed by the manufacturer is an earth bond test however this may be misleading as it can only test an earth at 0.2 Amp (200milliamps) normally an earth bond test is a high current test such as 10 or 25 Amps, a test done at 0.2 Amp would be considered a continuity test only and proves only that the item under test has an earth – not how good it is!

Though it is totally acceptable to do the above test at a low current in accordance with ASNZS 3760, it won’t prove the safety of the earth, which we would hope is why people are doing the test in the first place!

The next standard test is the insulation test at 500 volts or 250 volts

This works well and as expected.

The alternative test to the Insulation Resistance test is the leakage test at normal operating voltage. For all practical purposes this should be a requirement on any PAT tester sold in Australia or NZ as so many items are now required to have this test performed, however only the Patrol Pro can do this test, the standard Patrol cannot.

Buyer beware, do your homework first.

The last standard test is the Polarity test which is required on leads and power boards. This works well though there is no provision for doing just multiple earth tests on power boards, which is commonly done.

In the above case an insulation test and polarity test will need to be done on all sockets even though it wouldn’t normally be necessary once the first had passed the tests.

PRCD testing has become a common requirement under ASNZS3760 however the Patrol doesn’t have this ability in any version, which is quite limiting to the user.

Additionally, there is no memory, so any records will need to be kept manually. Effectively this makes for a quick tester (well what can be a very quick tester) very slow when lots of testing is being done and records kept.

In a nut shell it’s a bottom-end tester in a good case. The likely purchasers will be those that aren’t really concerned about safety, who don’t understand or who may of been conned by some clever sales person.

The 3 big questions:

Q: Does it enable a testing person to comply with all the requirements of ASNZS3760?

A: No. The Aegis Patrol Pro does however carry out a leakage test, meaning that it is a big step closer than the Aegis Patrol.

Q: Is it a safety tester or compliance tester only?

A: Compliance only

Q: Value for money?

A: poor

2 out of 5 stars

If you are going to consider this tester it is worth spending extra to get the Patrol Pro so that you can carry out a leakage test, however you will still be stuck with a lack of data and no tested PRCDs.

As always the above is only the opinion of portable appliance tester reviews and while every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy, we accept no responsibility for errors or commissions.

Happy testing.

Seaward 3760DL

Today we review another popular tester in the $1,000 – $2,000 range, this being the Seaward 3760DL.

This is a totally new revamp of the old original Seaward 3760, which at the time was a very good tester, there are many of the original Seaward 3760 still in service today.

This unit, depending on where you buy it, sits around the $1,000 mark, so price wise it’s very attractive.

It comes in a “always unzip wrong side of bag, bag”. The bag has 2 zips and because of the design you never know what you’ll find when you undo the zip! It will either be the tester or the accessories (like being a kid, opening a lucky dip all over again).

That aside, the bag and case are still very adequate and Seaward obviously agree or they wouldn’t still be using them.

This PAT, unlike the earlier 3760, can work off batteries for some tests.

The tester has 9 push buttons that control the test functions and also the data, which can be stored or printed via a specific (and expensive) mobile tag printer. Unfortunately like the previous model of the 3760, these switches still feed mostly unresponsively – there’s a lack of positive response when pushed. Further confusion is added if two switches are held down, such as when doing a leakage test.

The display is via a large-ish LCD which is clear to read, pass or fail results are indicated by a tick or cross and via the actual test results. Like most PATs when attaching a printer and printing a pass or fail tag, results may not be so clear if you can only see half the tag.

Probably a bit like the original 3760, it’s not particularly intuitive as to what button to push and when, Seaward have tried to use diagrams on the case to show what button is appropriate but sometimes more information would be helpful. I’m sure on occasions people have just kept pushing buttons until they got a pass out of frustration, not a desirable solution when it comes to safety!

Supply lead and test leads are adequate but depending on your model make sure you also keep the supply lead safe (as it’s not a standard, easily replaceable lead).

So, let’s move on to the testing functions. The earth test or earth bond as it’s often called is more than disappointing, considering the earlier version of this PAT could do an earth test at 10 amps, the latest however can only test at 200milliamps (0.2 Amp).

This in our opinion puts this little PAT into the compliance only PAT box, i.e. we do not consider it a safety tester which is very disappointing.

Next as usual we look at the Insulation Resistance test. This works well providing you only want to do this test at 500 volts as there is no option for a 250-volt test. This aspect isn’t a deal breaker as a leakage test can normally be done (though unlike the insulation test it need mains power available). The 250-volt test is also regularly used for the testing of surge protected equipment to stop the item from tripping.

The leakage test has to be done at a normal operating voltage as usual. This works well……IF you can get it to work AND the item under test is suitable i.e. it doesn’t have a momentary high start-up current (which is very common) or a very low current draw. Making this scenario even worse is that the maximum load on the output socket and fuse rating is 10 amps!

Testing a lot of tools on a Monday morning will likely make a bad day much worse as you’ll get messages like “load too low” or “load too high” then if you refer to the manual they’ll suggest you do a 500 volt Insulation Resistance test; which is all very well if you’re not trying to comply with the ASNZS 3760 standard which mandates leakage in many situations. You have to pity the users of these testers when this scenario happens – and it will!

Polarity Testing is what we next look at and this again becomes interesting. When testing normal leads and power boards there’s no problem and you can perform multiple earth-only tests for power boards. This is sometimes very helpfull but if the item you need to test is a power board with a MOV fitted, such as a surge protected power board, you cannot do a polarity test as part of the test sequence, which could in some situations be an essential test.

The last test function we’ll look at is the PRCD function. This is designed to test 10 and 30 milliamp PRCD’s for trip time. This works fine and will test at the top and bottom of the sine wave, there is no ramp current test option available which would have been a nice feature and practically beneficial for the owners of PRCD’s with a nuisance trip problem!

When testing portable PRCD’s there will sometimes be a requirement that polarity testing is also done, unfortunately this in a sequential format isn’t possible on this PAT.

Other features:

Can also be used with a printer and does have a memory, typical of this style of tester the entry of data isn’t going to be noteworthy on a positive scale, but we have to remember when all is said and done that it is a cheap tester, hopefully not too nasty!

In summary we have to say we are more than a little disappointed and surprised about the abilities of this PAT especially considering its heritage (hopefully that hasn’t biased us).

The 3 big questions remaining:

Q: Does it enable a testing person to comply with all the requirements of ASNZS3760?

A: No (why?)

Q: Is it a safety tester or compliance only tester?

A: Compliance only

Q: Value for money?

A: average

3 and a half stars out of 5

Happy testing

The PAT review team

Megger 150R

In the $1,000 – $2,000 range today we review the Megger 150R.

Available on the market from around $1,500 this unit is a big brand PAT, but how does it compare?

It’s small, light weight, can be battery powered (needs mains power for leakage testing), has a nice case with a fold back protective lid and dome rubberising of the case.

It can be a little complicated for new users especially when trying to do leakage and PRCD testing.

The display with selectable backlighting is very average – just a tick or a cross and the value is displayed all on the LCD with no other indicator. Considering its design is somewhat recent I think Megger could have done better.

There is the ability to change settings and to operate in a single test mode or sequential testing.

The PAT is controlled by selector switches and this is made worse as it’s not always clear how many times they need pressing. This is particularly a problem for new users but having said that, it isn’t all bad.

The charging is strangely only done when the charger is plugged into the PAT, which means users may get caught out with a PAT with a flat battery and no way of charging it, i.e. no internal charger/USB or similar charging option. The other downside to the additional charger is that the display runs off the charged batteries thus if you do not charge the batteries (even though you may be plugged into mains voltage) your tester screen will not go.

So how does it perform? The first test as usual is the earth test and sadly like most this PAT can only perform a test at 0.2 Amp (200 milliamps) so again we will classify this as a compliance only tester not a safety tester.
Remember though there’s no requirement under the standard to test the integrity of the protective earth, but if you and your workmates like above ground dwelling in preference to 6 foot under a 10 or 25 Amp test is likely to be most helpful!

Next, we look at the Insulation Resistance test. This on the Megger 150R can be done at 500 volts or 250 – whichever is required, the function works well.

The alternative option to Insulation Resistance test is the the mains powered leakage test. This generally works fine but as stated previously sometimes it seems difficult to operate.

The Polarity test generally works well and there are no outstanding issues with it.

Lastly, the PRCD test works well and can test at 10 or 30 milliamps. It is a basic test of PRCD’s but doesn’t give trip current (ramp up current test) which is a little disappointing.

There is no memory function or ability to print etc. and it’s definitely priced higher than many of its peers, many sales will be generated just because of the Megger brand despite the PAT itself being pretty average.

If you do purchase one the supply lead and charger aren’t easily sourced nor cheap!

In a nut shell it’s a big brand tester that’s very average at best. Likely purchasers will be those going for the name or alternatively if that’s the first PAT they saw.

The 3 big questions:

Q: Does it enable a testing person to comply with all the requirements of ASNZS3760?

A: Yes

Q: Is it a safety tester or compliance tester only?

A: Compliance only

Q: Value for money ?

A: Average minus

3 out of 5 stars

As a big brand with little features, Megger have done an amazing job of testers in the past and we think they could have done a little better with this one. Some memory and a 10A test could have made a world of difference.