Seaward Primetest 125 EL Review

Today we are going to review another Pat from a very popular manufacturer, that being the Seaward 125 EL.

Seaward ownership changed a few years back and it will be interesting when they bring out something really new, or will they ?

We haven’t really seen anything particularly different than upgrades or off shoots from previous models this model PT 125 EL is just another of these but as stated it’s the cheapest on the Australian market!

The question is then what do you get from this tester ie is cheap good or is it more expensive overall when considering the bigger picture.

The Pat is small and light and easily handheld, maybe not surprising it doesn’t have the standard Seaward case, obviously this would add cost and if your penny pinching anything could be on the chopping block! So find your own case.
Battery operation is possible for all tests except the leakage test, batteries are not rechargeable, obviously this saves space and cost.

Operating the tester is very simple and this goes back to how the original Seaward PAC 3760 worked ie 3 push button switches.

The display is pretty much a standard Seaward display for this standard case Seaward like to use and to be fair it does the job adequately.
Pass/ fail as well as ticks and crosses are displayed as well as the actual measured values, the measured values are especially useful for the more conscientious testing person.

Though this Pat may not be the tester of choice for those concerned with safety not mere compliance … we will cover that later.
A better warning system would be helpful for some users to remind them the Pat is about to power up an appliance or tool ( might save a finger or two)

Next we can look at the test functions.

Earth Bond test

No surprises here compliance with ASNZS3760 is possible on mains or battery.

Like rest of the recent Seward range, we believe it is a stretch to call measuring the protective earth resistance at 200 milliamps an earth bond test.

So the real earth bond test of 10 or 25 amps are missing, we understand that these high current tests aren’t a legal requirement however for those concerned with breathing, testing the earth’s integrity may help to ensure you or someone you know continues to do so!

We think testing should prove something worthwhile ie will it really work if it needs to, or why bother testing at all!

We mentioned before the first Seaward in the same case was called the PAC 3760, this tester did perform a true earth bond test at 10 amps, unfortunately this was discontinued years back.

500 volt Insulation Resistance test

We are happy to say this works fine, however there is no option for testing at 250 volts so if your trying to use this Pat on batteries and need to test power boards and the like with surge protection you’ll need to choose another Pat.

Leakage Testing

Leakage testing on both class 1 and 2 is easily performed when mains powered however it is extremely likely you will struggle to test things like large angle grinders, compressors and the like due to both the momentary high inrush current and also in some instances appliances with very little current draw.

Maybe due to the above get a demo on your own gear, not much point buying something that won’t work FOR YOU.


The maximum rating of the appliance being tested has to be no more than 10 amps

RCD tests

This unit has no RCD test function, this isn’t surprising considering the price.

Other features

Nothing else here of any significance, no memory or print option again not to be expected considering the price.

So how does this Pat from a big brand stack up on the big three questions.

  1.  Does it enable compliance with ASNZS3760 ? Yes but only for the test functions available ie not if you need to test RCD’s .
  2.  Is it a safety tester or compliance only Pat ? Compliance only
  3.  Value for money ? For some it may be a good cheap buy, but for others not a good buy, ie slow testing process , no results, hand written tags, limited and indefinite range of appliances it can test, no RCD test function.

Summing up considering Seawards been building Pat’s longer than most we find this Pat quite disappointing, likely buyers will be purely price driven short sited people who aren’t really concerned with safety!

Now for the score, we rate this a 2+ out of 5.

Happy testing from the team at Pat reviews

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