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How to use a continuity tester to check the integrity of electrical connections in an evse unit

EVSE stands for electric vehicle supply equipment and includes all the components required for the regular charging of an electric vehicle (EV). This mainly involves the EV charging station but also includes the charging connector and the charging cable. We need to test the safety of EVSE upon installation to ensure it has been installed correctly and is operating correctly, and we also need to carry out periodic testing checks for:

  • Preventive maintenance
  • To identify the cause of operational issues
  • To ensure optimal safety during operation

These tests will help us detect issues which can cause significant safety risks, but can also lead to equipment damage, downtime, repair costs and operational inefficiencies.


What is a continuity test?

The continuity test is one of the most common and simple electrical safety tests. It verifies that a complete electrical path exists in a circuit, ie. we have continuity. The basic principle of a continuity test is that we apply a small voltage to one end of a circuit, while placing a test lead also at the other end of a circuit. The continuity tester then indicates whether current flow is being received at the other end of the circuit, and hence we have a closed circuit, a clear electrical path and therefore continuity. If we don’t have continuity then there must be obstructions or a break in the circuit.

A typical continuity tester will consist of a handheld instrument with two test leads attached to the top of it. These are red and black pointed probes and are attached to either end of the circuit for testing. If we establish that the circuit has continuity then the tester will indicate this with either a light or an audible beep. A circuit can be a lightbulb, a length of wire, a fuse, or a switch, but in this case we are talking about the electrical connections in EVSE, and therefore the continuity test can check the integrity of these electrical connections upon installation of the EVSE and during subsequent maintenance.  


How to carry out a continuity test of EVSEhow to use a continuity tester to check the integrity of the electrical connections in an evse unit

You can use a simple stand-alone continuity tester for this test, but it is common for electrical testers to use multi-function testers for this purpose. This is a single instrument which enables the tester to carry out several standard electrical tests, simply by switching between testing functions on the instrument.

The TIS MFT-PRO-EV is a professional multi-function tester with EVSE testing capability, and this range of testing includes the continuity test. This set includes the multi-function tester and the TIS EV TEST100, which is a test adaptor which mimics the charging cable of the EV for testing purposes, so that you don’t need an EV present for the testing. The MFT-Pro runs an auto sequence which allows you to run through all the individual tests in an automatic sequence, including continuity, insulation test, loop test and ramp test. However, in order to illustrate how to carry out the continuity test we can run through this process in isolation just using the EV-TEST100 and without the MFT-PRO auto sequence:

  • Ensure the circuit is de-energised and that power is off and isolated to the EVSE unit
  • Connect the EV TEST100 to the EVSE charging unit
  • Set PP State to NC, set CP State to A and set Fault to OK
  • Connect one lead from your MFT-Pro to the PE socket on the EV TEST100 and the other lead to an Earth Point on the circuit
  • Carry out the Continuity Test and wait for the indication as to whether you have continuity or not.

Based on the continuity test result you will be able to confirm that the electrical connections of the EVSE are OK and you have continuity, or you will be able to diagnose what problems may exist with the connections or the installation.


Video Demonstration

Below is a product demonstration video of our popular MFT-PRO-EV:

Please note that this section is for information purposes only. Anyone using equipment referred to in this section must be suitably qualified and/or experienced within the respective field. If in doubt before use, please consult a qualified electrician or engineer & thoroughly read all instruction booklets.

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