What is insulation resistance testing?

The insulation resistance (IR) test (also commonly known as a Megger) is a spot insulation test which uses an applied DC voltage (typically either 250Vdc, 500Vdc or 1,000Vdc for low voltage equipment (600V and 2,500Vdc and 5,000Vdc for high voltage equipment) to measure insulation resistance in either kΩ, MΩ or GΩ. The measured resistance is intended to indicate the condition of the insulation or dielectric between two conductive parts, where the higher the resistance, the better the condition of the insulation. Ideally, the insulation resistance would be infinite, but as no insulators are perfect, leakage currents through the dielectric will ensure that a finite (though high) resistance value is measured.

Because IR testers are portable, the IR test is often used in the field as the final check of equipment insulation and also to confirm the reliability of the circuit and that there are no leakage currents from unintended faults in the wiring (e.g. a shorted connection would be obvious from the test results).

One of the advantages of the IR test is its non-destructive nature. DC voltages do not cause harmful and/or cumulative effects on insulation materials and provided the voltage is below the breakdown voltage of the insulation, does not deteriorate the insulation. IR test voltages are all well within the safe test voltage for most (if not all) insulation materials.

Why insulation resistance testing?

To know life of your electricalcables

To know the cable insulation status

Interpretation of Test Results

• The minimum values for IR tests vary depending on the type of equipment and the nominal voltage.

• They also vary according to international standards.

• Some standards will define the minimum IR test values for the general electrical installations.