During a PM, how do you check a probe for electrical safety and for nicks in the rubber surface that are not visible to the human eye?

Normally, I look for failures in the rubber lens material and cracks in the nose with a magnifying glass and I use my electrical safety analyzer, a Dale 601, and my phantom, an ATS 539.

First, I acquire my forward on chassis leakage number. Using a rule I flagrantly borrowed from an HP manual, I consider 80% of leakage as the failure threshold. In truth, I haven’t seen a probe that leaks a little, if there is a failure the leakage tester goes to the chassis leakage number. Once I have established this leakage number, I set up for phantom testing. I fill my phantom with water and a small amount of salt to increase conductivity. I then remove my chassis leakage clip from the system and clip it to my phantom so that the clip is adequately exposed to the water. I then proceed to image my phantom, making hard copy images for the customer.

When I have completed my picture on a particular probe I lift ground on my leakage tester and read the result. This will be in the 1 to 3 micro amp range. Invasive probes would require a larger bath, perhaps a non-conductive basin. TEE probes typically require a large basin. Be careful to never manually position the distal tip and only expose the insertion tube, bending rubber and distal tip to the liquid. One tip on the Siemens V5Ms probes, leave them in the bath for a minimum of 10 minutes. If there is an integrity issue, it may take that long for the testing liquid to reach metal inside the probe. The TEE probe may read in the 14 to 18 micro amp range when the majority of the insertion tube is exposed to the test media.

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