11 Important Hipot Tester Glossary Terms

Hipot Tester

"Hipot" is an abbreviation for "high potential," or high voltage. A hipot test is the most commonly used electrical safety test and is performed to ensure that two electrical conductors are well isolated. A hipot tester is a device used to perform a hipot test. The tester applies an incredibly high level of voltage to the conductors. Ideally, little to no current will flow between the isolated conductors. If a current is detected, the conductors have not been adequately isolated.

4-Wire Measurement

4-wire measurement, also known as four terminal sensing and Kelvin sensing, refers to a common measurement technique used to determine and analyze electrical impedance. This type of technology utilizes multiple pairs of electrodes to sense voltage and transfer current. 4-wire measurement has been seen to be more effective than traditional 2-wire measurement techniques.

Arc Detection

Arc detection is the process by which an arc flash or blast is detected with an electro-optical device. This device is called an arc sensor or arc detector. An arc flash is an electrical blast that is caused by a fault in a voltage phase and can result in damage or personal injury.

Dielectric Testing

Dielectric testing is a type of high voltage safety test used to determine the integrity of a component's insulation. A level of voltage higher than that of the given component's normal operating range is applied, testing the insulation's ability to protect a user from shock. Components checked with dielectric testers include cables, motors, transformers and some circuit boards.

Ground Bond

A ground bond refers to the electrical connection established between metallic items in a particular system that do not carry a current. A ground bond is produced in order to protect both engineers and consumers from electrical shock. Testing for an adequate ground bond within a given electrical system is one of the most important electrical standard safety tests and is traditionally performed multiple times before a system or appliance is passed on for final inspection.

Ground Fault Interrupt

A ground fault interrupter (or GFI) is an addition to a circuit used to reduce the risk of electric shock to a user. It effectively stops the action of the household circuit if a discrepancy is detected in the currents of the hot and neutral wires involved.

Insulation Resistance (IR)

Insulation resistance is the ability of a given insulating material to prevent the flow of electrical current. IR is measured in megaohms (one megaohm is equal to one million ohms). During insulation resistance testing, a direct voltage of great stability (measured in VDC up to 1500) is used to determine the ohmic value of a specific type of insulator.


A relay is any switch that is operated via electricity. Relays control circuits with low power electrical signals and are used in a variety of devices. Protective relays are used to detect when voltage in a specific line has exceeded or gone below the acceptable range for a given device. This results in a signal that is sent to a protective device, which then takes preventative action to reduce the risk of malfunction in the original device.

Scan Channels

The act of scanning channels involves the ability to selectively browse among a variety of electrical channels within a given range. This is done in order to determine and choose the channel that will be most effective for a specific task or appliance.

Test Standards

Electrical test standards are strict testing guidelines enforced in order to ensure proper safety and performance of electrical systems and equipment. Adherence to these standards reduces the risk of electrical system malfunction, losses to both professional and private establishments and injury to engineers and consumers.


A transformer is a device used to change the flow of electrical current within a particular system. Transformers inductively transfer energy from circuit to circuit through coupled coils, or conductors.