My new favorite outlet tester: the Triplett ET100

Every home inspector uses an outlet tester throughout the entire home inspection. The most diligent home inspectors will test every outlet they can access to ensure the outlets are properly wired. Because we use this tool so often, it’s nice to have one that is ergonomic and quick on the draw. By the way, the technical name for this device is a receptacle tester, but nobody says that.

I’ve found a new favorite outlet tester, the Triplett ET100 (thank you for the tip, Milind!).

Triplett ET100

It does the same thing as any other standard three-prong tester; it identifies wiring defects and can trip GFCI devices with the push of a button. What makes the ET100 unique, however, is the huge built-in loop!

Gear Keeper Tether

I use a Gear Keeper retractable tether to keep my outlet tester hanging from my tool belt. With my old tester, I used a zip tie to attach it, but no more. Why has no one else come up with this design?

It also has display lights clearly visible on both the top and bottom, as well as a legend on the top and bottom.

Triplett ET100 back

This is handy for testing outlets installed upside down. There’s no technically right or wrong orientation to install an outlet, but we all know how they ought to be installed.

This tester is significantly longer than the one I was previously using, but that’s not a bad thing. It gives more to grip. I can see this being a nuisance for testing receptacles in very tight quarters, but those are already a nuisance.

ET100 vs ST-102B

If you’re a home inspector, do yourself a favor and order one for yourself. And grab a Gear Keeper retractable tether too, if you don’t already have one. No more fumbling around in your tool belt or pocket to find your tester. It’s a game-changer.

Related post: for information about the limitations of these three-prong testers, check out How To Inspect Your Own House, Part 5: Electrical

Written By

Reuben is a second-generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben grew up thinking he was going to be a school teacher because he enjoyed teaching others so much. In a sense, that’s a lot of what home inspections are about, so Reuben truly does what he loves. Sharlene has worked with Structure Tech since 2000 and Reuben has been contributing to her blog since 2008.

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