The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!


2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Recent Posts
Safety at heights?
by Trumpy
Today at 05:25 AM
Old Bath Fan
by gfretwell
Today at 01:38 AM
Search Function
by Webmaster
Yesterday at 11:13 PM
Forum Software Upgrade coming soon...
by Webmaster
Yesterday at 09:17 PM
ESA Arc flash course
by frank
Yesterday at 04:25 PM
New in the Gallery:
Desk-mounted "power-board"
Top Posters (30 Days)
Webmaster 30
HotLine1 21
Ruben Rocha 16
Trumpy 13
gfretwell 13
Who's Online
0 registered (), 0 Guests and 212 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#20100 - 01/08/03 06:46 PM phantom voltage??
Edward Offline

Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 309
Loc: California
Would you please explain phantom voltage.

Thank You

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#20101 - 01/08/03 08:47 PM Re: phantom voltage??
lighthouse Offline

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 141
Loc: philadelphia pa 19125
edward.i think this link may help you.

#20102 - 01/08/03 09:30 PM Re: phantom voltage??
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8553
Loc: SI,New Zealand
This phenomenom,could also be called an Induced Voltage, it is common with long cable runs and where cables are bunched together in an installation.
I have seen up to 98V AC, induced into cables,by static induction.
But it is at extremely low current, it is nothing that should be feared from a safety perspective.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#20103 - 01/09/03 04:15 AM Re: phantom voltage??
tsolanto Offline

Registered: 09/03/02
Posts: 131
Loc: Long Island NY
Any time a current is induced into a wire a magnetic field gets built up around the wire. If the magnetic field is in close proximty to another wire it can couple to that wire, thats how a transformer works. If you use a proximity tester (tick tracer) you can pick up these trace voltages. Sometimes ballasts and transformers can induce pretty high voltages on ungrounded metal conductors, enclosures, conduit etc. although the load carying capibilities is very small. You can read the voltage with a meter because of its high impedance. Just ground it and it disapates.

#20104 - 01/09/03 05:43 AM Re: phantom voltage??
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Another thing you'll notice is that the voltage you read depends upon the type of meter. As noted above, the high input impedance (typically 10 meg) of a digital meter results in a high reading.

If you swap over and measure using a traditional analog meter with a lower input impedance, you'll find that the reading drops substantially. In fact, because the input impedance of the meter varies from range to range, you'll find that the apparent voltage drops each time you switch to a lower range.

Where the voltage is caused by capacitive coupling due to proximity to an energized conductor, you're effectively forming a potential divider with that capacitance and the resistance of your meter.

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 01-09-2003).]

#20105 - 01/09/03 06:37 AM Re: phantom voltage??
Wirenuttt Offline

Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 267
Loc: Massachusetts
You mentioned static induction. I was at a manufacturing food processing plant about 10 years ago. All their machines had a static ground attached from the conduit to the machines. Do you know if that eliminates phantom voltages to zero or was this just because of a hazordous location with flying combustables in the air or both??

#20106 - 01/09/03 07:36 AM Re: phantom voltage??
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4229
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
I carry an old Square D "Wiggy" in addition to my high Z Fluke T5.
The "ghost" goes away with just a tiny load.

#20107 - 01/09/03 08:41 AM Re: phantom voltage??
Redsy Offline

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
"Tegam" makes a family of single function, digital voltage meters.
The Voltman Model 125 is a low impedance meter designed to eliminate "phantom voltages".

try here:

[This message has been edited by Redsy (edited 01-09-2003).]

#20108 - 01/09/03 12:03 PM Re: phantom voltage??
Chris Rudolph Offline

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 160
Loc: Winter Park,Fl USA
Please define static induction.

#20109 - 01/09/03 04:50 PM Re: phantom voltage??
Gwz Offline

Registered: 04/29/02
Posts: 199
Many a lineman has died from this "static" voltage on high-lines. Conductors that are run parallel ( for miles ) with energized circuits on the same poles or towers or even close-by structures build-up a lethal voltage.
These conductors must be grounded, near-by the person working on those lines.

Grounding the conductors being 'worked on' a mile or so away from the work site can have lethal voltages.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals