Welcome to ECN Ronald
One thing you will learn quickly is the people here care intensly about safety & doing things the right
way... We hope as you learn more & more about the electrical trade that these values become vital to you.. (As evidently they are.. You're here seeking guidance
As far as equiptment to check for live voltage.. Multimeters, wiggys, non contact voltage sensors, etc. are all things that are used... Different situations are going to require different testing methods & equiptment.. Reading the manufacturers instructions from the testing equiptment is a good place to start for further information.
As said above, the voltages we encounter on a daily basis are dangerous
. If you haven't already, you might consider seeking an apprenticeship with a local contractor to learn "hands on"..
I personally always do a "double check" with 2 different testing methods to make sure power is disconnected from what I may be working on.. Proper protection equiptment is always a good idea when live voltage may be at hand...
While on the subject, You may want to do a search under "Lockout/Tagout" procedures if you're not familiar with this term... This is a procedure in which you follow to make sure when you de-energize a circuit or equiptment you need to work on, it stays
de-energized! This procedure is also mandated by OSHA..
As far as any other questions you have, ask away!
There are no "too simple or even 'stupid'" questions here... The smart people are the ones that ask & then proceed upon seasoned advice when in doubt... There are members here from all across the globe & from most every variation of the electrical world..
[This message has been edited by Lostazhell (edited 06-30-2004).]