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Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
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To answer the original question:
Quote
Would anybody trust a non-contact voltage tester? (such at the Fluke 1AC-A1, the pen shaped testers that glow in the presence of voltage and fit in your pocket) Would you trust it enough to touch a bare wire or terminal strip that nomally has 600 vac. on it if the "volt pen" showed no presence of voltage?
In a nutshell, no I wouldn't.
Batteries can go flat at any time.
I'd only touch a wire that was shown to be dead by a non-contact tester, after having re-tested it with a reliable contact type tester.
Non-contact testers use a Hall-effect sensor in the tip to detect the changing magnetic field from the AC voltage in the wire, the batteries are used to drive either an LED indicator or a small piezo unit or in some cases both.
Having had experience with non-contact testers up to 66kV level, the importance of having good, well looked after test gear and the need to constantly check the testers integrity, really sinks in.
To have a tester fail at these kinds of voltages, would be devastating. [Linked Image]

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 23
T
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Quote
JFLS41 wrote:
I trusted a Greenlee voltage pen once and my dikes have a jagged wire stripper built in now. These voltage testers chirp when you shake them. I don't trust them for nothing.

I agree, I've found the Greenlee testers to lie like crazy. If you don't like the indication it's giving you, shake it for the opposite answer. [Linked Image] I went through three defective ones in the course of about a week, and pitched it in favor of a Fluke pen tester. I've found the Fluke to be very reliable. [Linked Image]

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 179
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I like the GB nc tester (it's red)down side is hearing aid type batts.;expensive,not found everywhere;upside is self testing,push the clip and it chirps when batts. are ok,then known live,then suspect wire.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,789
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I too have the Greenlee. It is handy for diagnosing 3 way loops and such but it will never be the end all "this wire is safe to touch" tool for me.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 27
W
Member
No mulet it was not at you at all It is from the start of this post which is now getting to for and against and I stated use what you are comfortable with if it is any testing equipment anyone using this forum is more than qualified to use it. Remember this is The Electrical Contractor Network and usually to be an Electrical Contractor takes a four year apprenticeship and hold a Journeyman License two years to become a Master Electrician also included into it testing and a passing grade for both Journeyman and Master. And yes I relize other than just Electrical Contractors are on this forum But I try to post to the Electrical Contractor so again what is the beef? You use it and you like it fine if you ddont't like feel unsafe and don't trust it and wouldn't use it that is fine. Again use what you feel is safe and adequate for you not because someone else would or wouldn't use one. I have a non-contact, a Fluke amprobe an Amprobe amprobe and multimeter and also a Digital multi-meter and somewhere an ols Simpson 260 VOM that I am not even sure that still works and I use them all at different troubleshooting service jobs I get but I always use what I am comfortable with that I know it is safe.


William Runkle
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 27
W
Member
No mulet it was not at you at all It is from the start of this post which is now getting to for and against and I stated use what you are comfortable with if it is any testing equipment anyone using this forum is more than qualified to use it. Remember this is The Electrical Contractor Network and usually to be an Electrical Contractor takes a four year apprenticeship and hold a Journeyman License two years to become a Master Electrician also included into it testing and a passing grade for both Journeyman and Master. And yes I relize other than just Electrical Contractors are on this forum But I try to post to the Electrical Contractor so again what is the beef? You use it and you like it fine if you ddont't like feel unsafe and don't trust it and wouldn't use it that is fine. Again use what you feel is safe and adequate for you not because someone else would or wouldn't use one. I have a non-contact, a Fluke amprobe an Amprobe amprobe and multimeter and also a Digital multi-meter and somewhere an ols Simpson 260 VOM that I am not even sure that still works and I use them all at different troubleshooting service jobs I get but I always use what I am comfortable with that I know it is safe.


William Runkle
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 109
L
Member
I do service work on every thing from single family to 12kv and use the touch less all the time. I was taught to work everything as if it was hot all the time. I had a GB for years and liked the chirp to test feature, but it gave more false positives than the fluke pen I use now. I just bought a new fluke light/touch less two days ago and the one thing I don't like so far is no audio alarm and the LED is harder to see. If you work safe and know the limitations of the tools you are using all will be well, get careless and you will be toast no matter what tester you use. Rod

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