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? This has became a recommended practice here at the mill. I think you need a contact type tester in this situation. Comments? Thanks
I wouldn't touch a 600v conductor if every piece of equipment in town said it was dead unless I had the fuses in my pocket or the key to a locked-off disco. Get the mug with the non-contact doo-hickey to do it!
Wood work but can't!
#52052 - 05/18/0506:54 PMRe: non-contact voltage testers
I always check that it is working either with a known live circuit or simply rubbing it on my sleeve. It will light if it's operational. I have never had it read dead on a live circuit, it will sometimes give a false live reading.
I carry the Fluke non contact tester and a Fluke T5-1000 Multimeter. I am not sure which is more reliable, they both rely on electronics to produce a correct reading.
Bob Badger Construction & Maintenance Electrician Massachusetts
#52054 - 05/18/0507:20 PMRe: non-contact voltage testers
I've never known the Fluke Volt Alert to give a false "dead" reading. I test mine the same way that Bob does.
BTW, if you want to be thourough, you should also test your meter on a known live circuit after you use it to check for voltage on a circuit you want to work on. You never know exactly when your meter will quit working.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
#52055 - 05/18/0507:23 PMRe: non-contact voltage testers
I agree with iwire, test by either using a known AC voltage source, or by rubbing on your sleeve or other part of your clothing, before AND after checking the terminal in question. If there is any chance it may be falsely registering no voltage, for example due to a preponderance of grounded metalwork, I would revert to a contact voltmeter of some kind. But generally, I have found the non contact kind very reliable if treated well. I was always taught that the 'prove your tester actually works both before and after testing an unknown conductor/terminal' routine, and it makes sense to do so with both non contact and traditional testers.
#52056 - 05/18/0510:49 PMRe: non-contact voltage testers