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#7484 - 02/07/02 10:13 PM Testers  
tmeg46  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 10
Naples, Fl, USA.
Would like an opinion on testers. Pros and cons, on the following: 1) non-contact proximity tester. 2) Wiggy 3) A multi purpose (voltage, ohm, amprobe) type, digital or otherwise.
Do electricians, service or construction, use one over the other and which is best. I have my opinions (their like noses, right?) but would just like to hear from others.

Thanks, Tom


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#7485 - 02/07/02 11:41 PM Re: Testers  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878
NY, USA
Tom,

>> 1) non-contact proximity tester
My all-time Favorite Tool I wouldn't go to work without it.

Bill


#7486 - 02/07/02 11:54 PM Re: Testers  
George Corron  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 717
Lorton, Va USA
You realize though, that all those testers have their charms. Wiggies are light, nearly unbreakable (especially if you have one of the old metal ones [Linked Image]) Contact testers are nice, but....seen 'em fail. Analog testers you can see a capacitive "kick" as it leaves a circuit being tested, digital, nice and accurate, you often see the peak voltage (170) before it settles down to 120, now with digital do you want true or average readings, that also makes a difference and there are reasons for wanting both, WELL now that I've thoroughly confused the issue, I'll leave [Linked Image]


#7487 - 02/08/02 12:34 AM Re: Testers  
Jim M  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 457
Chestertown, MD, USA
I just got a non-contact tester. I don't know what I did without it.

All of these meters have their uses. I have at least one of each along with 2 amp meters, one digital, one analog for cold weather.


#7488 - 02/08/02 08:26 AM Re: Testers  
Redsy  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Bucks County PA
I know many will say that you should not rely on them solely, but sometimes we get complacent. Non-contact testers have a serious, potentially deadly quirk. If a cable(particularly NM, which has a paper filler which retains moisture) has been exposed to moisture, they may not indicate voltage when ther is voltage present. My brother was installing an outdoor receptacle on a tail of NM that someone else had started a few weeks before. The non-contact tester did not beep. When he went to shorten the cable with his cutters, it sparked and tripped the breaker. If the cable had not been too long, he would have stripped it while kneling in damp grass, and probably would have been killed. Non-contact testers are a great device, but don't bet your life on them!
As far as others, Ideal has a Vol-Con Elite tester #61-092, that has a non-contact feature and a non solenoid vibrating feature, which is good for day-to-day use.
I like the fluke 89 IV DMM. It has lots of nice features.

[This message has been edited by Redsy (edited 02-08-2002).]


#7489 - 02/08/02 10:35 AM Re: Testers  
buddy  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 8
Along the lines of testers, is there a requirement that all testers have to be UL listed? Could you make your own tester and still be "legal"?


#7490 - 02/08/02 08:39 PM Re: Testers  
SPARKSALOT  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 28
Omak, WA, USA
I use a non contact tester for 120 stuff in "safe" situations. Where there may be higher voltages or I am outside or could be grounded somehow I use a fluke 23 or 87. I also sometimes use an Ideal voltage/continuity meter. I used to work for Shell oil and they required these or equivalent because of the inherent safety of not being able to have a selector in the wrong position. I have learned the value of that in the few times I have left my Flukes in current setting and hooked across 277v. Very fast way to get your attention.
Don


#7491 - 02/08/02 09:22 PM Re: Testers  
electure  Offline


Member
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,259
Fullerton, CA USA
I carry both a Fluke T-5 and an old (25 yrs.)Square D "Wiggy" for checking if a circuit is dead. I use them both. Very often the Fluke high-impedance digital will show voltage on a circuit that's turned off, due to capacitance.
Also love my Fluke 36. RMS-AC/DC


#7492 - 02/08/02 09:30 PM Re: Testers  
Chris Rudolph  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 160
Winter Park,Fl USA
I carry both the proximity tester and a digital multimeter as well as an analog clamp on current meter.
One thing that I recommend is to test whatever instrument you use on a known powered up circiut before using it on the unknown.

Chris


#7493 - 02/08/02 11:06 PM Re: Testers  
CTwireman  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
I use a non-contact all the time. I also use a Vol-con for checking continuity and grounds, and an Amprobe ACD-10 clamp-around DMM when I need accurate voltage and current readings.

The non-contact is nice because it fits in your tool belt or pocket, but its not very rugged.

The Vol-con is almost indestructible, as I've thrown it, dropped it and abused it and it still works.

Of course, always "test your tester" first, especially the non-contact.

So, I would say all 3 tester types are essential to have.


Peter

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