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Old 07-02-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
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Electric Pen Testers - Are they any good?


Hey,

I've been changing most of my light switches, electrical sockets, and baseboard heaters, over the last 12 months, with still a few to go. I have gone through a few Electric Pen Testers, and I haven't one that has worked properly yet! Or is it just me?!!

For instance, today, I flicked the switch on the fuse box that I knew isolated the bedroom lights. But I got my Electric Pen Tester out anyway, and put it against the wires...It's bleeped like hell...anyway, long story short. I ended up doing the 'finger test', whereby 1 x human finger confirmed there was no electricity running through the wires!! So, my Electric Pen Tester is pretty useless, just like the others!

So, how does everybody else on here check they wiring for that invisible stuff that makes ya fingers tingle, when the 'finger test' goes wrong?!!

Cheers
Glenn

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Old 07-02-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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Electric Pen Testers - Are they any good?


Finger test? You touched the wire you suspected was live? You won't be able to tell if the wire is live just by touching a live wire.

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Old 07-02-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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Buy a tester with two probes--Wiggy is my choice--

You need to be able to test for --power--neutral and ground when trouble shooting a circuit---and voltage--

That light up pen probe can't dependably do any of those---

They will often pick up ghost voltage and voltage on a neutral that is carrying a load--

Not sure what they are good for--but I'm old and don't use the new fangled things.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:21 PM   #4
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thats right, you have to put a ground wire and the hot on your tongue. Just like testing a 9 volt battery.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Wiggy is my choice
Love em...if you want something that is (quite possibly) the most useful tester I have owned...

http://www.service.kleintools.com/To.../Product/ET200

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Old 07-02-2012, 09:03 PM   #6
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You guys must know I'm bald....Wiggy indeed!!!

Cheers....I'll be off out to get one tomorrow.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:19 PM   #7
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Love em...if you want something that is (quite possibly) the most useful tester I have owned...

http://www.service.kleintools.com/To.../Product/ET200

I think I will get one of those--both of my old wiggys need new probes--
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:26 PM   #8
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Over heard at a funeral " She said she wanted to know what electricity tasted like."
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:21 PM   #9
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A lot of us electricians have nicknamed those non-contact testers 'Death Sticks'.

They will beep when a wire is actually dead; they'll pick up capacitive coupling from anything that's nearby and hot.

they also fail to identify wires that actually are energized once in a while.

I don't like the electronic Wiggys. I greatly prefer the solonoid type. The electronic ones are often fooled by capacitive coupling, the solonoid type have low enough impedance to cancel out any kind of phantom voltages.

Mine is a Knopp; I've had it for about 20 years.

Rob
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:24 PM   #10
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Maybe I'll just get new probes
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:35 PM   #11
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The one I posted works without batteries for testing voltage. It uses the batteries for the continuity testing and the LED light.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #12
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they also fail to identify wires that actually are energized once in a while.
You mean that once in a while they fail to identify wires that are energized? Or wires that aren't always energized?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #13
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Electric Pen Testers - Are they any good?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gloriousglenn View Post
Hey,

I've been changing most of my light switches, electrical sockets, and baseboard heaters, over the last 12 months, with still a few to go. I have gone through a few Electric Pen Testers, and I haven't one that has worked properly yet! Or is it just me?!!

For instance, today, I flicked the switch on the fuse box that I knew isolated the bedroom lights. But I got my Electric Pen Tester out anyway, and put it against the wires...It's bleeped like hell...anyway, long story short. I ended up doing the 'finger test', whereby 1 x human finger confirmed there was no electricity running through the wires!! So, my Electric Pen Tester is pretty useless, just like the others!

So, how does everybody else on here check they wiring for that invisible stuff that makes ya fingers tingle, when the 'finger test' goes wrong?!!

Cheers
Glenn
Now I know why you don't have any hair Glenn.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:48 PM   #14
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Now I know why you don't have any hair Glenn.
And when I did, it was ginger and curly!!
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:38 PM   #15
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Electric Pen Testers - Are they any good?


greenlee makes a really nice solinoid tester that also has multimeter and non contact tester built into the nose, I've been wanting one but just can't justify the cost when i have a nice fluke set already.

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