Need Recommendation Of Non-contact Voltage Tester - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-21-2012, 08:35 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,408
Rewards Points: 1,654

Need recommendation of non-contact voltage tester

I used to have a non-contact voltage tester that worked fairly well. I got it from Builders Square (back when they were still in business). Over the years it dropped a few times and finally it stopped working.

Last week I went to Home Depot and picked up a new one, real cheap I think like $6.99. The problem is I can't really use it. It seem to be real sensitive and when I insert the tester into a junction box it beeps when there is nothing within a two inch radius.

My most typical application is to diagnose from a bunch of tangled wires which wire is HOT and which is not, and by turning individual circuits on and off I can determine this wire is from circuit 17 and that one is from 32 and that one from 3. My old tester I almost need to touch the wire for it to beep, but the new one beeps the hot wire is 3" away and often a circuit I had off will also beep because the wires may be too close to a hot wire. So basically unless I can pull a wire out of the box and push it away I can't tell which one is hot and which one is not.

Can someone recommend a good reliable non-contact voltage tester?

I found this at Home Depot:
Klein Tools Dual Range Non-Contact Voltage Tester $19.97

I found these two at Lowes (and reviews are not that great):

Greenlee Adjustable Non-Contact Voltage Detector, AC V 5-1000, CAT IV $19.96

Greenlee Non-Contact Volt Detector $13.89

Any thoughts what might work best? Or is there a better choice in that price range?

Thanks in advance.


miamicuse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 08:42 PM   #2
Licensed Electrician
k_buz's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 4,352
Rewards Points: 2,006

I don't use them because I can never truly trust their readings, but I've heard good things about Santronics or the Fluke version.


k_buz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
Ravenworks's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 598
Rewards Points: 500

You need one of these
U.S.M.C. "80-84" E.O.D. 1369
Ravenworks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
Master Electrician
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 1,165
Rewards Points: 500

the greenlee flluke and klein testers all work really well, The gb and other cheap models pick up power from too far away. Keep in mind that a non contact tester is only the first line of defense and it won't pick up current on a neutral. Great for safety but don't trust them with your life
Sarcasm is my friend
I'm here to learn too, i do mostly commercial/industrial/new construction and this place is a great way to pick up tips on residential from some good electrical minds. Excuse the spelling, my phone has a mind of it's own.
andrew79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 09:58 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 50
Rewards Points: 25

a guy i work with has a Milwaukee brand one, and it has a thumb dial on it to adjust sensitivity, so it will work at the 3 inch range like the one you have, or you can lower it to find a specific wire.

i have the klien brand, and it works fine with finding individual hots, the little bit i've used it.
sevenlol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
Electrical Contractor
rrolleston's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Granville, NY
Posts: 1,988
Rewards Points: 1,012
Send a message via AIM to rrolleston Send a message via Yahoo to rrolleston

Prefer to use a good multimeter. I have never found a reason to test a mid run somewhere and have heard way too stories where a wrong reading went bad.
With Electricity there is the right way to do it and the dead way. Just because it works does not make it safe.
rrolleston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 04:33 PM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 516
Rewards Points: 500

I prefer to use a non contact tester to narrow things down. But I won't dig in to start tearing things down to work on a circuit till I've checked all conductors with a meter.


Evstarr is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Circuit Board Failure due to High Voltage huyer HVAC 5 01-07-2012 05:07 AM
Circuit tester shows open neutral; multi-meter says something different. fredgmeyer Electrical 11 10-26-2009 12:41 PM
Low Voltage Post Light b_corwin Landscaping & Lawn Care 1 10-16-2009 09:20 PM
2 - 900w tansformers on a 15A circuit? tonyBagadonuts Electrical 19 07-20-2008 07:15 PM
contact paper removal scatterbrain Remodeling 2 07-06-2008 07:57 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1