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Old 09-12-2014, 09:27 PM   #1
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Non contact voltage tester false reading


Earlier today i was pulling drywall down from a ceiling in an upstairs bedroom. The house is older(1925) and is a bungalow. While tearing down the drywall I found an electrical wire that had been buried in the ceiling. Based on the location it looks like it used to be a ceiling light for the room.

I grabbed my non contact tester and checked the wire. The tester said it was live. I then tried shutting off my circuits one by one at the panel however the tester kept saying the wire was live. I killed the main breaker and the tester still said the wire was live. Knowing this was impossible, I held the tester near the ceiling all over the room and the tester kept going off. I checked the adjacent room and had the same result.

I realize these testers aren't the most accurate tool out there, but this one has been reliable since I bought it. I'm curious to know if anyone can explain why it gives me a false reading near my ceiling?

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Old 09-12-2014, 09:45 PM   #2
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Non contact voltage tester false reading


I think you ceilings are a portal or doorway to another dimension.

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Old 09-12-2014, 10:59 PM   #3
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Non contact voltage tester false reading


This is the reason why a lot of us pros call these testers 'Death Sticks'. They give false readings all the time. There's no possible way I'd ever trust my life to one of them.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:01 PM   #4
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Non contact voltage tester false reading


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Originally Posted by micromind
This is the reason why a lot of us pros call these testers 'Death Sticks'. They give false readings all the time. There's no possible way I'd ever trust my life to one of them.
I hear you on that one. But that being said there must be a reason it's doing this no?

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Old 09-12-2014, 11:02 PM   #5
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Non contact voltage tester false reading


It must be picking up an electro magnetic field from something else !

Near by power lines
Radio tranmittor nearby
floor slab heaters
etc
etc
etc
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:04 PM   #6
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Non contact voltage tester false reading


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Originally Posted by dmxtothemax
It must be picking up an electro magnetic field from something else ! Near by power lines Radio tranmittor nearby floor slab heaters etc etc etc
I was thinking this as well, but there's absolutely nothing in the attic as far as power goes. Also, the ceiling in an addition which is closest to the power lines does not set it off...

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Old 09-12-2014, 11:19 PM   #7
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Non contact voltage tester false reading


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Originally Posted by Lemkie View Post
I hear you on that one. But that being said there must be a reason it's doing this no?

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This might be a bit of a stretch, but it's possible that the solar flare that recently occurred could cause the death stick to act up.

It'd be interesting to see if you get the same results a couple of days from now when the flare has subsided.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:20 PM   #8
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Non contact voltage tester false reading


Try a new battery if it has been ok until now.
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:27 AM   #9
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Non contact voltage tester false reading


It could be picking up inductance. Or it might be the tester. Either way if you're sure the circuit is off check it with a wiggy or a meter.

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