Voltage Detector Affected By Snow? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:19 PM   #1
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Voltage Detector Affected by Snow?

I have a portable generator that I connect through an interlock kit to my main panel during power outages. Because the main is off when the house is generator powered, I can't tell when the power company has restored power, unless I can see the neighbors' lights, which is often diffciult where I live.

At present, I use a GB voltage detector to tell me that power has come back (one of those pen-shaped voltage sniffers that costs $12). Normally, when the power returns, I can wave it near the meter and it will indicate when voltage is back. It doesn't detect a voltage on the cables coming in and out of the meter, however.

I had a power outage recently, and although my neighbors' power had returned, the voltage detector wasn't indicating that there was any voltage at my meter. The only variable I could identify was that there ws some snow on the meter.

I tested the voltage detector on outlets in the house, and it worke dfine, and it worked fine tonight after another power outage (this time, there was no snow on the meter, and the voltage detector did indicate a voltage at the meter when power was restored).

Can some snow on the meter make a voltage detector not detect the voltage, or is there likely something else wrong?

(By the way, I know that my electrician can install a light that will tell me when the power returns, but I'm going to wait until I have some other things for him to do here before I have him install something like that).


Arnold Ziffel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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Yes, snow can definitely affect the operation of a non-contact voltage detector. Just about anything can affect it. They are rather unpredictable.


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