DIY Doctor

Wire and voltage detector question

Postby Frank Johnston » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:43 pm

The wiring in my house is in a bit of a mess, mainly due to tradesmen leaving old wiring in situ.
Can I use a cheap detector to quickly establish whether a wire is live or unconnected? I cannot always follow through a cable to a socket to check it at the termination. But I could hold a detector against it
Frank Johnston
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Simply Build It

Postby sparx » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:45 pm

there are a number of such items on the market, the multi - task kind that purport to tell location of studs,cables, nails ect. are not usually very good but the so called 'volt sticks' which look like a fat pen are quite good at showing live cables if held close but won't pick up a caable covered with metal capping as used for switch drops .
At best they are all just a guide and not to be trusted with your life!
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Postby kbrownie » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:57 pm

I agree with sparx the pen type indicator miles better than the so called stud and ac voltage detector they carp at both duties.
You could consider a clamp meter but that will start costing you money!
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