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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 4th Aug 2019, 10:50 am   #21
Julesomega
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Default Re: Neon Tester Screwdrivers

It's always good to hear the advice of professionals so I had a look at electricalsafetyfirst who seem to require either a two-terminal tester made for the purpose or if that's inconvenient a contactless tester.

I'm personally uncomfortable testing between two points with a probe in each hand, but unless there is a suitable terminal for a croc clip that's what you have to do. Worse, how does that work if say your earth circuit has become live?

As Ian says, contactless testers tend to light up if you touch any metal. It makes better sense to have a contactless tester without a blade and I might be tempted next time I'm in Toolstation. I already have an NCV facility on my Uni-Trend UT210E AC/DC Mini Clamp Meter which works ok, the specs says it will detect mains voltage at 15mm from a conductor

To me, a neon tester is the most trustworthy test if you can get someone else to open the breaker and you see the neon go out
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Old 4th Aug 2019, 5:35 pm   #22
Sinewave
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Default Re: Neon Tester Screwdrivers

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmunro View Post
This is what electricians are taught these days.

https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.or...actice-guides/

The essential equipment is a suitable voltage indicator and either a know supply or a proving unit. The voltage indicator has to be proved to be working before and after checking circuits are not live. Note that multimeters are not encouraged due to risks associated to their being set to an unsuitable range. Three test to be made on single phase supplies, ten on three phase supplies.

Possesion of a working voltage indicator and proving unit, or a tester with built-in proving is essential to passing the annual assessment by any of the Scheme Providers, NICEIC, SELECT, NAPIT, etc. with whom electricians should be registered.

"Voltsticks" are another questionable type of indicating device. It can be argued they are useful for proving circuits are live, but certainly not that they are dead.

PMM
That's certainly the case with the buildings/plug socket and light bulb electricians. There is a compounding opinion from organisations when they can't trust that type of electrician on how to use a multimeter.
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Old 4th Aug 2019, 6:49 pm   #23
Maarten
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Default Re: Neon Tester Screwdrivers

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Originally Posted by ms660 View Post
I must have tested a thousand or more for live chassis using the old style neon test screwdriver when I was in the trade, never had a miss, maybe I was lucky.
That they aren't safe for some measurements and under specific circumstances, doesn't mean they're unsafe for all purposes.

Testing for a live chassis is one of the best applications as long as you know what you're doing (always test both plug orientations and interprete unexpected results correctly).
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Old 4th Aug 2019, 7:36 pm   #24
ms660
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Default Re: Neon Tester Screwdrivers

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Originally Posted by Maarten View Post
Testing for a live chassis is one of the best applications as long as you know what you're doing (always test both plug orientations and interprete unexpected results correctly).
I did on most occasions, sometimes got a belt though because I forgot to test for live chassis...as always, nature conspires...

Lawrence.
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Old 5th Aug 2019, 2:33 am   #25
usradcoll1
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Default Re: Neon Tester Screwdrivers

I guess, in this country, we get a little careless because of our low mains voltage, but I got bit on 240 volts on my industrial electrician's job, derived from three phase mains. It'll stun you pretty good, especially when you when you have a good contact with earth.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 12:06 am   #26
Oldcodger
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Default Re: Neon Tester Screwdrivers

Use a suitable tester ? And then again ,are the leads in date/safe to use. A non screwdriver ( kept in top condition, chuck it id you doubt it's safety) is something I'd sooner trust. As with all go/no go tests, it's safety essential that the equipment is trusted. Why not test the suspect circuit in the on condition. Screwdriver indicates - switch off and test again. Scrwdriver does not indicate- find a known working circuit and test it. I far these days that the Elf ( as in Elf & safety) has addled folks brains and stopped folks thinking about how to be safe ,unless ther's a long list of safety regulations.
And yes- I was qualified and certified in my last employment to work on 650v circuits, although in my GPO/PO carer, I often workd with 1000v AC power feed on CEL and inside ( certified dead) up to 4.5KV submarine power feed terminals.
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