Discuss Volt sticks and what is you opinion in the Electrical Tools and Products area at ElectriciansForums.net

SJD

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Can be very useful to detect in twin & earth cable which side is L, if you want to cut the cable without shorting N to E. [Obviously the circuit MCB is then turned off first, but perhaps not the RCD.]
 

PEG

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I find that a volt stick,is ideal for using as a pointer in the suppliers,as in "Pass me one of them...no next to it...no,the other side....that's it...that AVI..." ;)
 

KEV 1 N

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Wouldn’t trust them to prove something’s dead, but I find them useful to locate and verify circuits particularly where you can’t use a martindale or where FCUs don’t have neons, and you don’t have to unscrew fronts to get at the terminals.
Also handy for identifying a cable you need to trace, again no need to make contact with the wire.
 

sam400

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I don’t currently own one but have used one for identifying a cable in a loft that I wanted to ‘tap into’ I think it was to run a tv amplifier,
 

Flanders

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The old death stick, yes handing for checking if a spur or switch pendant could be live , comes in handy when doing eicr to locate circuits but, thats about it.
 

Gavin John Hyde

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if you have ever shopped with testermans and sign up to the newsletter they will give you a free voltstick.. which tells you all you need to know! on the positive side the used and reconditioned testing kit on the website is quite well priced.
 

Strima

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Can be handing for fault finding when tracing out conductors etc and for stirring my brew...

No good for stabbing apprentices with though, not sharp enough...
 

static zap

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Tap/stroke some models rhythmically ,and you can pretend something is dangerous , even with the power off.
--BEST keep you fingers out-of here--
Red Light means danger.
All that capacitance -stuff is dangerous..
(..they can tell lies.. as we all know)
 

Gavin John Hyde

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Tap/stroke some models rhythmically ,and you can pretend something is dangerous , even with the power off.
--BEST keep you fingers out-of here--
Red Light means danger.
All that capacitance -stuff is dangerous..
(..they can tell lies.. as we all know)
got one with my clamp meter thrown in the box, even my weetabix makes it glow! found out when i put it on the side with the shopping next to it!
 

PEG

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Although these items get a bit of stick :rolleyes: they do find a use.
I have some,somewhere, i think,if my 10 year old hasn't used them as a tiny light-sabre...

I do use the volt-sense end of one of my Megger devices,330 maybe? So,a large,glorified stick of sorts ;)As ever,used appropriately,even an elastic band is a suitable tool...
 
T

The Ghost

I used one the other day as I was extending a lighting circuit and located two cables going to the rose to tap off of. Volt stick was very handy. Disconnected the feed at the rose and parted the cables the volt stick told me which one was live/feed as I could not get directly above the rose downstairs this was very handy. As to relying on them for safe isolation, when hell freezes over!
 

NDG Elecs

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As already said - I wouldn't use for 100% isolation but they have uses. Except the Megger one I have which is so sensitive. I think that one would chirp if you put it near a watch battery.
 

Paignton pete

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An absolutely useless way to get yourself hurt
Totally disagree with you there.

It's an absolutely ideal way to get yourself hurt.

You may as well pick up a stick in the forest and use that to ensure safe isolation. Just as safe.
On second thoughts you may get a splinter in your pinky from the stick.
 

pirate

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They might tell you there is current, but I wouldn't trust one to confirm there is NO current..so, useful at times, but not a life-saver.
 

TonyMitchell

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I don't have one and don't want one, nor a neon screwdriver for that matter. Although nearly everyone on here understands safe isolation and the reason they should not be used, reality is, like in any job, short cuts and complacency do set in when carrying out the same tasks regularly and reality is people do rely on them for a quick answer that's "probably" correct. No different to an experienced driver knowingly not driving how they would if they were taking a driving test.
 

Percyprod

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Issued by dno as polarity tester. That is the only use, after a circuit is proved live or dead by test lamps. Definitely not to prove dead
 

a-z electrics

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Very useful especially in dark attics but wouldn't rely on solely for dead testing.
I have one which has a graduated display bar, so can discriminate to some extent between 230V and spurious voltages..
 

rolyberkin

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IMHO a life saver, you isolate and then give it a wave over with the old volt stick prior to cutting, saved my backside (or snips!) a few times!
 

static zap

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Results do depend on how well you are earthed.
(!!!...Or completely up-side down if near live-leaning against one of those touch lamps..!!!)
 

The_apprentice2.0

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As everyone has already said, no good for proving dead, however do come in handy.... However spend out on a decent quality one. I've seen a couple that detect voltage if u wave it across your clothing:eek:
 

SWD

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Put one in your top pocket of your boiler suit and everyone on site looks at you in awe as you are the master electrical engineer, you also need a few pens and a moleskin notepad to really pull off the look......
 

Rpa07

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Put one in your top pocket of your boiler suit and everyone on site looks at you in awe as you are the master electrical engineer, you also need a few pens and a moleskin notepad to really pull off the look......
To all those who are uninformed - a moleskin notepad is a Brand and not the result of the ‘patient trapping’ in order to clothe one’s pages with softness!
 

Intoelectrics

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Put one in your top pocket of your boiler suit and everyone on site looks at you in awe as you are the master electrical engineer, you also need a few pens and a moleskin notepad to really pull off the look......
One of my apprentices keeps one with him all the time. I gave him a round of fk's the other day because I caught him testing to see if a circuit was dead only using the stick and not following safe isolating procedure. I explained to him the only real usefulness of the stick and if i caught him using it incorrectly again I'll stick his stick... well you know where. He got rather upset with me as it turned out that the stick was a gift from his mum.. :oops:
 

MDJ

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Totally pointless bit of kit really, looks good next to the neon screwdriver in your top pocket though lol, I would say though if you use a volt stick then have two taped together, the odds of both not working is a lot less than one which lets be honest never works every time, or find a bin for them.
 

SWD

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One of my apprentices keeps one with him all the time. I gave him a round of fk's the other day because I caught him testing to see if a circuit was dead only using the stick and not following safe isolating procedure. I explained to him the only real usefulness of the stick and if i caught him using it incorrectly again I'll stick his stick... well you know where. He got rather upset with me as it turned out that the stick was a gift from his mum.. :oops:
You should have told him that his Mum doesn't like him and is trying to get rid of him.......
 

Marvo

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I'd agree they might be useful for finding certain types of faults but I have a company rule forbidding them because I think the temptation to mis-use them is too high. I personally don't own one.
 

SWD

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I'd agree they might be useful for finding certain types of faults but I have a company rule forbidding them because I think the temptation to mis-use them is too high. I personally don't own one.
You live in South Africa, your car got hijacked and the Volt Stick was in the boot I bet........
 

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