AC Non-Contact Electric Voltage Alert Detector?

saw this today: AC Non-Contact Electric Voltage Alert Detector. wondered if anyone used this before.
Any good, or just a useless gimmik?

fasttech link

ebay link

We have a flke model or 2 floating around at work of these.

Test it on a known working circuit first. Not perfect on a box full of wires. Best use holding on something hot while buddy turns off breakers until it goes dead.

Even when it shows dead I always re-check with a meter to confirm it. I actually got rid of mine because it was not consistent. The fluke one seems to work a little better. We also have a guy that has good luck with this craftsman unit.
had an extech before too and it had some sort of adjustment on the side and it never really worked very good.

I have ran through several similar items. These works quite ok. They detect EM wave from live AC, and alert you if it’s live. These can also detect in-wall live wiring, so you can check where NOT to drill.

If it fails to detect voltage doesn’t always mean it’s not there, maybe the EM is just weak or blocked. Or weak battery. The thing to remember is just don’t depend on it too much. Just use this as assist or something.

If it works to detect cable through walls this could be quite useful indeed, but to do so through concrete walls I’m not betting too much on it. I’ll get one just for fun.

I have an old Fluke Voltalert, still works! As Millerman says, check it on a working plug/lead first just to be sure. Mine is quite sensitive to where you position it but it is handy nevertheless.

Beware of the cheap Chinese ones. I bought a couple on Ebay and they do no work well at all. You can slide it down a power cord and it only alerts at certain places. They are REALLY dangerous.

The Fluke ones work well.

I also have a a GVD-505A LiveWire made by GB instruments. I like it a LOT better than the Fluke. It has a thumbwheel switch/sensitivity pot. You can crank the sensitivity up and trace wires in the wall. The Fluke has one of those multi-mode buttons to cycle between off/on/beeper and no sensitivity adjust.

I have a Fluke VoltAlert 1AC-A II. Works great. Can't comment on the Chinese no brand copies. For Less than $5.00, I'd definitely take a chance. I'll bet it works just fine

I have a fluke as well, do they have batteries that need to be changed?

yes, 2 AAA's You have to compress the thingy on very end on the yellow side and pull out the internals. Do not try and pull off the white end!

I picked up a bunch of them because the guys would misplace them and they are a lot cheaper than a Fluke.

The Fluke you have to turn on but these are always on, like the Fluke used to be before the law suits started…………

Never seen them detect voltage thru sheetrock.

On mine, the yellow cap is circular and really stiff to open (there is a big spring inside it). I wouldn’t leave alkaline cells in them for a long time. The ones in mine leaked and became stuck inside.

I have the fluke model also. They are about 25 bucks. I’m with millerman. Mine isn’t consistent enough to make me comfortable.

Good to learn.
After all these years in my truck most of that in semi-desert, the two energizers with no date had not leaked, one was quite a bit weaker than the other though, although there was still plenty of life left in them both.

I replaced it with my tenergys which is what I use for things kept in the vehicles and hot temps.

My Fluke doesn’t have an on/off switch and the orange cap is threaded, people should remember that when they are double checking a wire after already checking it with their detector, to use the back of a finger to brush it.

Your tongue is a much better electricity detector… J)

I’m pretty sure the tongue is for testing cold temperatures of various metals.

It’s a multi-purpose tool… :party:

As a master electrician with many years of industrial experience(i.e. high voltage), I always kept one of these clipped to the inside of my pocket. I’ve owned two different Fluke models - one that’s always on and one with on/off button. I prefer the one without the button - they’re no longer available. Out of thousands and thousands of uses, I’ve never found the operation to be inconsistent. You just need to be consistent with your methodology and always ensure the unit is working before actually trying it on a potentially live circuit. Sometimes if a known live circuit was nowhere nearby to test, I would simply rapidly run the tester back and forth across my shirt. The static created is enough to activate it.

The important thing to remember is that this only a tool and is only as good as the environment and application it’s being used on. I usually used this tool for diagnostic purposes, troubleshooting, etc… If I had to actually handle the wire/terminal of the circuit, then the circuit would be de-energized and locked out or special provisions would be made for live work.

That said, I’ve never tried the unit linked at the top.

Here is my Fluke pen. It’s nearly vintage collectable now!! :bigsmile: The pocket clip fits a TK-703 too…

Note that it says “test before using” on the side.

Mine is almost exactly the same as yours, but mine is a 90-600v instead of 200-600v, and has UL and SA logo rather than your CE and GS, mine is the Volt Alert 1AC-A

Ahh, so they made one for US region too. Mine is 1AC-E for Europe region.