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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:44 pm 
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I aim to be doing a few simple bits and pieces in my new flat when I get the keys such changing light fittings. Once I have switched the electric off at the fuse box is there anyway I can double check the live wire is no longer live? I'm sure electricians would have a tool for this?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:04 am 
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You can get a pen that lights up red against a live wire. They are around a tenner.
If in doubt switch off all power at fuse box.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:10 am 
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This is the type of tester you need, much safer accurate and reliable. Also has a built in continuity tester which is very handy.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Steinel-1 ... SwKtVW1KEO


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:22 am 
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Another one made by fluke http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fluke-T90-Upg ... 2001221942



For this message the author Morbius has received gratitude : WhoDaresWins
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:45 am 
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I agree wholeheartedly with what Morbius suggests, since most if not all non contact voltage indicators give false indications, how ever a digital multi meter can be had for less than £15 and is more useful. Click here or Click here

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:03 am 
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One of my multimeters has a non contact live wire alarm built in, I find it works well and give me a fast indication. Obviously I test before and after switching off at the consumer unit.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:39 am 
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Rorschach wrote:
One of my multimeters has a non contact live wire alarm built in, I find it works well and give me a fast indication. Obviously I test before and after switching off at the consumer unit.


A link to which one you have?

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:01 pm 
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Testing for dead is a multi part procedure. One you take your tester and put it in proving unit which shows tester is working, then you test there is no reading on supply, then you test the tester again in the proving unit.

However there are flaws even with that, the proving units often gave out 500 volt, and although all the lights on tester would light at 500 volt what you really wanted to know is if the lights would light at 50 volt, better quality proving units did a step test going through each voltage. And the other is the circuit may become live after you have proved dead, be it something automatic switching on as with a thermostat as a room cools or borrowed neutral. Using neon screwdrivers can help when a dead circuit becomes live.

But where you still have a supply to a device then often the best idea is to find out what switches that device. So working on a light, switch it on, go to consumer unit, switch off the breakers one by one until one feeding light is found, then switch back on just in case the bulb had just blown, then switch off again. The breaker should be locked off, we are told insulation tape across the breaker is not good enough, however even locks can be removed as I found out to my cost, so to my mind tape does tell people not to turn it on so should be enough for most people.

With a TN-C-S earth or any TN earth then turning off the line is normally enough, however with a TT earth system we really want to also switch off all lives both line and neutral, the stand alone RCD or Isolator in the CU will do this, however there are very few RCBO's which switch neutral and very rare to find a MCB that switches neutral, so switching off the main isolator is a good idea.

There are exceptions to nearly every rule, I have found where an isolator was faulty some one had linked out one side so although it seemed to turn off power it did not, if the line is linked that would be dangerous, I have also gone to work in a house where a socket was connected to next doors supply. Although I would never use a neon screwdriver to prove dead, using a neon screwdriver will help detect where some one has done naughty deeds.

So find what switches the power off and on, remember test each MCB on it's own, and switch back on again then off to show bulb has not blown, then turn off main isolator as well, and use neon screwdriver and it is very unlikely you will get a shock.

In all my life as an electrician only in one firm was I required to use a proving unit, with that firm if I was caught working without a proving unit I would have been sacked, but no other place have I been required to use one.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:58 pm 
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Multimeters are ok for diy'ers but you won't see many pro electricians using them except maybe factory maintenance where they test things at a bench or machine. The self contained probe type tells you everything you need to know at a glance if your on a pair of steps, up a ladder, or in a tight loft space. The information is at your line of sight with led and audio signals.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:07 pm 
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someone-else wrote:
Rorschach wrote:
One of my multimeters has a non contact live wire alarm built in, I find it works well and give me a fast indication. Obviously I test before and after switching off at the consumer unit.


A link to which one you have?



It looks like this. Does several functions and nice and compact, I like it. I can check the model number this week.

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:43 pm 
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Morbius wrote:
Multimeters are ok for diy'ers but you won't see many pro electricians using them except maybe factory maintenance where they test things at a bench or machine. The self contained probe type tells you everything you need to know at a glance if your on a pair of steps, up a ladder, or in a tight loft space. The information is at your line of sight with led and audio signals.

I used a clamp-on multi-meter when measuring voltage, frequency or ohms the current clamp was handy as you could hang it on something. However you are correct one should really use a device with no selector or battery so it can't in error have a flat battery, or select wrong range.
The Martindale Image has been the electricians tester for many years, no batteries, no switches, easy read, can't get much better. However the proving unit Image which was often used with it was applauding. It simply 500 volt was not really a good test when any voltage over 50 could cause problems. Other makes Image have a ramp up test so do test all voltages.

However for DIY the Martindale unit is rather expensive. A voltage tester like this Image at £13 is a lot cheaper. And it is likely any DIY person will want a multi-meter anyway, so at £16 a meter like this Image will test nearly all you want, and because the current part of the meter does not use a wired connection the user can't in error produce a short circuit so no worries about ionisation of the atmosphere. OK I will admit the leads are not to regulation and don't have the fuses in them, and the probes are too long, they exceed 1mm, but in real terms 1mm tips are a pain.

As with many testers this one Image is very good for the DIY guy, but you would not find one in my tool kit, I would use a proper loop impedance meter.


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