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Topic Title: Volt sticks
Topic Summary: a word of caution to the wise
Created On: 03 June 2010 01:15 AM
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 03 June 2010 01:15 AM
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Zs

Posts: 2795
Joined: 20 July 2006

Hello, Can't sleep.

You know that CEF have stopped dealing with Fluke for little testers because they ask for a minimum of £500 order? Well, that means that they have changed their allegiance to Ethos, whoever they may be.

I am an unashamed voltstick user. If I forget it I drive back home for it and have long since used a Fluke one.

I lost it recently and ended up buying one of the Ethos ones from CEF. The one with a torch built in. An emergency purchase.

The torch is good! As for the rest of it..... Well this little voltstick is way too sensitive. It is just about useless for identifying switch lines and even picks up minute voltage. It goes off about three inches away from a live tail and it is near impossible to select the live conductor inside a connected switch. The only way of knowing that it is working when away from the cabling is to switch on the torch.

I actually found the fluke one under my pillow....have absolutely no idea how it got there but happy to have it back. I must have crashed out after work with it clipped to the T shirt?

Now I understand why so many of you don't like voltsticks. If that had been my first one I too would be in your camp. IMHO, not safe enough for us. But the Fluke is really good.

Zs
 03 June 2010 07:02 AM
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deleted_2_tony30

Posts: 1680
Joined: 16 August 2005

ive had my volt stick for over 10 years now, came back with me on my last trip offshore.
great device, flashing led, sounder and potentiometer for reducing the sensitivity, handy when your working in a large panel.
i dont trust them with my life and use a prove test prove method with my martindales and proving unit but they are handy for pointing you int the right direction.


regards

tony
 03 June 2010 01:18 PM
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stateit

Posts: 2132
Joined: 15 April 2005

The Fluke VoltAlerts come in at least 2 flavours as well (90-600v; 200-600v) . So make sure you get the right one!

-------------------------
S George
http://www.sg-electrical.com
 03 June 2010 06:34 PM
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dg66

Posts: 1667
Joined: 11 January 2008

The Ethos combined RCD/Loop tester is rebranded Megger.

-------------------------
Regards

Dave(not Cockburn)
 03 June 2010 07:22 PM
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breaker

Posts: 280
Joined: 05 October 2006

Throw it in the bin right away.
 14 June 2010 01:11 PM
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spud28

Posts: 95
Joined: 01 November 2006

I agree, i drop kicked my fluke voltstick over an AHU in the plant room after it showed a cable as being dead after isolation. It Was Live!
I have to admit i was about to work on it when common sense prevailed. I walked back to the workshop and got my test lamps and proving unit (Or multimeter ;-))
I know you should always follow safe isolation procedures but we are all human and it was tempting change the kit using volt stick to prove dead, especially at 3AM with the workshop a half a mile away.

About the only thing they are good for is christmas tree lights!!!

Edited: 14 June 2010 at 02:34 PM by spud28
 14 June 2010 02:44 PM
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RB1981

Posts: 286
Joined: 16 September 2007

In fairness to Fluke, I'm sure they would be the first to tell you that a Volt Stick (or VoltAlert) is not an appropriate device for proving dead.

In fact it even has marked on it "for use by a competent person only" or words to that effect. Competent persons would of course be aware of the fact that it cannot be used to prove dead.

The walk (to the workshop) did you good.
 14 June 2010 03:29 PM
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spud28

Posts: 95
Joined: 01 November 2006

Fair one! I knew that they were not to be used for that.
However it was very tempting at the time.
I removed any future risk of bad practice and contempt for everything i had ever learnt, by watching it spin end to end over the AHU for 3 points that neil jenkins would have been proud of!
 14 June 2010 03:32 PM
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RB1981

Posts: 286
Joined: 16 September 2007

Originally posted by: spud28

I removed any future risk of bad practice and contempt for everything i had ever learnt, by watching it spin end to end over the AHU for 3 points that neil jenkins would have been proud of!


Whilst they are great devices which can help when used in the correct circumstances I feel that you just may have done the right thing!

Fair dues as they say.
 14 June 2010 10:24 PM
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deleted_1_Grizzly01

Posts: 250
Joined: 21 February 2008

Originally posted by: dg66

The Ethos combined RCD/Loop tester is rebranded Megger.


and the Ethos PAT testers look like rebranded Seaward PrimeTests and Europas...
 15 June 2010 05:12 AM
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sparky308

Posts: 112
Joined: 19 August 2005

Had a similar experience - I lost my much-loved Fluke and replaced it with a Kewtech one, which is nowhere near as good. Too sensitive - lights up on any cable near a live one, whereas the Fluke was very accurate. Only reason I didn't get another Fluke was that the current ones have a buzzer that you can't switch off (my old one didn't). I hate it when it's in the tool holster on your hip, nudges up against a cable, and gives you a fright!
 15 June 2010 11:20 AM
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Grobbyman

Posts: 317
Joined: 14 August 2005

Just bought a new Fluke VoltAlert.
Press the on button quickly once and it turns on with the buzzer.
Hold the on button until the tip glows and it turns on without the buzzer.
Nearly took mine back because I thought the buzzer wasn't working.
Must try to remember to read the instructions next time.
Regards
George
 15 June 2010 01:46 PM
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sparky308

Posts: 112
Joined: 19 August 2005

Thanks for that. Local wholesalers told me you couldn't turn the buzzer off...should have known better than to believe them.
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