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Thread: Voltage Sniffer

  1. #1
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    Default Voltage Sniffer

    I want to replace the sniffer that I've been using, since it seems like a piece of crap to me. What do you recommend to replace this model with something a little higher quality.

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    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    A wet tongue works every time.
    Very reliable, cost nothing, you always have it with you when you need it, and no batteries to worry about.

    Jim Hintz likes this.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Fluke 117


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Personnaly. I would use either a Klien or a Miwaukee model. I have the Milwakee in my bag now. However, that said, these devices will lite up and beep if voltage is just about anywhere. I much prefer the use of a meter.

    I did run into a problem recently where a fried component on a DirecTV dish took out a branch circuit in the house. When I found what I thought was the failing receptacle and I hung my meter on it it read zero volts. When I used the non contact tester it picked up voltage on both the neutral and hot legs.

    The meter read 0 volts differance between hot and neutral because both conductors were at the same level of potential.


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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Farrell View Post
    use of a meter.
    .
    I prefer a sniffer .
    *helps me keep off K & T.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Thats why I posted the Fluke 117

    One of the features is it has non-contact voltage detection as well as being a top notch meter.

    As far as those pocket models - they are all about the same. cheap and disposal.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    Thats why I posted the Fluke 117

    One of the features is it has non-contact voltage detection as well as being a top notch meter.

    As far as those pocket models - they are all about the same. cheap and disposal.
    I leave my good meter on the tool belt. ( If I drop a 5 buck sniffer I can move on without much regret.)

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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Fluke makes one for around $30' I think the model is LD2. I have this one.

    Northern Tool has one in their stores for around $25.

    Greenlee has several in the $20-$30 range.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    A wet tongue works every time.
    Very reliable, cost nothing, you always have it with you when you need it, and no batteries to worry about.
    Hmmmmmmmm.......this is an example of why some old school practices have been abandoned. You never know who or what else has been licking those wires.

    I just use he stick model and so far have found it to be reliable, but I'm going to check out some of these other devices.

    Rick Cantrell likes this.
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Hmmmmmmmm.......this is an example of why some old school practices have been abandoned. You never know who or what else has been licking those wires.

    I just use he stick model and so far have found it to be reliable, but I'm going to check out some of these other devices.
    LOL

    This is 2013, we don't use sticks anymore
    Didn't you learn anything, using a stick causes fires

    But I didn't think of who may have licked the wires before me.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Fluke makes one for around $30' I think the model is LD2. I have this one.

    Northern Tool has one in their stores for around $25.

    Greenlee has several in the $20-$30 range.
    That's what I was looking for. I'll try out one of these. This looks like what you meant:
    Fluke 1AC-A1-II Volt-Alert AC Non-Contact Voltage Tester - Amazon.com

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  12. #12
    Dave Ruth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    A good one isn't much better than a bad one. Most electricians I've observed using them seem surprised and baffled at false readings, no matter how many times it's happened before.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    I've been happy with the Klein Model #NCVT-1SEN (Home Depot SKU # 780066) at $16.97.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    I want to replace the sniffer that I've been using, since it seems like a piece of crap to me. What do you recommend to replace this model with something a little higher quality.
    I have that same model tester, and it is a piece of crap, needed something a few years ago quick, was cheap at the local hardware store. I have gotten use to it, I can usually tell if it is really showing live voltage or picking up stray.

    A dead line that has nothing tied to either end will pick up a good bit of stray voltage.
    Even many meters will indicate a voltage also, high impedance models can, a low impedance model meter is best.

    I compared mine with a fluke a friend of mine had, seemed to work a little better, fewer false readings.
    Not going to get precise measurements from a non contact tester since they test voltage in proximity of where being tested so I would not rely on determining voltage is/not present but only that voltage may be present.

    Stray induced voltage can still be bad. Had a house, 600 foot drive, over head telephone wiring under the power lines to the house. at one time had new telephone and cable buried, they left the old wire on the poles and unterminated at both end, I accidentally ran into the unterminated end on the house outside and received a good shock, meter measured a few hundred volts to ground.


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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    I want to replace the sniffer that I've been using, since it seems like a piece of crap to me. What do you recommend to replace this model with something a little higher quality.
    I had a Fluke, left it behind somewhere, and a Greenlee. I preferred the Greenlee. It's more sensitive and it still works even after it fell out of my pocket into a sump well. I found too many instances where I just wanted to see if a bulb socket was on or off and found with the Fluke I had to stick it right on the center button in the socket to get a response.

    I need to get a backup so I may look at a Klein or Milwaukee. I do carry a DVM with a current probe and I made a set of custom probes to check 240V range and dryer receptacles. I try to check those in houses without those appliances. A dryer at one inspection wouldn't run, turned out one leg of the 240 was dead.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA www.VaInspectionService.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    I uses a Fluke which works well. The make and model you describe should work good also. It maybe though that it is just defective which has nothing to do with the brand or model.

    If you want another brand, Klein and Greenlee are both good. You can get Klein at Home Depot. Electrical suppliers often carry Fluke, Klein, and Greenlee. All three are good selections.

    Hope this helps...

    Mike Rodney
    Ontario, Canada

  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    The kliens I used were not reliable. Milwaukee at home depot never fails me and it has a light on the end as well

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Voltage Sniffer

    Got the Fluke tester a few days ago. Much better product than the GB. The GB sniffer is now in the garbage.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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