Common Electrical Testers for the Home

Most of us consider certain things to be essential in our tool box or junk drawer. I would guess 99% of us know where a hammer, flathead screwdriver, phi­­llips screwdriver and a pair of pliers can be found in our home. Here are a couple of the most common electrical testers you might want to add to your arsenal, if you have not already.

Inductance Tester (Non-contact voltage tester) – This is the safest and easiest tool for testing voltages. Why? Because you do not even have to touch the wires! Just by touching the outside of wiring or into an outlet, this can sense the presence of voltage.

As with most any tool, the price will determine if it will provide only a yes or no answer, or instead give you a basic measurement of the voltage it found. This is an easy to use tool that all homeowners should have at their disposal. It is battery operated, so always test that it is in working condition before using on your next project.

Neon Circuit Test – This is the most basic testers. It will only tell you whether or not there is voltage in a circuit. Use one probe to touch a hot wire and the other to touch ground. The neon bulb will light up if current is present. Sounds a little like a children’s school science project, doesn’t it?

This tool does not do any measuring, but its added bonus is that it does not require a battery. That makes it extra convenient to have stored away and forgotten until you need it.

Plug-in Circuit Analyzer – This tool does exactly what you might expect. Plug it into the grounded 3-slot outlet you want to test and it analyzes the circuit without any external power (that means no batteries to check).

You’ll be able to tell if a circuit is correctly wired, if it is an open circuit, and also be able to confirm the presence of a ground connection. This is a very affordable tool that you may want to add.

Before using any electrical tool always completely read the instructions. Always investigate if power should be turned off. Safety should always be your first priority!

Interested in learning about more  electrical tools? Click here to read about more advanced electrical testers. 

Douthit Electrical can perform a home electrical safety inspection and offer the best solution to any problems that we find. Check out our current specials and give us a call. Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990.


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