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Try to get a good one if you can. I have a Klein and I'm not too impressed, but it's MUCH better than my older one (Can't remember the name). My master electrician friend says to go with Fluke. Check the sensitivity so you don't get one that goes off every time you sneeze... 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/27/2017 at 5:23 PM, Denray said:

Light in shower of old viki has metal ring around it. My voltage sniffer goes off whether the switch is on or off. How serious is that?

The metal shell of lighting fixtures that do not have a ground connected will often cause a voltage sniffer to alert.

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Right, old ungrounded wiring? Call for an upgrade. If an electrician says the wiring is OK, you've done your job anyway, by initiating a closer look.

It is pretty common to see the original K&T wiring going to light fixtures, even when the wall outlets have newer wiring installed.

A light fixture box could be always energized with one side of the light circuit going down to the switch and back.

It is a good idea to carry a second sniffer of a different make to compare results. A really sensitive one might be useful for finding stray voltages on plumbing pipes.

I had a garage door track that set off my more sensitive sniffer when the light was switched on. Even tho there was no real shock hazard, it convinced my clients they needed to replace the old wiring. Might have prevented a fire or shock down the road.

 

Edited by John Kogel
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