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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3194
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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I had a spurious alarm sound and was checking the wires with

Customer Question

I had a spurious alarm sound and was checking the wires with a hot wire detector. there doesn't seem to be any hot wires going into the chamber, but the pump is still working properly.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Sounds like you are using a non-contact type of tester....ie.......(better known as a "tick tester" in the electrical industry), is that correct?

2) How is the pump wired? Is it cord & plug connected or hard wired?

3) Obviously, the circuit is working since the pump has discharged. Therefore, the circuit is working.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it is a non-contact tester that sound when in close proximity to a hot AC wire.
Both pump and alarm are cord & plug plugged into an exterior plug mounted on a short post near the chamber.
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the replies and confirmation on the tester type.

1) Whenever checking for the presence of electrical voltage, it is always advisable to use a contact type of tester (either a 2 wire lead contact type or a Wiggy solenoid or an AC voltmeter tester).

2) Non-contact electrical testers check for the presence of electrical voltage based on inductance which is a form of magnetism. Any nearby metal and/or other electrical circuits can provide a false indication on the presence or lack of electrical voltage at the wires or cord. Thus the use of a non-contact voltage tester is never 100% accurate and should not be used as the sole test instrument to confirm voltage or lack of voltage as they are widely known in the industry to provide false indications.

Non-contact testers are commonly referred to as a "fools test instrument" by electricians since they can easily fool the end user into thinking that electrical voltage is either present or non present in a circuit. Electricians always use a 2 wire lead contact type of tester to confirm for voltages.

3) Yes, the cord insulation or nearby metal or another nearby electrical circuit can also have an impact and can provide a false indication of voltage present or not present. Non-contact voltage testers have their place in the electrical industry, but on a very limited basis and are typically only used under specific applications such as checking for a hot conductor in Knob & Tube wiring.

Since the pump is cord & plug connected to a receptacle, a contact type of tester could have easily confirmed that voltage is present directly at the receptacle.

4) The pump is working so it is evident that the circuit/receptacle is functioning properly.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.............Kevin:)

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