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Old 06-24-2009, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default Tick Testers?

Who likes them and who doesn't?

I hate em. I call them LIAR sticks.
I've seen numerous occasions where guys can't figure something out while troubleshooting. I'll ask them what they tested it with. After they hold up the tick tracer with a frown on their face and tail between their legs I walk over with my wiggy(Knopp) and bring out the truth. I gave my last one away on the spot the last time it LIED to me.
We work alot around control cabinets & equipment with various voltages(ac & dc) and electronics and such. They are not to be trusted in these conditions. A lot of equipment you can't even use a digital meter to test/troubleshoot.
I've read hot on a ground wire in a cabinet full of 480v conductors that passed through. I metered the ground at around 20v. I guess it's good because it told me it was hot? But it proves it's not good for troubleshooting/testing.
I've also had it lie to me in a 3 wire Romex. One circuit was off, one circuit was on. It read hot on the circuit that was turned off. By the time you get confused and pull out a wiggy, you should have just done that in the first place!
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:19 AM   #2
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I like my fluke. They are great for first line voltage detection. After that it is time to get the meter or wiggy out. I only use my fluke to triple check before I go in. Keep in mind that these are designed has a warning device.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NevadaBoy View Post
We work alot around control cabinets & equipment with various voltages(ac & dc) and electronics and such. They are not to be trusted in these conditions. A lot of equipment you can't even use a digital meter to test/troubleshoot.
So what do you use exactly? And whats a wiggy?
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:38 AM   #4
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A wiggy is a meter that draws power from the circuit your testing. This will not show a false reading from feedback. Like a blown fuse that will still read volotage but not under a load. I have one and to be Honest I would be better off to use it a lot more than I do. No mistake with the buzz and lights to show the power thats really there plus their cost is low. If you don't have one get one.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:06 AM   #5
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A tick tester is a fine tool if you know its limitations.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:13 AM   #6
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So whats a good wiggy to get? I am interested.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NevadaBoy View Post
Who likes them and who doesn't?

I hate em. I call them LIAR sticks.
I've seen numerous occasions where guys can't figure something out while troubleshooting. I'll ask them what they tested it with. After they hold up the tick tracer with a frown on their face and tail between their legs I walk over with my wiggy(Knopp) and bring out the truth. I gave my last one away on the spot the last time it LIED to me.
We work alot around control cabinets & equipment with various voltages(ac & dc) and electronics and such. They are not to be trusted in these conditions. A lot of equipment you can't even use a digital meter to test/troubleshoot.
I've read hot on a ground wire in a cabinet full of 480v conductors that passed through. I metered the ground at around 20v. I guess it's good because it told me it was hot? But it proves it's not good for troubleshooting/testing.
I've also had it lie to me in a 3 wire Romex. One circuit was off, one circuit was on. It read hot on the circuit that was turned off. By the time you get confused and pull out a wiggy, you should have just done that in the first place!

Read up on capacitive coupling, stray voltage and high and low impedance meters. There are dual impedance DMM's. Volt sticks have their own application, but a control cabinet or any panel for that matter isn't one of them.

Last edited by 76nemo; 06-24-2009 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulcanada View Post
So what do you use exactly? And whats a wiggy?
Wiggy was the name Sq D gave to its Solenoid tester.
Now for the most part we all use Vol-Cons (In Canada we do anyway)

Last edited by Toronto Sparky; 06-24-2009 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:37 AM   #9
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They are a much more useful tool for residential troubleshooting than they are for commercial. Being able to trace "hot" through a romex sheath is an invaluable tool. Even in commercial troubleshooting, though, they are a good way of quickly narrowing down a problem, before going to more accurate tools.

I can understand your frustration with co-workers using them for improper applications, but the problem there is with the person, not the tool.

Volt ticks are small, lightweight, and take up hardly any room in a tool pouch. When used in the proper way, they have proven an invaluable tool for me.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:04 PM   #10
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i will never let my helpers use these stupid things. i dont use them at all. just the wiggy or meter thats it
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drsparky View Post
A tick tester is a fine tool if you know its limitations.
...and use it for its intended purpose.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:09 PM   #12
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...and use it for its intended purpose.
a paper weight
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:51 PM   #13
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Best for trying to quickly trouble shoot stuff in Rx without tearing stuff apart.

Tom

I've had good luck with the Fluke model.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by paulcanada View Post
So whats a good wiggy to get? I am interested.
I use the Knopp K60. Several guys I'm around have used them for many years and it seems to be the "wiggy" of choice around here.
http://www.knoppinc.com/
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:14 PM   #15
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I like my beat up greenlee tic tracer. Works fine for the intended usage. I might try the Fluke next time around. I always seemed to break the leads on the Wiggy. The newer volcon I have now gives some funny indications. I liked the older yellow ones. I may pick up a knopp from flea bay. I like the continuity feature of the volcons though.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyMark View Post
They are a much more useful tool for residential troubleshooting than they are for commercial. Being able to trace "hot" through a romex sheath is an invaluable tool. Even in commercial troubleshooting, though, they are a good way of quickly narrowing down a problem, before going to more accurate tools.

I can understand your frustration with co-workers using them for improper applications, but the problem there is with the person, not the tool.

Volt ticks are small, lightweight, and take up hardly any room in a tool pouch. When used in the proper way, they have proven an invaluable tool for me.
I don't want to sound like an a$$, but I'm curious in what situation they are invaluble to you. Everyone has different approaches to troubleshooting. I'm open to learn in what application they excell. Most people I've seen use them, get an idea of what they think is going on and then pull out a tester. I just eliminate that first unreliable step and go straight to the wiggy.
It's funny to watch someone pull a switch out of a box, put their stick on it and go turn off the circuit. Then come back and check it with the stick and verify with the wiggy that it's now off.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NevadaBoy View Post
I don't want to sound like an a$$, but I'm curious in what situation they are invaluble to you. Everyone has different approaches to troubleshooting. I'm open to learn in what application they excell. Most people I've seen use them, get an idea of what they think is going on and then pull out a tester. I just eliminate that first unreliable step and go straight to the wiggy.
It's funny to watch someone pull a switch out of a box, put their stick on it and go turn off the circuit. Then come back and check it with the stick and verify with the wiggy that it's now off.

Did you look over post#7??? I have 4 of them and have their own uses. If you are that unfamiliar with stray voltage, than just stick to your "wiggy".
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:36 PM   #18
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I keep it clipped in my shirt pocket. It's handy all over the construction site. Easy to check extension cords, temp power. When he pipe fitter says "my threader stopped" I can find the fault quickly without going back to my tool box.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by drsparky View Post
I keep it clipped in my shirt pocket. It's handy all over the construction site. Easy to check extension cords, temp power. When he pipe fitter says "my threader stopped" I can find the fault quickly without going back to my tool box.
the usual remedy to stopped threaders is a 30 amp 1 pole circuit breaker
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:06 PM   #20
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i will never let my helpers use these stupid things. i dont use them at all. just the wiggy or meter thats it
You really do have some odd habits.
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