Electrician Talk banner
1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Water treatment plant maintenance
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been thinking about picking up a knopp or similar meter. I run into ghost voltages sometimes plus I like old school stuff. Now I have heard that due to the collapsing field of the solenoid these meters can damage certain circuits.

Generally I would assume anything electromechanical would be safe, anything electronic might be best to use another meter?
 

·
Registered
Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
I know on certain Federal Government facilities you are not allowed to use a wiggy type of tester. They had some incidents where it tripped out sensitive equipment.
 

·
Registered
Install, troubleshoot, maintain, and upgrade electrical systems, plant utilities, PLC's, mechanical
Joined
·
874 Posts
The refineries and chemical plants on the Houston Ship Channel do not allow Wiggies in their plants.
 

·
Bilge Rat
motors and controls.........
Joined
·
9,389 Posts
I have a Knopp wiggy, it does indeed produce an arc when a probe is removed from the circuit.

I've never had an issue with it and I work on a lot of electronic stuff.

One thing you need to be careful with is there's some current across it and it can burn up electronic stuff. Just be careful to use it only on power circuits.

This wiggy in one of my most used tools, mainly because it doesn't read ghost voltages and if there's a corroded terminal, a DMM might read full voltage but the wiggy is enough of a load that it won't read.
 

·
Registered
industrial E,I&C
Joined
·
4,327 Posts
Dc wiggy's were a big problem with burning up analog circuits. Ac wiggy's just liked to shock the crap out of the user.

Told this one before.
Using a wiggy on a 480v panel as the battery on my t5 needed replacing. One of the production supervisors was leaning on the panel door watching what i was doing.
Tested phase to ground or should i say phase to the metal hinge of the cabinet. Supervisor drops like a rock (rusty hinges, poor ground on the door and hes not wearing electrical grade boots).

Great tool and i always keep one in the van but its a dangerous tool when you cut your teeth on a digital meter and have learnt some bad habits. A few shocks will teach you to respect it, It will also teach you to never use a volt meter probe to scratch a itch on the back of your neck. .
 

·
Registered
Water treatment plant maintenance
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dc wiggy's were a big problem with burning up analog circuits. Ac wiggy's just liked to shock the crap out of the user.

Told this one before.
Using a wiggy on a 480v panel as the battery on my t5 needed replacing. One of the production supervisors was leaning on the panel door watching what i was doing.
Tested phase to ground or should i say phase to the metal hinge of the cabinet. Supervisor drops like a rock (rusty hinges, poor ground on the door and hes not wearing electrical grade boots).

Great tool and i always keep one in the van but its a dangerous tool when you cut your teeth on a digital meter and have learnt some bad habits. A few shocks will teach you to respect it, It will also teach you to never use a volt meter probe to scratch a itch on the back of your neck. .
So what sort of bad habits? Obviously don't touch the shiny bit of the probe with the other probe touching power. But is there some more subtle techniques to using it competenly?
 

·
Registered
industrial E,I&C
Joined
·
4,327 Posts
So what sort of bad habits? Obviously don't touch the shiny bit of the probe with the other probe touching power. But is there some more subtle techniques to using it competenly?
Make sure what ever you are using as a ground reference is a good ground reference. If its not its now the same voltage as the other probe.

On a good note a wiggy does make a good megger.
 

·
Registered
Power distribution and controls
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
I have a knopp and a older SQD solenoid tester. Bought them when I was doing residential. After I moved up to commercial and industrial they went into the drawer.
Freeport McMoran will not allow a solenoid tester on their properties. But they allow non contact testers. If I remember it was because the solenoid draws current from the circuit to operate and the safety nerds decided that was a bad ideal. I was give a Fluke 87 and a 400 amp CT for the 87. In the time I was there I think I measured current less than 6 times. Current was not important, ON was important.
 

·
Registered
Residential, lite comm., Industrial
Joined
·
3,294 Posts
I have a knopp and a older SQD solenoid tester. Bought them when I was doing residential. After I moved up to commercial and industrial they went into the drawer.
Freeport McMoran will not allow a solenoid tester on their properties. But they allow non contact testers. If I remember it was because the solenoid draws current from the circuit to operate and the safety nerds decided that was a bad ideal. I was give a Fluke 87 and a 400 amp CT for the 87. In the time I was there I think I measured current less than 6 times. Current was not important, ON was important.
in my experience ... current is mostly about curiosity
only occasionally is it necessary information
 

·
Registered
Ready Mix concrete plant electrician
Joined
·
3,390 Posts
In ready-mix I use mine often, as in it's in a case on my tool belt when I do electrical work.
Command-Alkon puts an Ideal in the control panel to test the output Opto relays. The Optos leak enough through that a wiggy, or a low z meter are necessary to do any diagnostics. They are also useful to test the inputs by putting one lead on the hot, and the other lead on the input in question. Doing this I can simulate limit switches, bindicators, and any other input to the system we have. I of course use my Knopp and leave the Ideal where it lays.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,046 Posts
I belive a Wiggy is the best all around meter for residential and commercial service electricians. I respond to other electricians and guys that work for us with troubleshooting calls. Most can be solved using a wiggy. It also frosts my sac when they test phase to neutral and not phase to phase when Troubleshooting partial power.
 

·
Super Moderator
Retired
Joined
·
18,097 Posts
When I was an apprentice I remember a guy (JW) that put his wiggy across medium voltage. The wiggy became an M-80 and he was lucky he did not loose his sight or worse. He was on a pole for some reason.
Some of those so called journey electrician at the RR were scary. Some were real good but some were morons.
This is the place were I was told I need to learn to get shocked (its part of the job)!
I was with one who decided he was going to replace a 480 volt panel hot. It was not pretty and same with above. Very lucky.
I remember climbing a transmission tower with no safety belt with only the foot holds on the metal pole.
This may be why I'm so safety conscious today. And why I tell and yell to guys to walk before you do something stupid that you are told is part of your job.
Its not part of your job to do something dangerous.
Young guys may think its part of the job. Its our job to tell them its not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
Wiggy type testers are indeed outdated on industrial sites due to the loads it puts in electronic equipment. I am not worried about an arc flash. I am more concerned about getting a false reading due to ghost voltages.
I use a Fluke T+Pro now instead.

For residential & commercial use a Wiggy is still it. Knopp makes an updated model that meets safety spec.
 

·
Registered
Water treatment plant maintenance
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've thought about the t+. My daily meter is a t5 that I rather like. Thinking about it I actually have an old vol con wiggy one of the operators found forgotten in a drawer.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,043 Posts
When I was working in Freeport TX in the 80's we could use a Volt-con or a regular Ideal Wiggy but it had to have resistor probes. I still have mine the resistor probs leads are like working with #12 solid.
LC
 

·
Registered
Ready Mix concrete plant electrician
Joined
·
3,390 Posts
A useful mod I made to my Knopp, was to scribe a mark on the face that indicates 208, 240, and 277 volts. Useful at least for me, as I am around high leg deltas constantly.

It would be a useful mod to commercial guys who do work with 208 stars and the occasional 480 star.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts

·
Registered
Residential, lite comm., Industrial
Joined
·
3,294 Posts
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Top