Originally Posted By: jhorton
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I recently bought a Greenlee voltage checker. One of the pens you put near a wire and it flashes and beeps at you. Found it EXTREMELY handy wiring my new home.
Used if today and got a couple of hits that concern me. First I was checking outlets and for no reason put the meter up to a light switch that worked. It went off. It had a decorative metal face plate so that concerned me. I checked further and noticed it went off all up and down the wall in large area. Much to large for it to be an electric wire in the wall. After some digging I found a metal return air duct was behind the wall. I then started checking all the metal vents and ductwork in the attic. It all checked hot. The only thing that didn't show voltage was the return air grill.
My question is could there be static voltage present that would cause it to read? I know wiring 3 way switches you have enough induced voltage on wires that are not connected to show up as hot with this tool.
I had a regularmeter but I couldn't find a ground within reach of of my leads and I was not about to remove any covers at that point to access a ground wire. (I am going to buy some longer leads)
Then in the basement I had the same thing happen on the fuse panel. The box itself appeared to hot. Having used this meter in my house I am building and playing with it I know my panel will not trigger it unless you are right on top of a breaker and then only near the switch.
This leaves me wondering about this Voltage Checker. I played it safe and will just disclaim these areas. But if the meter is not right then I need to know! Anyone else run into anything like this?
The man who tells the truth doesn't have to remember what he said.