Lucky Day

Who knows what might of happened yesterday if I didn’t have my voltage sniffer with me. The detector alarm went off as I approached the panel.


I don’t understand why your tick tracer went off.

First time ever without direct contact.

And then you removed the dead front? :shock:
I’m confused.

me too!

I’ll third that

Took the panel off then approached inside with ticker. Alarm went off several inches away from wires.

I see now.

But Erol, isnt that was it was supposed to do?

Check out the prehistoric old cloth wiring lower left corner of panel. That’s where the ticker was headed. :shock:

Yeap. Although I have to tell you, I’d be more concerned with the open slot where the missing breaker goes. Would hate to slip and have my hand land there.

I agree. I get so obsessed with finding problems that I often forget the danger that accompanies the problems…

Hey Erol, do I understand you, you pulled the dead front of a panel that where the enclosure was known to be live?



aren’t You glad You didn’t lick it ???lol…jim

I’m still confused.

What is the danger here? Was the whole metal enclosure live??? I can’t see how it was.

The old wire? Still looks pretty sound to me. Was the insulation crumbling off? Even that would not affect how the ticker senses. New wire can be sensed just as easily as old wire.

The open spaces? There is NO breaker “missing”. Just two available spaces.
Was the cover broken out at those spaces? That is an issue.

what was the age?

Like a dummy I never even checked the panel cover. After the cover was placed on a counter I took the ticker out of my pocket and the alarm went off as I moved the ticker towards the breakers. The ticker was still several inches away from breakers before the alarm went off. I have never had the alarm go off that far from breakers before. :wink:

Double tap on the left.
If the unused breakers in the middle had ‘fillers’ in the dead front, that’s okay.

Must have been just a ‘juicy’ wire… did you get any temps (ir) from the breakers and wiring?

Non Contact testers work off of detected magnetic fields. In certain configurations, magnetic fields will be larger than in others, like when conductors of the same circuit are not close to each other for example. Non grounded circuits tend to activate some of the non contact testers more easily also. So will a receptacle upstream of an open neutral, when there is a load present. In that situation your tester will sound off several inches from the receptacle.

Non contact testers are a great tool, but they are very general in their report and cannot really be used for accurate diagnosis.

That said, there is one scenario that comes to mind here. If the neutral connection to that panel was faulty, and the neutrals were bonded to the panel, the cabinet would surely become energized. I have seen it once. However, you would also have non working circuits, and any grounding wires would also rise in potential.

Those are Square D breakers listed for use with 2 conductors.