"Wiggy" Line Voltage Tester for Home Inspectors

Hello all.

I’ve been thinking I should have a “Wiggy” for use on home inspections.
A definition I found for “Wiggy” is the following:

Top Definition

http://electricalslang.com/Slang/wiggy

The “Wiggy” is a simple, extremely durable line voltage indicator (tester). It has two test leads connected to a solenoid coil inside a molded plastic casing. A spring presses against the solenoid holding it down. To show the voltage, an indicator bar is attached to the solenoid. As the voltage increases, the solenoid moves against the spring. The user reads the voltage by comparing the position of the indicator with a fixed chart on the face of the tester. If it is reading AC current, a neon lamp in the face of the tester lights-up, the unit hums and vibrates. The voltage it shows is a general approximation, not an exact value. It’s strength comes from its durability, ease of use and ability to show both AC and DC plus the polarity of the current through the Red/Black indicator lights. Its nickname came from the company that introduced it; the Wiggington Company.

So far I’m looking at purchasing a Knopp K-60 or one of the Fluke T5 or T+PRO models.

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Opinions on different makes and models?
Solenoid or digital?
Experience with practical application of line voltage testers use in home inspections?

Looking forward to your replies.
Thank you.

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I have the Knopp K-60 which I got years ago when i was twisting wires. Works good and fits easily in your back pocket unlike some of the others. Some of the newer ones with digital readout and all that are nice but not needed in my opinion. If your going in the digital readout direction might as well just get an ideal sure test. IMHO

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I had the Knopp for many years sold it with the biz but it never failed me and I’m worth a top notch unit.

Don’t get me wrong the Flukes are outstanding, too.

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Thanks Bob,

Just looked at the 61-164 SureTest® Circuit Analyzer.
I’ve seen other inspectors using it in some NACHI videos.
It is a nice piece of equipment/instrument! With True RMS, etc.
I may be overequipped with that beauty.
Still leanin’ toward the K-60.

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Hi Larry,
Thank you for your reply.
Glad to get another endorsement for the Knopp K-60. It’s really a classic. …and it doesn’t need batteries! :+1:

I forgot about that! …a bonus for sure!

My pleasure, Evan.

still carry my wiggy to every job…not used a lot but at 40 plus years old it has never let me down when i needed it…

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My go to is the Greenlee GT-95 and have the Fluke T5-1000 or 61-165 SureTest® Circuit Analyzer w/GFCI-AFCI function, upgrade from the 61-164.

I’m nearing retirement in a few more years and willing to part with the two latter if you’re interested find the lowest price and make me an offer on either or both.
contact adairinspex at hotmail.com

The original Wiggy is a solenoid tester and the solenoid is the reason that you may want one. Some times when testing with a DMM they will display so called ghost or phantom voltage which makes them inaccurate at determining if something is actually energized. The solenoid tester doesn’t have this issue. Here’s a short Article from Fluke explaining what Ghost voltage is:

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I have the older Sure Test. Rarely comes out of the bag. It is what I call my “show and tell” tools. In case I need to show off for the client or agent. At least 20% of what we do is showmanship. You’ll be happy with the K-60.

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I like my original Wiggy not only because it does not need batteries but I like the hum/vibration when it senses voltage. You do not have to take your eyes off where you have the probes to look at the meter.

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It depends on your end-goal, different tools accomplish different task. They are all useful when used as intended. The deeper you want to get into it the more accurate/advanced tool you use. Some of these tools may not be as useful with new construction but can help greatly with older houses (their wiring). For example, if you don’t have a wiggy or a multimeter, how do you test a 240v dryer receptacle when a dryer isn’t installed? You cannot use a standard 3prong tester.

Yup, the clunk of the solenoid is all that you need to know that there is voltage present. I have an old Wiggy that was my fathers, probably 60 years old and it still works.

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https://www.ebay.com/b/Wiggy-Voltage-Testers/bn_7024731953

https://www.ebay.com/b/Wiggy-Voltage-Testers/bn_7024731953

That’s a lot of Wiggys. Thanks Jeffrey.

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dam-assets.fluke.com

2105317_A_w.pdf

161.31 KB

Good article. So much for apparitions.
Thanks Robert.

You do not have to take your eyes off where you have the probes to look at the meter.

Good point on the vibration feature. Thanks Joseph.

Another good reason an inspector needs a wiggy or a multimeter. Thank you Simon.