Wiring problem?

That is true. My original answer was based on the meter readings being reliable but the high input impedance of most digital testers can give unreliable information. I use a Wiggy for almost all checks. On the rare occassion that the Wiggy doesn’t tell me what I want to know, I use a Simpson 260.

I have 260 squirreled away some place :wink:

Oops! missed the copy http://www.bestinspectors.net/education/articles/wiggy.htm


You are probably thinking about the series of online electrical classes I did a few years ago for InterNACHI. That is when I did the excerpt from a longer piece I had written and boiled it down to the article in the link you posted.

I am faithful to the Wiggy because it has been faithful to me. I am, in many ways, a minimalist. I don’t like a lot of bells and whistles on anything, especially tools. There isn’t anything I have ever needed to know about electricity or an electrical system that I couldn’t learn with a Wiggy, a Simpson 260, a megger, a high-pot and a dual trace scope. The Wiggy by itself covers probably 90% of everything. The 260 covers most of the rest. The electrical gadget industry is big. There are all sorts of dedicated testers that cost lots of money. Some work very well. Most are at least OK. For my money, a Wiggy is still the way to go.

Going back to Darin’s original test, had there actually been a loose ground, I’d have known that immediately with a Wiggy without even looking at it. You can feel the difference between 44V, 71V and 118V with a Wiggy. I wouldn’t know that it was exactly 44V, 71V or 118V but I would have known exactly what was going on. If it were necessary to verify the exact Voltages, that’s where the 260 would come in. In a home inspection, I don’t need to know the exact Voltages though so I don’t carry the 260 to home inspections.

As for the other three pieces of test equipment I mentioned, I’ve never used them in any home or commercial building inspection. I use them only when I am involved in helping to identify and solve specific electrical problems. For example, the last times I used a high-pot were on luminescent tube (commonly referred to as neon tube) fire investigations. Back when I trained apprentices, they were required to have a Wiggy. A Simpson 260, or a similar meter, was recommended but not required. Most electricians do not own a megger, high-pot or scope. On the rare occasions that they are needed, they can be rented.

My Suretest lights dimly when it encounters such an issue, so I pull out the meter to investigate.

So a loose ground it is. Thanks all for your input.

Now you are thinking! Why pull out the big gun when all you need is a BB gun.
Thanks again for clarifying this George