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• Published 23 May 2024
• 6 min

# How to Use a Voltage Tester

Take the mystery out of voltage testing with our comprehensive guide, exploring the ins and outs of different testers and answering all your FAQs.

## Voltage Tester Guide for New Zealanders

Unlock the mysteries of voltage testing with our comprehensive guide, delving into the specifics of different testers and addressing all your burning questions.

The voltage tester, a must-have in any electrical toolkit, enables you to confirm the presence of voltage in a circuit before diving into your work. This guide aims to provide a thorough understanding of how to utilize a voltage tester safely and efficiently.

## How Does a Voltage Tester Work?

Irrespective of their type, voltage testers operate on a straightforward principle to ascertain the presence of voltage. This section sheds light on the operation of voltage testers, ensuring you not only know how to use one but also how to use it effectively and safely.

At its essence, a voltage tester is a simple device engineered to indicate the presence of electrical voltage in a system or component. Its functionality is rooted in Ohm's Law, which dictates that the current flowing through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the voltage

When the probes of a voltage tester are connected to two points in an electrical circuit (usually one end to a suspected live conductor and the other to a ground source), a closed circuit or loop is established. This facilitates the flow of electrical current from the higher potential to the lower potential.

Internally, the current passing through the voltage tester traverses a known resistance. The voltage drop across this internal resistance is then gauged and displayed on the tester's meter or screen, offering the user a voltage reading. In simpler testers, this voltage might merely activate a light or sound signal to denote the presence of voltage, rather than providing a precise numerical value.

Voltage testers come in varied designs. For instance, a non-contact voltage tester detects voltage through insulation, employing capacitive coupling between the wire carrying voltage and the sensor tip. When brought near a live conductor, the electric field influences the electric charge in the tester, prompting an indicator—usually an LED light or a sound—to activate.

Designed with safety in mind, voltage testers are typically encased in non-conductive housings to shield users from accidental electrical contact. Moreover, they usually don't require the circuit to be operational to function, making them versatile tools that can be employed in a wide array of scenarios to ensure the safety of your work environment.

## Types of Voltage Tester

### Fluke Voltage Tester

Fluke voltage testers are renowned among professionals for their reliability and precision. Take, for example, the Fluke T90, a two-pole tester perfect for voltage and continuity checks. To learn how to use a Fluke T90 voltage tester, simply touch the tip to the circuit or device under test. A live circuit will cause the tip to illuminate red, accompanied by a sound alert. Its straightforward operation and accuracy make it a top choice for professionals.

### Contact Voltage Tester

If you've ever wondered how to use a non-contact voltage tester or a voltage tester pen, the process is simpler than you might imagine. The non-contact voltage tester is a convenient and safe device for quickly checking for voltage presence. It doesn't require direct contact with the wire or outlet. When brought near a live conductor, the tester indicates voltage presence through light or sound. While excellent for quick checks, this type of tester should be complemented with a contact tester for a definitive reading.

### Megger Voltage Tester

Megger is another reputable brand in the realm of voltage testers. Designed for durability and accuracy, Megger voltage testers make understanding how to use them straightforward, ensuring quick and precise voltage readings. Known for their sturdy construction and dependable readings, Megger voltage testers are widely favored by industry professionals.

## Summary

Understanding how to effectively use a voltage tester is essential for any electrical professional. Whether it's a Fluke, Megger, or non-contact tester, each tool offers unique functions. By following the outlined procedures, you can ensure safe and accurate readings, fostering safe work practices.

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