I have one of those "Vibrating Solenoid Voltage Testers"
(Similar to this)
If I put one lead to the HOT outlet terminal and the other lead to the
metal box (GROUND), on a GFI outlet, the GFI trips. Why does it trip?
My tester is an oldie, I think they were called "wigglers" back then.
But it's basically the same as these newer ones. It vibrates and the
little red marker shows the voltage.
On Jan 8, 9:38 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
GFCIs look for a difference in current flow between the hot and
neutral. The GFCI is supposed to trip if the difference in current
flow is too large. There is no current flowing in the neutral when
you test from the hot terminal directly to ground. There will be a
bit of flow through the hot wire since it's activating your wiggly.
See what happens if you go from hot to neutral with your leads.
Then you have a ground fault, exactly as designed. It should not trip hot
If the current is not equal from hot to neutral, then that means the
current must be taking another path, like ground.
Sometimes it handy to have a higher current tester to test for bad
According to my calculation, you could easily build vibrating tester
drawing less than 1 ma.
Darn, I remember a story in Popular Science or Mechanics about
piezoelectric fans of the future. It was years ago and those are
the first I've ever seen for sale. I must have missed any consumer
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