Providing that you _know_ how to use such a tester safely :-)
Not lighting up doesn't mean that there's nothing there; lighting up
doesn't always mean that a dangerous potential is present. A bit like
digital multimeters really, in the wrong hands!
I haven't seen neon screwdrivers for yonks. I used to have one in an
RS toolkit some 25 years ago.
As a non electrician I would have thought it could add another bit of
safety. Even to change a socket I have to put the mains ring off then
check the socket is not live then I panick and put the complete mains
off then usually get my wife to double check and at that I still try and
avoid touching a wire while changing it.
But with one of the neon testers then if it lights before switching off
then doesnt light after switching off surely adds another safety zone.
But would be interested in the whats `nasty & dangerous` part.
Used as you are using it, with a check that it's working, is probably
OK. But people tend to just believe the thing with no other check at
all. That's where the danger lies.
My own check is to short out L & N before touching anything, and lock
the door of the room with the consumer unit. And I always wear gloves
even when I 'know' the circuit is dead.
No, because it might have broken in the meantime.
You should be testing the tester, testing the circuit for live, then
testing the tester again.
Except that neon screwdrivers are so hit and miss they're completely
useless and all they can do is give a false sense of security.
Apart from when they fall apart in your hand.
They really should be banned. I'd rather work live and just be very
very very careful about only holding the wires by the plastic bits.
In practice I find that it is possible to work without sticking a wire
through a glove, just as you might expect to work without a wire
penetrating your skin were you not wearing gloves.
I think we can assume a reasonable level of manual dexterity here.
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