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Thread: Wiggies are banned

  1. #1
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    Wiggies are banned

    At my CT code update course recently a discussion came up about the use of "wiggies." There was a worker from CL&P (the local poco) in the class and he told us it's against CL&P/Northeast Utilities policy to use wiggies for low voltage testing because the current flowing through them can inadvertently activate control circuits.

    I had never heard of this before but I thought it was interesting nonetheless. Is this really something to be concerned about? Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d
    because the current flowing through them can inadvertently activate control circuits.
    I don't own a Wiggy, But I remember when I did I could test a GFI hot to ground and it would trip.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d
    At my CT code update course recently a discussion came up about the use of "wiggies." There was a worker from CL&P (the local poco) in the class and he told us it's against CL&P/Northeast Utilities policy to use wiggies for low voltage testing because the current flowing through them can inadvertently activate control circuits.

    I had never heard of this before but I thought it was interesting nonetheless. Is this really something to be concerned about? Thoughts?

    The real issue is to know the tool. A friend of mine worked the night shift and, from across the bay, watched a co-worker pull his wiggy out and proceed to try to meter 34.5kV with it. My friend couldn't yell fast enough. The result was tragic.

    There are times when you want to use a tool with a low impedance and there are times when you want to use a tool with a high impedance.

    I still have my Wiggy and pull it out from time to time. I also have an analog Triplett and a Simpson 260. There are things that are simply easier to see on an analog meter. Capacitance on a line, for example.

    I understand safety rules (and how they come about). I'd like to see the motto:

    "I think, therefore I'm Safe."

    The challenge is to try to stay alive during the learning process.
    Eric Stromberg, P.E. Texas

  4. #4
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    Wiggies are banned

    Don't know about that but I use Ideal testers like wiggies and like them. In the past the tester labeled Wiggie I didn't like. All testers I use are UL approved and work great. Every job needs certain testers. I don't know of but one tester that did it all. When I first started 35 years ago we all used the big circuit tester with a dial that did everything but wash the dishes. They were expensive and fragile. Semper Fi

  5. #5
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    Yes, some analog type meters will pass enough current to activate small control relays and especially solid state relays.

    When I got my first DVMM I compared readings with my trusted Simpson. The Simpson would noticably drop the voltage when added to the circuit.
    At that time machines coming out with the new fangled electronic crap would warn about using the wrong type of meters for testing the circuitry.
    Tom
    TBLO

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric stromberg
    The real issue is to know the tool. A friend of mine worked the night shift and, from across the bay, watched a co-worker pull his wiggy out and proceed to try to meter 34.5kV with it. My friend couldn't yell fast enough. The result was tragic.

    There are times when you want to use a tool with a low impedance and there are times when you want to use a tool with a high impedance.

    I still have my Wiggy and pull it out from time to time. I also have an analog Triplett and a Simpson 260. There are things that are simply easier to see on an analog meter. Capacitance on a line, for example.

    I understand safety rules (and how they come about). I'd like to see the motto:

    "I think, therefore I'm Safe."

    The challenge is to try to stay alive during the learning process.
    I have a Triplett 630NA.

  7. #7
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    Look at your tester, if was made after 1996, it will have a CAT rating.
    CAT I is for logic/control board level stuff.
    CAT II is for branch circuit level stuff.
    CAT III is for motor/power distribution level stuff.
    CAT IV is for power transmission (overhead/underground) level stuff.
    There will also be a voltage rating by the CAT rating.
    Only use equipment rated for your task, if you are interested in doing it safely.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d
    At my CT code update course recently a discussion came up about the use of "wiggies." There was a worker from CL&P (the local poco) in the class and he told us it's against CL&P/Northeast Utilities policy to use wiggies for low voltage testing because the current flowing through them can inadvertently activate control circuits.

    I had never heard of this before but I thought it was interesting nonetheless. Is this really something to be concerned about? Thoughts?
    that's not what it's for.

    I don't think it would indicate anything.... and probably would act about the same as a wire, where the resistance of the relay and the wiggy were concerned. I imagine it could easily jumper out logic level chips and fire relays.
    Last edited by realolman; 09-28-07 at 03:54 PM.

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