Question about Gb Electrical Gardner Bender GVD-504A Circuit Alert Non-Contact Voltage Tester

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I have 6 outlets that do not work.

I used a Circuit Alert Non-Contact Voltage Tester on them and 3 indicate voltage on both poles of the outlet. The other 3 indicate voltage only on the 'black' or hot pole.

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I would start by determining if these 6 outlets are on the same circuit. Also I am usually not too confident in the non contact voltage tester you are using. They tend to give false positives if they contact anything or even if you move them fast. I would invest in an inexpensive multimeter whcih will allow you to test actual voltage across the poles and ground and also check for continuity between poles/ground (WITH CIRCUIT OFF ONLY).

Did these outlets previously work properly?

Posted on Jan 04, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Usage How To


To measure the voltage at an electrical outlet requires the use of a multimeter. Always test your test equipment for proper operation before use. Set the multimeter to AC voltage. The markings may appear as VAC, AC V, or a V beneath a wavy line. Choose the AC voltage closest to the voltage you will measure. Standard current in home and businesses in the USA is in the range of 110 to 120 volts. Some circuits used for equipment such as dryers, air conditioners, electric stoves, ovens and other large equipment may use voltage in the range of 220 to 240 volts. These heavy-duty circuits can be identified by their non-standard outlet plugs. While grasping the insulated portion of the probes (never touch the metal conductor during testing) place one probe into each of the two terminals. The multimeter will display the voltage. Carefully remove the probes, being careful not to touch the metal part of the probes to anything or each other. The voltage should typically test in the range of 108 to 121 volts for most circuits. If voltage is higher or lower, professional electrical service may be required.

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