How to Use a Voltage Tester In 6 Steps?

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A Voltage Tester is a device used to test electrical power. It is mostly used for detecting the presence of alternating current voltage in or around an object or surface and is relatively simple to use.

It can detect the presence of voltage in power cables, electric cords, lighting fixtures, circuit breakers, wires, power outlets, and so on.

These testers can provide auditory or visual signals that indicate the presence of voltage.

A few of them additionally make use of light or numbers to represent the level of voltage present around the object or surface.

The primary operating principle of a voltage tester is capacitive coupling, which means that the voltage is detected without contacting the wire or surface being examined.

A voltage tester, often known as a test lamp, is a device that measures the voltage in a circuit. This tester’s principal role is to safeguard the user from an unexpected electric shock.

Types of Voltages Tester

  • Non-contact Voltage Tester: It’s also referred to as an inductance tester. It is one of the safest and simplest testers to use. Users can test the voltage in wires or devices without contacting the surface or part of the equipment being checked.
  • Neon Voltage Tester: It is small in size and has a neon light inside. It features two short wire leads on either end with a metal probe. It determines whether or not the voltage is present in the circuit. However, it cannot display the voltage range that is present.
  • Solenoid Voltage Tester: It is also referred to as a multi-function tester. It is available in both analogue and digital forms. It can test voltage as well as polarity. It is primarily used by electricians. It contains two wires and an expanded probe from the tester’s bottom.
  • Digital Voltage Tester: It operates in a digital and contactless mode. It is a multipurpose tool that can be used for a variety of applications. Its principal duty is to determine whether the technical instrument in the environment is operational or whether there is a fault source present. It also detects interfering signals and overload problems.

Working principle of voltage tester:

  • Basic principle: It monitors the flux lines of the electric field created between the earth’s potential and the live component of the system.
  • Magnetic induction tester: It is made up of a sensor that is wound around the tip. The coil is then immersed in an electromagnetic field. If a voltage is induced in the winding, the light will glow and the circuit will activate an alert.
  • Capacitive sensor element: It has utilized a capacitor coupling to detect whether the circuit is complete or not by detecting the energised conductors and electric field. To establish a ground reference, the user must touch the metal component of the tester. It permits stray capacitance from the live conductor to pass the ground.

How to Use a Voltage Tester?


A multimeter is a two-lead voltage tester that informs you exactly how much voltage it is reading. Plugin the multimeter and turn it on.


The ground or neutral wires are measured using the black probe. Connect this to the port that says “COM” or has a negative (-) symbol next to it. The voltage port is usually denoted by a capital “V”. The red probe is used to attach to the hot wire, which is the wire that transmits the electrical current.


The dial on the front of most multimeters is visible. This allows you to choose the measuring mode as well as the measurement range. Alternate current (AC) or direct current (DC) mode is selected by turning the dial. A V with a wavy line next to it is commonly used to represent alternating current. A V with a straight line next to it is used to represent a direct current.


Turn the knob to place the voltage measurement within the range you expect to obtain to get the most accurate reading. For example, if you’re testing a 9V battery, setting the dial to 20 volts will provide a more accurate reading than setting it to 2000 volts.


Place the black probe on the negative terminal of a battery while testing it. It is commonly denoted by a negative (-) symbol. Place the black probe in the large slot if you’re testing an electrical outlet. When testing electrical wiring, place the black probe against an exposed white or green wire.


Place the red probe on the positive terminal of a battery if testing it. It is commonly denoted with a plus (+) sign. Place the red probe in the little slot if you’re checking an electrical outlet. Touch the red probe to the exposed black wire if you’re testing wiring. The monitor should show the number of volts received.


It is used to detect electrical currents in outlets, light switches, circuit breaker panels, light fixtures, and other electrical components. They can also be used to determine whether or not electrical wires and components are safe to work with. To learn how to use a voltage tester, follow the steps above.

Read: How to Use a Mitre Saw?


How can one determine whether a wire is live?

A non-contact voltage tester or digital multimeters are used to check for a live electrical wire. The safest method for checking live wires is to use a non-contact voltage tester, which is done by positioning the machine near the wire.

How does a voltage tester test wires?

When using a voltage tester, place one probe on one wire or connection and the second probe on the opposite wire or connection. The light in the housing will illuminate if the component is receiving power. The problem is if the light does not glow at this point.

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