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Thread: tester prongs not long enough?

  1. #1

    Default tester prongs not long enough?

    I'm trying to test a dryer outlet and neither my multimeter nor my el-cheapo receptacle tester has prongs seemingly long enough to make contact deep inside the outlet where the juice is.

    Am I just using them wrong or do I need to purchase Yet Another Tester?

    I toyed with the idea of extending the prongs by taping some copper wire on, but the thought of dying stopped me

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Turn the CB off, stick a piece of wire in there - attach it to the probe, turn the CB back on - read the meter, turn the CB off...repeat as required.

    Or, depending on the plug on the dryer, sometimes it will make a connection when not all the way inserted, you can stick the prong into that gap, using the dryer plug as your extender.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Trun off breaker and remove cover. Now everything is exposed for testing

    Edited to add;

    Of course if you had this knowledge you would know what you were doing in the first place
    Without this knowledge it is best you call someone who does

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default outlet

    If you already have the dryer, insert the plug most of the way and then touch the visible portion.

  5. #5
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Turn the CB off, stick a piece of wire in there - attach it to the probe, turn the CB back on - read the meter, turn the CB off...repeat as required.

    Or, depending on the plug on the dryer, sometimes it will make a connection when not all the way inserted, you can stick the prong into that gap, using the dryer plug as your extender.

    That is not a good idea...you are making an assumption that the breaker worked...which it will 99.999% of the time but that .001% could possibly kill someone under the right circumstances.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default testing

    You are also assuming the circuit breaker is labeled correctly and that you are turning the correct one on and off. Since many circuit breaker legends are an exercise in creative writing 101 and may not be correct do not assume anything, but check first. But I guess your problem is that you cannot check first, unless you buy a better tester.

  7. #7

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    Hire a professional electrician.

    Electrical work is not a hobby and can kill you.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

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