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Ground question and pen voltage detectors.

  1. Apr 8, 2009 #1
    Hi, im new here and have a couple questions.

    First, If someone is standing in their house on a carpeted floor with rubber soled shoes on and they only touch the hot wire, will they get a shock?

    Also, can anyone explain how those pen voltage detectors work where you only have to touch one wire to see if its hot or not.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2009 #2
    It depends on the circumstances, but generally no, you will not get shocked if you are well insulated. Small current can still pass through you.

    Most pen detector have inductive pick up coils so you don't even have to touch a wire. Some of the older ones use small neon bulbs. They require little current to glow, so when you touch a hot wire with one end of the neon bulb, some small leakage current will flow and find a path of least resistance to the ground, usually through your body.
  4. Apr 9, 2009 #3
    So then isn't everything technically grounded. It just depends on the amount of resistance that determines the amount of current delivered. Or does being 'grounded' suggest that the subject is directly connected to ground through a conductor?
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