Re False negative: they don't actually require that you be earthed to work - they body has enough stray capacitance to do the job. The main problem is just not being able to see them in anything except dim light. --John Rumm 01:00, 17 April 2008 (BST)
Sure, but not being earthed means less current flow, you've only got the human body's stray capacitance, hence its dimmer... and this plays straight into the lit but unseen issue. Been years since I used them, so perhaps mistaken.
Added False negative header. NT 20:00, 17 April 2008 (BST)
NT, do you have a link for the (il)legal aspect of use at work? If not, do you suppose we should change it to a link to the HSE GS38 document and its recommendation instead?
--John Rumm 15:54, 14 March 2012 (GMT)
Looks like I dont have a link. IIRC it was on the basis that since they give false positives and false negatives, and the consequences can be fatal, and safe alternatives exist (meters), their use is therefore contrary to health and safety at work legislation. NT 19:34, 14 March 2012 (GMT)
I could very easily be wrong on this, but I didnt think there was a question mark over their legality in work situations. AIUI the fundament of health & safety at work legislation is that equipment and methods should be safe when possible - and this would rule the neon screwdriver out right away, since a much safer means of determining whther a circuit is live exists. NT 12:14, 15 March 2012 (GMT)
Yup, you are probably right. However unless we can find a suitable citation I think its safer to simply say "probably" illegal or similar. Its not really a DIY specific comment anyway, and there is no point creating arguments over the bit that is not really that important. --John Rumm 20:09, 15 March 2012 (GMT)