The Voltage Detector
- A very practical way of detecting if you are in front of a live wire , the difference between detecting a low voltage (120vac or 220vac) is that you have to almost touch the voltage detector to the wire to see if it’s hot. But with neon high voltage it starts beeping even a foot away from hot wires or neon.First tool i put in my shirt pocket is this little handy device and of course i test it on my 120 vac outlet first to check if the batteries are good.And i would set it to beep , so it would start beeping if i got close to a hot live gto wire ,transformer or neon.
Check to see if there ‘s a timer , most of the time if there’s a timer it will not be correctly set and you may have turned it off manually but the clock is turning and suddenly it will turn on , check the clock or loosen the screws so it will not trip the switch.
Uninstalling a Sign
- Many stores have closed and somebody has to take the signs down , so if you are hired to take down a signs it’s very important that you take down the transformers also , disconnect the transformers and insulate the ac wires that used to go to the transformers .
There’s a case i knew where a property manager hired a handyman to take down a sign , and he did take it down and hauled it away , only thing is he forgot or didn’t know that he had to take down the transformers also , so the transformers were left with the wires hanging . And they were the old type of transformer that didn’t have a GFI , so as soon as the timer kicked in , the transformers started to work , only problem that there was no neon to light up , so the high voltage sparks started to look for ground and they found ground but the sparks get very hot so it started a fire and eventually the whole building went up in fire . They were looking for the guy that took the signs down.
- If you have worked with regular electricity you already know the precautions you have to have , the only difference with the electricity coming out of the transformers (high voltage)is that ;
- You don’t have to touch the wires to get zapped , the spark will jump to a distance of 1 to 2 inches ,if the power is being dissipated or used by the sign and the circuit is closed then there will be no jumping spark , the problem starts when there is a broken neon and the electricity is looking to complete the circuit and it finds you a good conductor then it will jump to you , if you are closer than 1 to 2 inches.
- Never work on a sign that you have not killed the power to , some shopping center signs are not turned on and off at the store , they are connected to a network in which they are controlled sometimes thousands of miles away by the corporate owners of the shopping center. In those cases there has to be a switch on the sign itself for maintenance purposes .