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inspectortool.jpgRewiring or adding to your homes electrical system is a great way to improve its appearance and functionality.  But guessing at whether that socket is wired up right is not a good idea… Think dalmatians and sirens — very bad.

To protect against faulty wiring you can use a circuit analyzer like the CA-300A 3-Wire Circuit Analyzer from Sperry Instruments. It plugs directly into the socket just like any other plug, then once power is supplied to the outlet, yellow and red indicators instantly signal which wire is defective by lighting up in an easy to read pattern. The pattern can be decoded with a chart located on the top of the unit. By looking at which lights are lit up, or not lit up, you can see which wire(s) are faulty and fix them.

The 3-Wire Circuit Analyzer is for use on 110 to 125 VAC circuits only and can be found at your local home and garden center or on the net for around $8.

CA-300A 3-Wire Circuit Analyzer [Sperry]
Price Search [Froogle]


4 Responses to Circuit Analyzer: Plug It In, Avoid a Visit from the Fire Dept.

  1. gary says:

    What is it when all 3 lights are on on the tester ?

  2. Zathrus says:

    What’s it say on the tester?

    See that little diagram on the tester itself in the picture? Yeah, it tells you what the sequences mean. If your tester doesn’t have this, then get one that does.

    And if you don’t understand what they mean, then either learn or hire an electrician. I do DIY electrical, but if you don’t know WTF you’re doing then you shouldn’t be playing with wiring.

  3. David Bryan says:

    Calling this handy little item a circuit analyzer reminds me of how I decided for a while to call myself a nuclear physicist, I just never said I was any good at it.

  4. Dan says:

    Spend the extra few bucks and get one that can test GFCI outlets as well. They come in handy for verifying whether and outlet is protected, and also when looking at older houses or handyman specials where the previous owner liked to dabble in electrical work.

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