How to Test for Power in an Electrical Outlet

Now if you're going to work on the electrical circuits in your home, it's vital to know whether say a receptacle like this is live, working or dead, not working. Now here are five simple testers you can use to make that determination starting with probably the simplest.

Just a plain old night light. Now to make sure this is a working light, you can just plug this in. Now there may be times when you want to actually hear whether or not the circuit is active and a good tool for that would be a hair dryer or any appliance that makes noise.

Plug this in, turn it on, go to the circuit panel and begin tripping the circuits on and off. When this goes off, you know that circuit is dead. This handy pigtail style tester can be carried in your pocket and it can test 110 or 220 circuits. Now this plug in type tester couldn't be easier to use. Just slip it under the receptacle like this and these lights tell you not only that the circuit is hot, but that it's wired correctly and that the ground is working.

Finally, there's this voltage detector which makes quite a fuss if it even comes near electricity. Let me show you what I mean. It can actually be used to test a receptacle like this. It flashes a light here, makes a noise and it will even detect wires that have current in them.

So from simple to sophisticated, there are all kinds of ways to tell whether it's safe to work on your circuits.