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1.7 million voltage testing tools recalled because power switch may not work

The user may not be aware that the device is off when testing to see if electricity is flowing through a wire or outlet.
Credit: Klein Tools
Recalled Klein Tools Non-contact Voltage Testers NCVT-1

Nearly 1.7 million voltage testers are being recalled because of a malfunction that may not let the user know that the device is turned off, leading to a potential shock hazard.

The recall is for Klein Tools Non-Contact Voltage Tester Model NCVT-1. The device looks like a yellow and black pen. By touching the tip next to a wire or into an electrical outlet, the user can determine if the wire or outlet is "hot," meaning electricity is flowing to it and, therefore, unsafe to touch by hand.

The on/off button could remain depressed during the power on or power off cycle, Klein said. That could lead the user to incorrectly think the tester is on and functioning when it, in fact, may be turned off. This could cause the user to begin touching the wire or outlet that was tested, thinking there is no electricity going to it, thereby posing a shock hazard.

Klein says there have been two reported incidents of the tester not working properly, including one person who was shocked.

The testers were sold at Home Depot, hardware stores and industrial distributors nationwide from January 2020 - March 2021. They were sold both individually and as kits. 

A list of the model numbers affected can be found at this link. Owners should stop using them and contact Klein for instructions on getting a replacement.