- Circuit Tester
- Secondary Power Switch
- Wand with built in spark gap
What we do is edge play…
This means there is a risk to safety and health for the people involved in Violet Wand play, as with all electrical play; but we do certain things to ensure we minimize the risks. It’s important to use as many safety precautions as possible so that the chance of injury is as small as possible. Hopefully you are aware of the important safety equipment, but here are some recommendations for building your chain of safety. Remember, any chain is only as strong as the weakest link, so test everything and ensure it’s in proper working condition.
A circuit tester – This is a first step. It lets you test the plug you are going to use and many these days will also test the GFCI and standard plugs. From the manufacturer: ‘Detecting improper wiring conditions: the tester is designed to alert you of probable improper wiring conditions by using indicator light patterns.’ These indicators will help identify a missing or floating ground and misfired hot and neutral wires.
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) – These ‘smart’ receptacles, available as whole-building, whole-circuit, extension cable, or plug-in units, are designed to detect if the electrical current is flowing through the wrong pathway – like water or even a person,although relying solely on a GFCI to protect people from harm is risky due to timing. GFI/GFCI outlets automatically take action by shutting off the power if the amount being drawn from whatever is plugged in exceeds the amount returning to the system. In a grounded U.S. outlet, there are two slots and a round hole centered below them (or above if the outlet is upside down). One slot is slightly larger than the right, and the outlet and plug are called polarized. The larger slot is “neutral,” the other is “hot,” and the hole is “ground” when properly wired. If an appliance is working properly, all electricity that the appliance uses will flow from hot to neutral. A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral. If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit. It is able to sense a mismatch as small as 4 or 5 milliamps, and it can react as quickly as one-fortieth of a second. The GFCI will not protect you from line contact hazards (i.e. a person holding two “hot” wires, a hot and a neutral wire in each hand, or contacting an overhead power line).
A secondary switch (foot pedal) – This serves a couple of different purposes. First,as safety equipment, it allows you to ensure the wand is off, with mechanical wands if they are plugged in they are on, the current might be so low that is imperceptible but it is there. It’s also useful in preserving your wand’s switch if it has one, and it provides one if your wand only has an adjustment knob.
A spark gap for metal probes and accessories – The spark gap for body contact probes and metal probes is yet another safety link. This ensures that if live current makes it to the wand collet (tip), which is very unlikely in a properly maintained wand, the gap will prevent it from going to the body contact, a person touching the end of the gap, or other metal probes. Gaps are built in to glass electrodes and light bulbs. The Mjolnir Hammer by Violet Wanda also has a spark gap built into the wand.