What does it mean when my non-contact volt meter starts sounding about 6 inches before touching any wires? I’m thinking bad ground somewhere. Am I wrong? Thanks.

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    Welcome! As they are now, the subject and the content of the question seem to have nothing to do with each other. If you'll click the Edit button below your question and revise them both that'll help us help you more effectively.
    – Greg Hill
    Jan 13 at 20:47
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    No, it just means it is detecting ac voltages. Some are more sensitive than others, but all I've used will start sounding off within a few (1-6") of an outlet with power. They know nothing about ground, only about a conductor with (high enough) ac voltage on it.
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 13 at 20:55
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    Did you read the instructions that came with the tester?
    – Barry
    Jan 13 at 23:36
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    Voltage testers detect voltage, not current. You can have one w/o the other. They also make non-contact current measurement devices.
    – dandavis
    Jan 14 at 6:04

Your non contact tester measures a field. At some level it triggers, some trigger around 40v so there will be inches of difference depending on if the wires are high voltage or lower voltage, I have one tester that starts chirping when I enter a 4160 transformer room or at my old plant my service line was +21kv it chirped when I was under the line or inside the chain link it all depends on the model.

In the U.S. the max voltage to ground is 120 and most industrial sites are 277 to ground but the L to L voltage is 240 and 480 so it all depends on the tester and the voltage tested.

Waiting for internet only down votes.

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