What is a safety gap?

A safety gap is a small gap in a violet wand accessory that adds an extra line of defense into violet wand safety. While not absolutely necessary, mechanical safety gaps are provided to be a final step in safety in the case of catastrophic failure of a violet wand that is in bad or deteriorated condition and experiences an electrical ‘fault’.  Safety gaps in violet wand accessories ensure that if a wand in poor or unknown condition experiences a ‘fault’, that household line current can not pass full-strength the whole way through the accessory. Any interruption in the current’s path, even slight ones will provide a safety gap.

Depending upon the accessories’ construction and the manufacturer, safety gaps can be made of nylon, teflon, glass, wood, mica, plaster, ceramic flux, resin, air, or any other current limiting or electrically resistant materials. And they can be located at any place on the accessory. Safety gaps can be very small and unobtrusive and may be unobserved to a casual user — body conductive cables made of ball chain produced by some wand companies have tiny gaps between the balls in the chain that limit line current, a built in ‘safety gap’ occurring between each ball of the ballchain on its entire length!  Some accessories on the market may even have multiple such small safety gaps in their construction.

Anything that interrupts a direct metal to metal connection and has current limiting properties, even an air space or a thin layer of electrically resistant resin between metal connections of an accessory, constitutes a ‘safety gap’ in a violet wand accessory. A single manufacturer will use multiple types of safety gaps and determine which type works best with each accessory’s construction and materials. While not absolutely necessary, safety gaps are recommended.  Some makers of advanced violet wand gear offer ungapped accessories for extra high output to experienced users. If you are playing with a wand in unknown condition or with unknown wall wiring, a safety gap is just one more way that violet wand companies look out for you.

Your first best safety will always be your own good safety practices.  Good practices accompanied by good equipment and good wiring, violet wand play remains one of the safest types of electrical play. No incidents of ‘fault’ have ever been reported, though they are potentially possible.

If you are ever in doubt, a portable GFCI is the best fail-safe to ensure the safe use of all types of equipment and accessories, devices including antiques, homemade accessories, and/or suspected wiring issues.

A “safety gap” is not the same as a “spark gap”.  The spark gap is always located inside an electro-mechanical (Tesla type) violet wand where the spark jumps across an adjustable gap created by magnetic contacts. As you turn your electro-mechanical wand ‘up’, you decrease the size of the spark gap and receive more output.  As you turn the wand ‘down’, the spark gap size increases and you receive less output. Electronic violet wands do not have this configuration, as they are controlled by electronic circuit board and current limitation is provided by resistors in the circuit.

 

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