I see many Violet ray machines on Ebay (and other sites) and haven’t really thought about the dangers, until I bought one that is.
Of course, the one I bought was cheap. To be fair to the seller someone had cut both the power cable and the wand cable before I bought it. That action probably saved someones life. 1. Because it was cheap on ebay, so I bought it and 2. If some one else had bought it, they may not have checked it before use.
The device, like many on sale on the internet is nearly 90 years old. The internal construction is wood and the primary insulation of the internal wiring is rubber. This rubber had over time become brittle and in many places fallen off.
Here are the pieces of cable I have replaced.
They are all suffering from noticeable wear!. The wires from the capacitor were for the most part bare.
The cable from the wand was wired with only two wires. Considering that the third is the “earth” and that the high voltage developed by the wand would have traveled back via the other two cables (one is connected directly to neutral the other via a capacitor to live) the sparks from the wand could easily have been backed with 240V
When properly repaired these devices can be used safely, but GET THEM CHECKED, not just by an electrician, but by someone who knows about high voltage and tesla coils. There are a number of possible gotchas in there.
Also, don’t run a vintage violet wand for more than 10 minutes. They were not designed to be continuous use devices, they WILL over heat, and when some of the components are insulated with wax, heat is not a good thing.
Stay safe and please pass this warning on.