I have an isolation transformer (230V/230V @ 1kVA) and out of curiosity I wanted to see if the lamp of a tester screwdriver would light up.
My intuition said that since the secondary of the transformer was not ground-referenced, there shouldn't be any loop from the screwdriver to my body, earth, and finally back to transformer. But contrary to that, both terminals can light up the screwdriver!
Measuring the voltage between S1 and S2 (secondary terminals) I found 230 V, as I should. Measuring between S1/S2 and grid's ground I found 280V and 120V respectively. The same measurements are true for S1/S2 and grid's neutral.
Why is that? Is there any parasitic capacitance capable of closing the loop? Am I totally missing something here?
EDIT: Let's assume that the parasitic capacitance is responsible for this phenomenon. Connecting a light load between S1 and grid's neutral, as shown in the schematic below, should reduce this voltage difference significantly, since the capacitor has high impedance. Otherwise, isolation cannot be achieved and we are always under the false impression that touching a live ungrounded wire cannot hurt us, as there is no galvanic loop for the current.
simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab