ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#177829 - 05/13/08 07:04 AM lost wire in wall
sandy Offline
New Member
Registered: 05/13/08
Posts: 2
Loc: ma
i was searching the web for a tool to help me out and came across forum. maybe someone has had this happen. a wire was not pulled thru the outlet box when the sheetrock guy came and now we are not sure where the missing wire is. we know where it is in the panel, but not the wall and dont want to just start cutting/drilling. thoughts or ideas on how we can trace this out???
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
#177830 - 05/13/08 07:18 AM Re: lost wire in wall [Re: sandy]
BryanInBalt Offline
Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Baltimore

Design-Build isn't supposed to mean design *as* you build.
#177832 - 05/13/08 08:22 AM Re: lost wire in wall [Re: BryanInBalt]
sandy Offline
New Member
Registered: 05/13/08
Posts: 2
Loc: ma
Thanks bryan - will check it out!
#177838 - 05/13/08 11:47 AM Re: lost wire in wall [Re: sandy]
LK Offline
Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1429
Loc: New Jersey
Thats easy, don't pay the sheetrock guy, until he comes back and finds the missing wire. Even if you tone it, and find it, you can not be sure it was not damaged, might be better to have him open it up, and this time, do the job right.
#177915 - 05/15/08 07:27 AM Re: lost wire in wall [Re: LK]
kenny2656 Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 7
Loc: lake charles, la usa
Greenlee 2011 will find wires powered or not, open or shorted

through the thickest walls.

Has a high and low setting, and a high price tag...

I use it for "ringing" instrument wiring to verify landing

points in PLC's.
#177929 - 05/15/08 03:32 PM Re: lost wire in wall [Re: sandy]
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Have you tried hooking the wire out with a length of stiff wire (with a hook on the end of it) poked in behind the box?
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#177935 - 05/15/08 05:44 PM Re: lost wire in wall [Re: Trumpy]
electure Offline

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4259
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
Wasn't the cable stapled right/above below the outlet?
#177947 - 05/16/08 03:23 PM Re: lost wire in wall [Re: electure]
poorboy Offline
Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 124
Loc: Central Maine
By the process of elimination. You can hot up all the circuits and then the one left will have 2 dead ends (unless you fed it in the middle).

If you used plastic nail-on boxes, you can carefully pull the nails on them by inserting a screwdriver at top and then bottom and a little at a time(and as you pull the edge of the box out opposite the nail side) get it free.

Then you can (unless you have real large hands) search for the cable. The nail-on portions of the box can then be snipped off with dikes and the box remounted with drywall screws thru the side.

A mid-line or even jumbo plate may be needed to cover the edges, or a bit of patching. I have even changed to a 2-gang and double duplex to avoid patching.

I have had to fix all sorts of helper/careless stuff. You'd be amazed what can be done sometimes.

There's no substite for a thorough going over before they "make it white".
#177968 - 05/19/08 03:15 PM Re: lost wire in wall [Re: poorboy]
Grover Offline
Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 109
Loc: Sebago, ME, USA
I often have to cut out a nail on box either to find or fish another wire. Just pry it away from the 2x4 (use a 6" steel scale to find out which side the stud is on), and cut the nails with a metal cutting blade in the sawzall.

Pull in the new wire, and use an old work box - no sheetrock damage if you're careful.

In my neck of the woods, sheetrockers never return, no matter whose fault it is.

Re-reading your post, I'd use my toner. Kill the main to eliminate noise - can usually find it in the room and pinpoint where it is. Sometimes a feed is missing, or not pulled into a box - toner sorts it out real quick. Part of the trick is to kill the main - often too much noise (hum) - have had to resort to headphones on occasion.



Member Spotlight
Member Since: 04/03/02
Posts: 6778
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Shout Box

Who's Online
0 registered (), 64 Guests and 9 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question
Top Posters (30 Days)
Admin 47
HotLine1 43
gfretwell 19
Ruben Rocha 12
Trumpy 9
Newest Members
Scotto, Freecrowder, clee512, Jdscott2005, FAIZAN

ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals