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#8126 - 03/09/02 06:32 AM finding open wire in wall
donles Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 82
Loc: Pennsylvania
Anyone know of an instrument that would allow me to trace a NM cable that's running within a house's exterior wall? Brick exterior/ drywall interior.
I was asked to find why three outdoor receptacles are not working. The house is 10 years old and the cheapie receptacles are backwired. I've gone through and looked at and replaced the connection method at all receptacles that I think could be feeding these three. I've looked in the breaker panels for loose connections or bad breakers.
The outlets are about 30' apart. On one end the box has two cables entering, one the opposite end, one cable enters, so I think I know how the circuit should flow. I'm beginning to think that these receptacles were never powered even though there appears to be a feed coming into one box or the cable has been cut while some work was being done and somehow nothing was done about it.
I seem to remember an instrument called a tick tracer for tracing cables in walls.
Could someone elaborate?
don

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#8127 - 03/09/02 07:10 AM Re: finding open wire in wall
Electricmanscott Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
Try X-ray vision glasses. They work well with the ladies also! Seriously I am not sure about such a tool. I have a Volt Tick that idebtifies voltage wihtout making contact. Perhaps there is a variation of this that will do what you want. I'm sure someone here will know.

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#8128 - 03/09/02 07:33 AM Re: finding open wire in wall
golf junkie Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE
We use our underground locator when faced with this situation.

Ours is made by progressive electronics, but any RF locator should work. Just hook it to the feed at the receptacle and trace back til the signal goes away. That point will be your break.

I assume that you have checked for the ground and neutral at the recep.??

GJ

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#8129 - 03/09/02 03:12 PM Re: finding open wire in wall
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Don,

First question I always ask is did they ever work? Did you check for GFCIs around the house? The feed may come from a GFCI protected outlet somewhere. Maybe something loosened up or was changed in one of these locations.

Good Luck,

Bill

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#8130 - 03/09/02 08:37 PM Re: finding open wire in wall
wolfdog Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/01
Posts: 135
Loc: Dallas,TX
Amprobe makes a kit that will track live or dead wires. It aint cheap,but it does work.

Here is a description from W.W. Grainger
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/productdetail.jsp?xi=xi&ItemId=1611625570

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