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??? thanks sandy
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.
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".
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.