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mikey1377 09-13-2007 08:06 AM

Help with tracing wires
I have a few random boxes in my walls, switches that do nothing, dead receptacles and a ceiling fan without a switch (or it's dead).
I'm guessing the former owners were doing some wiring and decided not to fill us in. Attempts to contact them have failed, so I need a little help tracing these wires. I have a tracer that (is supposed to) traces the plug, light or wires to the breaker box. But is works about 20% of the time.
Any ideas?


J. V. 09-13-2007 03:10 PM

Tracers only work if the wiring is installed and powered up. Tracers do not locate open circuits and missing wiring.
I hate to tell you that you are going to have to open up all the switch boxes and receptacles and physically locate the disconnected or missing wiring.
You may also need to get access to the conductors at the panel and see where they are going and if they are connected properly.
You may need a professional for this project.

buffalonymann 09-14-2007 08:11 AM

If your not experienced in circuitry, don't even bother trying to fix it. You'll only cause yourself more troubles.

An experienced electrician will be able to examine the wiring in the boxes and know exactly where the wiring problem is

michaelpwalton1 09-22-2007 10:41 PM

If your home is in a development, check with a neighbor and see if their switch are in the same location and work the same items.

That may give you an insight as to how the outlets and switches are wired. You did not mention how old the home is or the type of wiring that is installed ( knob & tube, romex, bx etc). If the home is old with knob and tube, don't even try to do it yourself, because this type of troubleshooting is hard enough for the experienced electrician, so for a homeowner or handy man, it might be a long rough project. :no:

Stubbie 09-23-2007 12:19 AM

Mike your going through and posting on threads that have had no response in a month or so....are sure you want to do this?


michaelpwalton1 09-23-2007 06:36 AM

Hi Stubbie - To tell the truth, I was not watching the posting dates as close as I should have. I was looking more at the number of responses a posting had received and thought that I could help someone who was stuck on a project. I guess I should look a little closer. Oh well, it was good practice :jester:

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