Locating Wires in Walls ?


I have to drill a 2 1/2 inch hole through an exterior wall, and I know that it is possible that I could run into wiring. While I know that I could turn this circuit off and drill away, I can envision that it would be hard to access both ends of the 120 volt wiring if my drill should cut a wire. (repairing would normally be easy, but I don't know if I would have appropriate "slack" and/or if I could get to both ends to do the repair. )
Isn't there a gadget to allow one to locate the exact wiring location in a wall ?
Thanks for any tips !!
James
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James wrote:

Use an inductive probe (part of a tone-generator kit)...
or -->
Use a portable AM radio
tune it to a freq. with no station and run it across the wall (practice on an area above a lightswitch where you know there are HOT wires) you'll be able to hear the humming of the RFI.
--

-G

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Even more than just an AM radio and 60 cycle hum, plug a vacuum cleaner into a receptacle that you suspect might be powered by the wire you're trying to avoid. The AM radio will pick up lots of static when you're near the wire.
G. Morgan wrote:

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Where do you get one? Same place as a Beta VCR? :-)

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Red Green wrote:

Well.. actually that is a problem. You have to get one that has an analog tuner, the digital ones won't work. Maybe RatShak has one attached to a toy. ;-))
--

-G

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Thanks for the great replies !! Basically, I think this reply will help me a lot....... -----------------------
Assuming you're using a hole saw, just stop drilling when you get through the siding and sheeting, and you shouldn't hit anything.
----------------------------
Duhhh, maybe I should have thought of that myself !! But, that is an excellent approach, as once through the siding, I can probe around and if there is a wire, hopefully I can force it to one side or the other, to allow me to go fully through the wall, on to the outside of the wall.
Thanks a lot !!
James
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James wrote:

All the other answers are good, but here is another way:
Determine exactly where the hole MUST be and mark that spot. Most of the wiring in your entire home will be right behind it. Now, spend a considerable amount of time figuring out how to put it in a different spot and mark that. Your main gas line will be behind the new location.
Do this again to find your main water line and sewer stack.
After you have located every utility in your home with this method, and have selected a new location (which will require you to completely rearrange all of the furniture in your living room), you will find some sort of engineered wood support with a flitch plate made of some impenetrable metal from another planet.
After you have successfully gotten through that with a cutting torch (which compromised the structural integrity of your building and started a smoldering fire in the stud cavity that won't burst into flame until after you have left for the movies) you will go outside to find that somehow you have drilled a hole completely through the engine block of your lawnmower.
:-)
Seriously, you can buy a device that will locate live wires in your wall, and for a lot more money, you can buy one that will locate almost any wire in the wall, hot or not.
http://tinyurl.com/29vxw9
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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You SOB Robert! You lived next door to me. I looked around and thought no one saw what happened.

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Robert Allison posted for all of us...

knack as me. I'm not alone in this world...
--
Tekkie Don\'t bother to thank me, I do this as a public service.

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