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
Thanks for any tips !!
Use an inductive probe (part of a tone-generator kit)...
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.
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:
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 !!
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
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.
buffalo ny: consider drilling an exploratory hole behind an existing
inside wall hanging art for camouflage. the main breaker and the smoke
alarm breaker red should be turned off after you shut down the
computer. you can use some electrical boxes that mount anywhere to
hold a blank electrical cover plate or a decorative blank plate with a
couple of anchor screws for covering your exploratory hole. you might
buy a hinged service panel for the mystery areas of the home you
explore, available in several sizes, see hdsupplysolutions. these are
of use for the closet wall behind the dripping shower fixture/tub as
well. a decorative medicine cabinet spanning the stud spacing which
can be dismounted with several deck screws at repair time may be of
use in many places in the home.
in an uninsulated home with no fire stops between floors invites your
inspection mirror or cellphone movie camera.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.