Do they make a gadget that detects the presence - not necessarily flow - of
electricity in a conductor through insulation, walls, etc? Not electric
flow because I am hunting an open circuit in a mobile home. I want to see
how far the power is getting without removing caps on splices, opening
There are detectors for this, they are not cheap, they come in to pieces
as a transmitter and a receiver, usually the transmitter is plugged into
a dead outlet, then with the receiver you can see where the signal dies.
On Monday, October 16, 2017 at 2:03:15 PM UTC-4, KenK wrote:
For use through insulation there are non-contact testers that are inexpensive.
They will detect a live cable if you place the tip near or on the cable.
They won't work if the cable is inside the wall, ie it's inches away and
covered with drywall, etc. There probably are more sensitive instruments
that will, how practical they are, IDK. ?Usually being able to check where
cables are available or at junction boxes is sufficient.
Many stud finders have built-in AC detection.
Transmitter/receiver devices work, but are much more expensive.
Time-domain reflectometer cable testers can tell distance to break.
Some can be connected to a live AC wire, many can't.
BE VERY CAREFUL.
I'd go for the stud finder.
Non Contact voltage detectors do exist and they do not require
current flow. Most have a pretty limitted range (you can check a wire
without disconnecting it, but you need to get into the box or into the
Some "stud finders" have a "live wire detector" built in as well.
Otherwize you need to disconnect the power and use a "fox and hound"
tester - but a bad connection can often still pass enough signal to
Good for about half an inch from the conductor - possibly an inch on
a real good day of you manage to stand just right on one foot and hold
your mouth just right - - - and will not detect voltage in metallic
sheathed cable or inside a closed junction box.
The non-contact, no-current flow detectors use what is called capacitive co
The cheapest form of this type of detector is the Christmas light detectors
that you place up against the wires going to the sockets and move from one
socket to the next to find out where the flashing light or buzzing sound s
tops. But you have to have the plug in the outlet the correct way or you h
ave to start checking from the far end of the circuit if the hot side of th
e outlet does not go to the first light.
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