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[Shop-talk] finding a wire in a wall/attic

To: <>
Subject: [Shop-talk] finding a wire in a wall/attic
From: "Mark Miller" <>
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 14:54:47 -0700
"john niolon" <> asked:
Subject: [Shop-talk] circuit finder ???
<<I'm trying to locate a run of wire in the middle of a circuit in the
I could crawl all over the attic raking back insulation to trace it but 
there has to be a better way for an old man to do this..

I'm looking for a device that will locate a circuit midway in a run of 
wiring.  I've seen what Lowes and H.D. offers with the little plug in thingy

and the other part that you use to check each breaker to find which breaker 
controls that plug... but will this device work by placing the 'wand' along 
the line between the plug and the breaker ?

Seems like it should but before I spend 30-40 bucks and climb in the attic 
it would be nice to know ??  OR does someone know of a device that does 
exactly what I'm needing ??

One option would be to turn off the rest of the circuits in the house that
might be around there and plug a heater or other large draw into the outlet.
You can then trace the path it takes back to the circuit breaker box with an
IR thermometer.  These things are quite good at seeing very small heat flows
out of ductwork and can see the hot water pipes in walls along with wires
with current flowing through them. I haven't tried it but night vision
goggles can do the same thing, if they are sensitive enough.

Mark Miller 
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