2023 Author: Philip Bishop | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 22:24
- Wire finder
- Professional wiring search devices
- Old-fashioned ways to find wires in the wall
- Let's try to do logic
- Reasons for broken wiring
- How to find a broken wire in the wall
- Video about detectors and methods for finding hidden wiring
Household appliances are used by everyone and even those who are far from electricity. And when the lights suddenly go out at home, it begins to seem that life has stopped, because you are deprived of the usual conditions of existence. That is why, in such situations, it is good for each of us to know how to find an electrical wire in the wall, especially since it is not at all necessary to use the services of an electrician for this. Even if there is no special device at home for detecting wiring in the wall, there are methods to do this without any devices.
Most often, you have to resort to self-determination of the wiring in the following cases:
- When installing light switches or outlets to drill through a wall or hammer in a nail, don't worry about getting an electric shock.
- If a short circuit occurs, which is dangerous, since it can cause fires, and therefore it is necessary to very quickly find where the wiring has been broken.
- During the renovation or redevelopment of the apartment. When demolishing or erecting partitions, as well as when changing the location of the doorway. In this case, it is advisable to know how to find the wiring in the wall without the device, this will avoid damage to the electrical cable.
- Upon arrival in the purchased apartment. To determine the location of existing electrical communications, if there are no documents from the plans for their placement.
The simplest such device is the indicator screwdriver. Many have it at home, and if not, they can borrow it from their neighbors. Although the indicator is very inexpensive, it is very weak. It is impossible to determine the exact location of the wires even if they are successfully detected, the indicator will indicate a dangerous zone of 30 cm. It will not be possible to find a wire that is not energized using an indicator screwdriver.
Many electricians use the E-121 signaling device, popularly nicknamed the "woodpecker". It is so easy to use that even an absolute amateur can handle it. However, this device can determine not only the location of the wires, but also where the break occurred. The depth of its action reaches 7 cm. This is quite enough to detect a vein break behind the plasterboard sheathing. In terms of price and quality, the "woodpecker" can be called the best domestic device for finding hidden wiring.
The MS signaling device produced in China has many modifications, but the most popular is the MS-18 model. A feature of the Chinese wiring detector is its high sensitivity to all metal, therefore it reacts equally to a conductive core, and to nails, and even to fittings in slabs of panel houses. But if you get used to it, you can find a difference in signal strength. When choosing any model of the MS signaling device, it is worth considering that they will not react to a foil cable. These testers are not popular among electricians, but for a home it is quite an acceptable option, especially given their low price.
Professional wiring search devices
On sale you can find testers GVD-504A, BOSCH DMF 10 zoom, GVT-92, GVD-503, VP-440, produced by European manufacturers. They are usually used to detect hidden under the finish and analyze its condition by professional electricians. They differ from their Chinese counterparts in build quality, compact and beautiful design. Their principle of operation is about the same, but the cost is quite high, especially if you buy for one-time use.
Water table of prices of the devices in question
Old-fashioned ways to find wires in the wall
The high price of special devices is one of the reasons why home craftsmen are interested in how to find a wire in the wall without a device and often prefer the antiquated methods of solving this problem that have been proven in practice more than once. Indeed, in the old days, when wiring in the wall was found, they did without devices, finding electrical networks under plaster and wallpaper using safe methods.
There are several such methods for finding hidden wiring in the wall without special technical means, and each of them can provide a different degree of accuracy.
- Visual determination of the location of the route. This method is suitable for brick and concrete walls covered with wallpaper, which are removed during repairs, this allows you to easily find a strobe where wires are usually laid. Since the integrity of the surface is violated during gating, and even after embedding, the place where it was carried out remains noticeable. If the wall is plastered or covered with a putty under the wallpaper, then it is not possible to visually detect the electrical wire in the wall.
- By radio or receiver. This method is advised by the masters for amateurs who are interested in how to determine where the wiring is in the wall. And for this purpose, the most common receiver tuned to the medium-wave frequency will do. To the accompaniment of pleasant music, he should be led along the wall, watching for the appearance of crackles.
- A microphone connected to a radio tape recorder can become an alternative to a receiver. You should work with it as with a radio receiver, the appearance of noise and crackling will mean the detection of hidden wiring.
It must be remembered that with the help of a radio or a microphone it is possible to determine the location of the wiring in the wall with an error of 15–20 cm. Therefore, when using these devices, it is better to make a small indent to avoid electric shock and such a safety net will not be superfluous.
Let's try to do logic
If the wiring was carried out by a professional electrician, then all the conductors in the cavity of the enclosing structures were laid parallel to the ceiling or perpendicular to the floor, and all the turns were made at right angles.
Based on this, we can assume the following:
- From the outlet or switch, the wire rises straight up and further under the ceiling turns towards the junction box, therefore, it is not worth driving a nail in this place.
- The line, as a rule, is pulled back 10-15 cm from the ceiling and 10 cm from the baseboards.
- You can visualize the cable laying diagram using the previously established electrical points and sketch it on paper.
It should be borne in mind that such a visual representation cannot be called safe. The cable routing scheme must be checked at least using a radio, but better with special devices.
Reasons for broken wiring
A break in the wiring can occur at any time, but most often it happens when electrical conductors are energized. The cause of damage to the cable can be a poor-quality product, improper wiring, and much more. In the place where there is a damage, the wire heats up constantly and can break off when the voltage rises. In addition, a cable break can occur due to external mechanical impact on it, when hammering in nails or drilling holes. Overloading the network also leads to a cable break.
How to find a broken wire in the wall
If earlier devices only allowed to detect wires or metal objects, then modern electronic devices help in determining the break of hidden wiring. For example, you can find a break in a phase conductor with a proximity indicator for hidden wiring. The indicator must be moved along the conductive core, and at the point of its break it will signal. Usually, when a wire break is detected, the beep stops.
If you have an idea of how to find out where the wiring is located in the wall, you can choose the appropriate search option based on your capabilities.