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Thread: Mystery Open Hot

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Renton, WA
    Posts
    851
    Quote Originally Posted by walklong View Post
    First post, need some feedback/check my logic.

    (I don't own and won't be obtaining a sophisticated/expensive tracing tool).



    Bill
    logic check (logic of not having at least a cheap wire tracer): This cheapo ebay circuit tracer will work in 4" walls, hard time in 12" cavities if wire on far side, but only $25 including and not sophisticated
    I bought one of these out of curiosity and works OK for walls and 8" joists. Heck of a lot cheaper than opening up a wall a number of times unless your timeis unlimited and free - and you enjoy doing drywall repairs .

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wire-Tracer...4AAOSw401aHR0Z

    note: this cheap thing absolutely USELESS for finding wire underground

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
    Posts
    37,543
    Quote Originally Posted by walklong View Post
    Unfortunately, because the breaker wasn't tripped I cannot identify the affected circuit - the devices in the wall in the room directly above are all powered - are they on the same circuit but located before the fault, or simply on a different circuit? Until I know what circuit is affected and shut it off, I have a live, open hot, potentially with a screw in it, that, at some point, might begin arcing in a wall cavity with well seasoned framing and lath & plaster covering.
    Circuit tracer that needs to connect to a live line still works with an open "hot" conductor' All you need to do is acquire a hot from a different location and use the neutral or EGC of the circuit you wish to test as the return path - and trace that return path. You have to separate supply and return even if tracing the "hot" if you just plugged the tracer directly into a working receptacle the two signals cancel one another out if run in same cable.

    If you find you are missing both "hot" and "neutral" conductors but still have continuity to the panel on the EGC, it could be a tripped GFCI somewhere upstream in the circuit.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Rolla
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Circuit tracer that needs to connect to a live line still works with an open "hot" conductor' All you need to do is acquire a hot from a different location and use the neutral or EGC of the circuit you wish to test as the return path - and trace that return path. You have to separate supply and return even if tracing the "hot" if you just plugged the tracer directly into a working receptacle the two signals cancel one another out if run in same cable.

    If you find you are missing both "hot" and "neutral" conductors but still have continuity to the panel on the EGC, it could be a tripped GFCI somewhere upstream in the circuit.

    Thanks, I did not know that would be possible with the low(er) end tracers - I've borrowed an inspection camera thingy that I'll poke up the wall cavities on Monday - then move on if no joy with that.

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