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Re: GSBN:Finding Outlets

Hi, Jeff,

When I last worked on a standard construction crew, many years ago, the boss had some kind of hand-held electronic device, which could sense the presence of electrical wires behind wallboard. He could trace a piece of romex wire run through the studs, and find where it turned from running horizontally to vertically, for example. The wires are supposed to be a couple of inches behind the face of the wallboard, so that should be similar to the plaster thickness in a plastered bale. If I remember correctly, it required the wires to be live, in the sense of having power available through the wire. It didn't require any load on the circuit.

I would think by now these devices would be more sophisticated and cheaper. If you are using metal boxes for the electrical outlet boxes, then a simple metal detector should work well. I use the Wizard brand metal detector for finding staples and nails in rough lumber, before running it through my planer. It cost about $80, from Woodworker's Supply (1-800-645-9292). It looks similar to the hand-held metal detectors used by airport security. It can detect a fine wire staple at the depth of an inch in hardwood, so I think it could easily find a metal electrical outlet box. But I bet the electrical supply houses have something similar, designed for your purpose.


PS. I just checked the Woodworker's Supply web site <<a target="_blank" href="http://woodworker.com";>http://woodworker.com</a>>. The equivalent to the detector that I have is the Lumber Wizard ?III Model 25506 Metal Detector For Woodworkers, catalog number 109-097, $76.99. The specific web page with this and other metal detectors is <<a target="_blank" href="http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM=109-097";>http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM=109-097</a>>

--On Tuesday, May 11, 2004 6:48 PM -0600 Jeff Ruppert jeff@... wrote:

So here is a more practical question.  Anyone have an efficient way
of finding buried electrical outlets (post-plaster)?  I know this
seems basic, but we lose one every other project or so.  Thought I
would lighten things up!  Any tricks to share?

Jeff Ruppert, P.E.

Odisea  LLC
Structural/Civil Engineering, Straw Bale Consulting, Construction
2241 17th St.
Boulder, CO&#xCA; 80302
303.443.4335 o
303.443.4355 f
303.881.2905 c

Derek Roff
Language Learning Center, MSC03-2100
Ortega Hall Rm 129, 1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
Internet: derek@...