New electrical work question

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by ShockHazard, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. ShockHazard

    ShockHazard New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    North East Pennsylvania
    Im sure there is a device for this.

    Say for example, you wanted to add an oultet in a wall. Is there not a sensor you could drop in the wall, which you would find with a detecting device from the basement so you could drill the hole through the floor?

    If not, what is the old school method for doing this?

    What if you were doing the same on a second floor?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2013
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    Old school would be to use a ruler.

    John
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,298
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Old school would usually look for for an electrical wire going into that wall from the basement and measure to where you want to be. Or drill a small hole at the base of the wall and stick a wire through it. Or tie a string to a small powerful magnet and then use a compass in the basement to locate it. Greenlee also makes long, flexible drill bits, with extensions, that you push through the opening to drill the hole.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,284
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    When going from 2nd floor down, it's easiest to cut a hole in the wallboard above the baseboard and fix it when you are done. From an unfinished basement or crawlspace, i look at existing penetrations and/or nails coming down from above to determine where the walls are and measure from there. When uncertainty exists, I sometimes will drill an 1/8" hole down from the floor above, angling the bit so it comes through at the center of the bottom of the bottom plate. Once this is done, the hole is used as a reference in drilling up from below.
  5. ShockHazard

    ShockHazard New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    North East Pennsylvania
    I really like the magnet concept.
    Still, I'm surprised there isn't a simple device I could but to do the same thing. Will a compas read between a subfloor and floorplate?

    Measuring has screwed me in the past, because my only reference point is the interior walls, versus the basement walls, which may differ substantially.

    I don't want to cut a hole and fix it because there are too many custom paint colors and people demand invisible instalations. I've had people complain about access holes I've drilled in closets to repair shower controllers.

    Thanks.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,298
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I've had people complain about access holes I've drilled in closets to repair shower controllers.

    There is only ONE shower controller repair that needs an access hole and I am sure you have not run across it. Otherwise the only think that needs a hole is a shower valve replacement. A compass needle is finely balanced so it should have some response, regardless of how little when it is on edge and passes under a magnet. A commercial "dip needle" use a compass needle on the end of a handle to locate buried metal objects. There are devices, sending units and receivers, which while not exactly "simple", are effective and expensive.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  7. CanOfWorms

    CanOfWorms Member

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    179
    Location:
    New Jersey
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,533
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    That will work.

    You can also use a magnet and detect it with a Cheap Stud finder, or metal detector.
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