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Electrical Wire and Cable

Avoid Damaging Electrical Cables Inside Walls

Can wire locators accurately show where electrical wires are inside a wall? Methods of Home Electrical Circuit Wiring, Electric Wiring Inside Walls, How To Locate Electric Wires, Home Wiring Techniques.

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Electrical Project #1: Can electrical wire testers and wire locators accurately show where electrical wires are inside a wall?

Thank you very much in advance.

This electrical wiring project came from: Slava, a Homeowner from Brooklyn, New York.

Electrical Project #2:

This electrical wiring question came from Sue in West Linn, Oregon

Dave’s Reply:
Thank you for your electrical wiring projects.

Home Electrical Wiring Techniques

Application: Installing Additional Electrical Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits and Extension Cord.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the project, the type of construction and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the immediate area that may interfere with the installation should be identified and turned OFF and Tagged.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.

Basic Fundamentals of Home Electrical Wiring

Obtaining knowledge before starting a home electrical wiring project is very wise. The information below will describe how to avoid hitting an electrical wire and causing damage.

Basic Methods of Home Electrical Circuit Wiring
Understanding The Path Of Electrical Cables as they have been installed inside the building structure.

The NEC addresses Un-Supported Cables inside Existing Walls

RE: NEC 334.30 section (B)

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Avoid Damaging Electrical Cables Inside Walls”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Craig,
    From what you have described, the spliced wires may not have been tight inside the wire nut connector that is sized correctly. If the spliced wire connections are not made good and tight then this can cause arcing, which can then cause the wire insulation to melt and become damaged, which could also led to a very hazardous condition. Be aware that the spliced wires should be enclosed inside an approved and accessible electrical junction box which is covered by a blank plate. For close splices such as this where the wires may be short you could use insulated in-line splice terminals inside the junction box.
    I hope this helps,

  2. craig voorhees says:

    I have a 220 dryer wire running from the breaker box in the bedroom to the plug in the bathroom. The wiring runs through the walls, up top and the down to the plug at the bottom of the wall. My wife put up some shelf’s in the bathroom and hit one of the hot wires. Well after 3 dryers that would come on but not heat up I decided to open the wall up and see what was going on. That is how I found the screw through the wire. So I cut the cord were the break was and spliced it back together with wire nuts and taped all separate and then spaced them out and did a final wrap of tape to make sure nothing was exposed. We then used the dryer and as we walked into the room we smelled wire burning so I opened the wall back up and one of the wires had melted and the tape around it. What would have caused this to happen?