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Old 02-06-2016, 09:38 AM   #1
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Electrical Circuit Tracer?

Fully gutted. Time to identify and trace wiring, plumbing and propane systems.

A few months ago, someone described a tool with which one could trace wiring. If I understood correctly, it had two parts. The user would clip one part to an unidentified wire and it would send a signal through. Then, the user could move the second part of the tool about in the area he-she thought the other end of the wire was. When the second part got close to the other end of the wire, it picked up the aforesaid signal and would issue an audible report (beep or buzz), telling the user where the other end of the wire was.

For the life of me, I can't find that thread.

Now, Iíve probably just described a tool that everyone in this forum has and uses, exposing my own attenuated newbieness. Anyway, could someone remind what that tool is called and where I can get one?

Thanks

Jay & Lisa
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:46 AM   #2
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Any electrical supply house or telco supply house will have it.

It is just a common circuit tracer.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:54 AM   #3
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Some are intended for house wiring using regular 110 volt wiring and are moderately cheap. They can be found at electrical contractor sales stores and some big box electrical sections. I have a couple of them. Some use high frequency signals and are intended for electronic trouble shooting and can be used on the 12 volt circuits. These are higher cost and available at electronic supply stores or online.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:35 AM   #4
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You can get them at most electrical supply stores and at some of the big box stores. Probably also at places like Northern tools and Harbor Freight.

I don't have one yet as I don't have an immediate need, but do plan to buy one if I happen to see one "On Special" some day. Not something I wold use every day but as with so many tools and testers, now and then, could be an excellent tool to have on hand.

My most recent purchase of an electrical tester is an AC-DC clamp meter. These have been available for many years but only for AC current. You just snap the clamp around a wire without having to disconnect things to measure current flowing.

Now, they are also available for use with DC current as well at a reasonable price. I bought one off Amazon for $70.

I cross checked its accuracy by doing a test against regular ammeters I already have and at a current of around 15 amps found teh two readings to be within less that 1/4 am from each other.

Handy for example to easily verify correct current flowing to your brake magnets without having to disconnect anything, just clamp around either of the wires (not both!) leading into your brakes. Should be pretty close to 3 amps per wheel at max braking.

I think it could be handy for several trouble shooting chores on the AS, so it will go in my RV toolbox when we travel. It is also a full multimeter, volts/ohms/continuity buzzer.



Brian.
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for those responses. Very helpful.

When I start looking online, I see that there are all different types of tone generator/ receiver combinations. They appear to be specific to 12V, 120V or telecom systems... or, at least, that's what its looks like to this newbie.

Is that right? Is there a unit that will help me trace 12 volt wiring AND 120 volt wiring (I don't much care about telecom)? Something I can switch back and forth depending on the wire I'm trying to trace? Or am I wrong: these things are all one-size-fits-all? Or, I'll have to buy separate tools, one to trace 12V DC and one to trace 120V AC?

Don't want to buy the wrong thingy.

Jay and Lisa
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:25 PM   #6
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Buy on price as any tracer will work for what you are doing.
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