How To Find Electrical Wires In Walls

If you are looking to initiate a DIY home remodeling project that involves drilling or cutting into walls, it’s important that you find out whether there are any electrical cables, and/or water pipes, running through them.

wiringThis will help you avoid drilling into such wires necessitating additional work or in the worst case scenario, endangering your life.

To make your work much easier, and save time, here’s a list of tips you can follow on how to find electrical wires in walls.

Switch Off The Power

To ensure safety throughout the process, it’s important for you to start by turning your home’s power off. By turning the power off from the start, you avoid the risk of accidental electrocution.

To find and trace wires through walls, you will need to remove faceplates on switches and sockets at some point. Switching off the power to your home will help you do this safely. Furthermore, you eliminate the risk of electrocution in case you miss any wire, and subsequently end up drilling into it.

Study Walls And Outlets

Electrical wires should run upwards from outlets. With this in mind, take the time to study the walls you will be working on, looking for any tell tale signs of electrical wires running through them. The presence of electrical outlets is one of the obvious signs that there are wires running beneath the wall. For commercial buildings, the building plan include a wiring plan that specify these.

Although wires should run upwards from the outlets as stated above, you might find that this might not be the case all the time, depending on who installed the wires and when they were installed. To ascertain this, just use a screwdriver to remove the faceplates on the outlets to see the direction of the wires.

Once you have an idea of where the wires are located, use a pencil to trace the suspected path.

Use A Detector

Usually the easiest way for a finding residential wiring is using an electric wire detector can be used to trace any wires running through walls. These are simply an adaptation of traditional metal detectors designed to pick up on the presence of metallic object, including cables and water pipes, running underneath various surfaces.

To ensure that you work efficiently, use the detector along the path you marked using a pencil.

Get To Work

Once you are sure about the location of wires in the specific walls you intend to drill or cut into, you can get to work. All you need to is to avoid drilling or cutting into the marked path.