Locating a missing wire - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-28-2014, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Locating a missing wire

My new house (just built) is wired with RG6 (white) cables which home run to the utility room.

In the family room, the coax connecter didn't work with Directv, so I checked the plate and found a black wire connected to it. When I pulled the wire, it came right out of the wall and had a clean cut in it from a wire cutter.

Something tells me the real RG6 wire is still in the wall between the same two studs. It may have been left for a mounting level connection (the one I looked at is on the floor).

What is the easiest way to see if that wire is in the wall (besides obviously ripping the wall open)?

I bought a Fluke PRO3000, but can't figure out how to use it with coax cable. I think I'm on the right path.

I've contacted the builder, but they are typically A/V stupid, so I'm trying on my own.

Thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-28-2014, 11:05 PM
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How high off the floor is the outlet location and how long is the cut piece of rg6?
It sounds like the outlet is higher up the wall than the standard 11-16", and if the cut piece of rg6 is only a few inches or less than the height of the outlet, then you can always cut in a low voltage, single gang retrofit ring and see if the wire is still in the wall. You can always use a blank plate to cover the hole when you are done.

You may be able to tone the line with your tone and probe but they don't like to be useful when a few inches away. If you want to try, then you need to strip the rg6 wire so the center conductor and the outer braid is showing (using a regular rg6 stripper will be perfect), and connect one of the leads with the alligator clips to the center conductor and the other to the braid. Then take the probe and see if there is a tone where you think the wire should be.

Did the company that pre-wired the low voltage use high voltage boxes in the wall or did they use low voltage ones?
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-29-2014, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ifor View Post
How high off the floor is the outlet location and how long is the cut piece of rg6?
It sounds like the outlet is higher up the wall than the standard 11-16", and if the cut piece of rg6 is only a few inches or less than the height of the outlet, then you can always cut in a low voltage, single gang retrofit ring and see if the wire is still in the wall. You can always use a blank plate to cover the hole when you are done.

You may be able to tone the line with your tone and probe but they don't like to be useful when a few inches away. If you want to try, then you need to strip the rg6 wire so the center conductor and the outer braid is showing (using a regular rg6 stripper will be perfect), and connect one of the leads with the alligator clips to the center conductor and the other to the braid. Then take the probe and see if there is a tone where you think the wire should be.

Did the company that pre-wired the low voltage use high voltage boxes in the wall or did they use low voltage ones?
The outlet that had the cut wire is just off the floor, standard outlet height. The cut RG6 was around 4 feet long. The outlet is low voltage (no box).

The second outlet they were doing (and is drywalled over) is around 4 feet up. I haven't looked for it yet. My goal was to use the tone to look for the wire before cutting the wall open.

The coax has the end on it already in the utility room and I was trying to avoid cutting it to be able to connect a probe clip to it. I figure that was the solution. Was hoping I could use the shielding of the coax and house ground instead (but haven't tried it yet).

Thanks
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-29-2014, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiprecked View Post
My new house (just built) is wired with RG6 (white) cables which home run to the utility room.

...
I bought a Fluke PRO3000, but can't figure out how to use it with coax cable. I think I'm on the right path.

I've contacted the builder, but they are typically A/V stupid, so I'm trying on my own.

Thanks
It's in the manual on p.6, diagram on p.7: http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/fl...o3000_manu.PDF
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-29-2014, 07:06 PM
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Your assuming the wire is coming down the wall? Since we don't know the construction of your house, we don't know if that is the case.

Give it a try and if it doesn't work, then you should be able to ask the company that wired your house how the wiring is run. If not, then drywall repair if fairly easy and unnoticeable if repaired correctly.
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-29-2014, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ifor View Post
Your assuming the wire is coming down the wall? Since we don't know the construction of your house, we don't know if that is the case.

Give it a try and if it doesn't work, then you should be able to ask the company that wired your house how the wiring is run. If not, then drywall repair if fairly easy and unnoticeable if repaired correctly.
Thanks much for the response. I was assuming the wire dropped down since the home has open trusses. But that may be a bad assumption. Called my builder today and he is putting the heat on the AV company to look at it.
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 09:51 AM
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Had a odd experience recently toning RG-6 3 Gig cable. Put the toner red lead on the center and the black lead on the shield. Could not hear the tone, not even on cables I was sure I knew where they went. Don't know what I could of been doing wrong. I ended up using the old fashioned Ohm Meter method. The Ohm Meter method never fails. I once hooked up a 2 way radio tone controlled system in which I crossed a wire to another systems phone line and it still worked. At work, every time we punched down, say a 50 pair comm. cable I always made the guys ohm out each pair. I have seen tones lie.

We also experienced problems getting tones to pass thru Level 7 (Cat 6) bonded pair Belden cable.

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post #8 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Skytrooper View Post
Had a odd experience recently toning RG-6 3 Gig cable. Put the toner red lead on the center and the black lead on the shield. Could not hear the tone, not even on cables I was sure I knew where they went. Don't know what I could of been doing wrong...
That's why it's best to connect the black lead to ground and the red lead to the shield.
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-30-2014, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, the problem was truly bizarre. The wiring contractor ran the (white) cable from the utility room into a box half way up the wall (for a wall mount) but didn't put an end on it. They also ran a black cable (no end) from the box to a jacked connector near the floor.

Never would have worked and the guy who looked at it threw a former employee under the bus.
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-03-2014, 11:38 PM
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I don't trust low voltage contractors. They don't know what the hell they're doing most of the time.
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post #11 of 18 Old 07-04-2014, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by SlmShdy1 View Post
I don't trust low voltage contractors. They don't know what the hell they're doing most of the time.
I don't trust people with only 5 posts. They don't know what they are talking about most of the time.
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post #12 of 18 Old 07-04-2014, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ifor View Post
I don't trust people with only 5 posts. They don't know what they are talking about most of the time.
I didn't know a persons post count was equal to their IQ.
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post #13 of 18 Old 07-04-2014, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlmShdy1 View Post
I don't trust low voltage contractors. They don't know what the hell they're doing most of the time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post
I don't trust people with only 5 posts. They don't know what they are talking about most of the time.
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Originally Posted by ELECTRICDON View Post
I didn't know a persons post count was equal to their IQ.
I don't trust people with low counts who just post something inflammatory with nothing to back it up...
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-04-2014, 11:45 AM
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Inflammatory? Their work speaks for itself. Not only the example given by the original poster, but also every single job that they do. I go into new construction homes all the time. The low voltage contractors always use very poor quality compression fittings or sometimes crimped fittings, which are the worst. They leave absolutely zero slack on their lines, which means when I have to go fix their work, I have to cut off a portion of the valuable wire that they have left. I wouldn't trust a low voltage contractor in my home. They might know how to run the wire, but they definitely don't know how to terminate it.
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-04-2014, 01:31 PM
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I have seen more hack Lv contractors than good ones and I've been in the contracting business for almost 30 years. The good Lv contractors are the larger companies with trade backgrounds which gives them a good knowledge of the construction process. The smaller Lv contractors a lot of times are trunk slammers who don't have much of a background in construction nor the proper installation tools. The proper handling and dressing of cable doesn't cost that much more. This is typical in my region, but I'm sure it varies by location and city.
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-04-2014, 01:39 PM
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Sorry to the OP about the digression, hit a nerve though. We always do post rough in walk throughs with our client. A post rough in walk through should have caught the OP's wiring mistake and could have been corrected.

Didn't mean to turn this into a rant.
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-05-2014, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiprecked View Post
Well, the problem was truly bizarre. The wiring contractor ran the (white) cable from the utility room into a box half way up the wall (for a wall mount) but didn't put an end on it. They also ran a black cable (no end) from the box to a jacked connector near the floor.
Well, the only thing he did wrong was missing the wall-mount location to terminate and barrel connect the jumper. Otherwise that was actually a nice way to provide the flexibility of either a wall-mount TV or a simple cable jack.

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post #18 of 18 Old 07-05-2014, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ELECTRICDON View Post
I have seen more hack Lv contractors than good ones and I've been in the contracting business for almost 30 years. The good Lv contractors are the larger companies with trade backgrounds which gives them a good knowledge of the construction process. The smaller Lv contractors a lot of times are trunk slammers who don't have much of a background in construction nor the proper installation tools. The proper handling and dressing of cable doesn't cost that much more. This is typical in my region, but I'm sure it varies by location and city.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlmShdy1 View Post
Inflammatory? Their work speaks for itself. Not only the example given by the original poster, but also every single job that they do. I go into new construction homes all the time. The low voltage contractors always use very poor quality compression fittings or sometimes crimped fittings, which are the worst. They leave absolutely zero slack on their lines, which means when I have to go fix their work, I have to cut off a portion of the valuable wire that they have left. I wouldn't trust a low voltage contractor in my home. They might know how to run the wire, but they definitely don't know how to terminate it.
And ALL lv contractors are the same world wide?
Prejudice much?

I am a lv contractor and installer and I know how to pre-wire and label all my lines and also use compression fittings approved by Directv and TWC.

Don't assume that all lv contractors are the same as we are not. I have seen more bad work from electricians than lv contractors because they follow the same practices in pulling cat cable as they do romex.

To the op, sorry about your thread hijack but it always seems to happen when people post inflammatory opinions.

Last edited by ifor; 07-05-2014 at 04:51 PM.
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