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  1. #1
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    Jan 2010
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    Question research blueprint

    recently we were blessed to acquire a beautiful home built in 1968. to my joy it has many ammenities i was considering as future "honeydew" projects.

    my question is in the electrical wiring. is there somewhere or someplace i could go to research and see how the power lines are routed? mainly the setup of powerpanel as it is unmarked.

    outside i have motion sensing floodlites, low voltage landscape lighting, permanent below ground front and back sprinklers. inside i have audio/video patch panels in every room, wall mounted speakers in bathrooms, rooms with no ceiling lites.
    in partially floored attic is mounted an old style tree antennae with acres of wires running everywhere.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: research blueprint

    Even if you could find an electrical plan it won't do you much good. Basically they show you where a switch or outlet goes, but not how the wire gets there. With a house of that age, the various owners have made a number of modifications to it all of which will be undocumented. There are tools which will enable you to mark the breaker panel. For outlets, Plug one part of the tool into the socket, then the other part of the tool is held up to the breaker to find the right one. OR plug a radio into the outlet and listen for when it goes off when you flick a breaker. For lights, just throw the breaker and see if the lights go out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
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    644

    Default Re: research blueprint

    I've been somewhat succesful using power tracers and toners to track wires behind walls etc. but as previously stated it's going to be a witch hunt.

    I always take about a hundred pictures just before the sheetrock goes up, put it on a CD and present it to the new owner. They use it over & over.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Location
    mid-south
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    Default Re: research blueprint

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRemodeler View Post
    Even if you could find an electrical plan it won't do you much good. Basically they show you where a switch or outlet goes, but not how the wire gets there. With a house of that age, the various owners have made a number of modifications to it all of which will be undocumented. There are tools which will enable you to mark the breaker panel. For outlets, Plug one part of the tool into the socket, then the other part of the tool is held up to the breaker to find the right one. OR plug a radio into the outlet and listen for when it goes off when you flick a breaker. For lights, just throw the breaker and see if the lights go out.
    thank you,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    mid-south
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: research blueprint

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    I've been somewhat succesful using power tracers and toners to track wires behind walls etc. but as previously stated it's going to be a witch hunt.

    I always take about a hundred pictures just before the sheetrock goes up, put it on a CD and present it to the new owner. They use it over & over.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, thesemi-retiredelectrician.com
    thank you,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,503

    Default Re: research blueprint

    I'm having a little trouble understanding your question. I'm not sure if this information will help you, but here goes....

    Do you want to know how the wires are run inside a breaker panel?
    http://www.dclgc.com/images/breaker_panel.172215419.jpg

    If you look at the image linked above, you will see 3 thick wires come into the panel from the power company. They are barely visible at the top. The 'hot's go to the upper 2 silver set screws near the top center of the pic. They are attached to the bus, which is how the power is distributed to the breakers. In this picture it is copper colored and can be seen at the bottom of the breakers. The third wire goes to the right side, atop the silver bar (Ground bar) and has some white tape on the wire to let the electrician know which of the identical 3 wires is the ground. These wires supply the power to the panel & your house.

    The thin black and red wires are the wires taking power to your appliances and outlets. When a wire from a 110v outlet comes into the panel, the black wire (hot) goes to the breaker, the white (neutral) and ground go to the ground bar.

    For 220v outlets like a stove, HVAC, HWH, the black wire goes to one side of a double breaker, and the red (if there is one) wire goes to the breaker next to it. The white (if there is a red) and ground wires go to the ground bar. If there is no red wire for a 220v line (not all that abnormal)then the black and white go to separate breakers and the ground goes to the grounding bar.

    A book on basic electrical work will better explain as there will be more pictures and arrows. Or you can do a google search and come up with this; http://electrical.about.com/od/panel...akerpanels.htm

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