Tracing a 220v circuit that doesn't seem to have an outlet

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by MikeG22, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. MikeG22

    MikeG22 CLM

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    My detached garage has a 1 bed/1bath and a garage and has a sub panel in it. There are two, 220v circuits, one with a 30amp double pole breaker and a 20 amp double pole breaker. In the garage is laundry and there is a 30amp electrical for a dryer that's not used so we can assume that's that. The box is full in space otherwise and I'd like to add an additional 20 amp 120v circuit for a small AC. Anyone have any ticks to finding where the wire ends up? Leaving it off hasn't seemed to have any effects on anything at all. I could just disconnect it and cap off the wires but it would be nice to know. The rooms and roof and walls of the garage are all finished in as well including up in the eaves so it leaves some to the imagination.

    I have a toner for cat5, I wonder if i could cut off some bare ends and put on the disconnected wires at the panel? Not sure it would be strong enough thru the wall and any conduit to be worth the effort. I have a non contact voltage detector that senses power on the breaker but couldn't trace it out beyond the edge of the panel.
     
  2. Captain Steinbrenner

    Captain Steinbrenner

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    Sounds like a job for Code Enforcement.....


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  3. hogfish

    hogfish Señor Member

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    Follow the wire.
    Don't know what the second paragraph means.
     
  4. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Any types of pumps nearby? Pool, sprinkler, well, septic, sump etc etc.....

    Obviously some of these things you would immediately notice not working when you flip the breaker.


    /
     
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  5. Ramjet38

    Ramjet38 Mentally Frozen

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  6. MikeG22

    MikeG22 CLM

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    No pumps, nothing crazy. Panel was inspected and is fine when solar got put on, it's just that the circuit is not labeled that one. It was probably some legacy outlet in the garage for a compressor or something, which if the wire is sitting there ready to go somewhere might be nice to know.
     
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  7. flyover

    flyover

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    I was going to suggest getting an electrician that has a wire tracer. I see that you have a tracer, if I understand correctly. Perhaps the wires were capped just beyond the breaker box.
     
  8. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    Do you have any blank outlet covers around? What kind of wire was attached? Just 12/2 Romex? Any chance there was an in wall electric heater?
     
  9. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    Any of the living room furniture look like this???

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. quantico

    quantico 1911 lover Millennium Member

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    It could be that a electric water heater was in place. Or a 240 volt baseboard heater. Welder outlet.. large air compressor. Or water pump. Or large room air cond.

    My gas dryer died and I looked for the wires to the box for the old electric clothes dryer. They were cut off. What i found was old wiring to a long gone electric water heater. So i pulled out all that and pulled in a new straight run outlet to new breaker.

    Be careful.. people can do odd stuff with wiring. I have corrected some odd stuff..
     
  11. quantico

    quantico 1911 lover Millennium Member

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    He has a non contact wire tracing setup. Meant for cat 5.. but its not working to trace this.. there are many fox and hounds systems I have used for commercial wire tracing. You inject a signal and follow the wire with a tone device that allows you to follow the path of the wire.
     
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  12. Inyo Tim

    Inyo Tim Senior Moment

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    This is what I was going to guess.
     
  13. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    How old? It was suggested I run a extra 220 to garage for charging a electric car. As said heaters, compressor....
    You need to find it. If you want to make it 110. Imo (after checking local code, permits, inspection...)
    A sub panel would be my choice. All you should need is a Ground. Once you figure it out.
    Real fun is old house. Cloth wires replaced, (not removed) then remodeled into two separate apartments. 2 meters, kitchen added.... then remodeled into single family home...
    Friend bought it. I spent most of a day tracing stuff.
     
  14. quantico

    quantico 1911 lover Millennium Member

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    I have a 60 amp 240 volt full box in my bigger garage for a welder / air compressor / and some day a car charger.. good to have it.
     
  15. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    Abandon the wires that go nowhere. Run new conduit (EMT, surface mount) for your additional 20 amp 120v circuit.
     
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  16. Lt. Donn

    Lt. Donn PSO Survivor. currently in NW Georgia

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    I agree with Borg...pull the breaker, cap the wires...run new EMT..."done"...spend the time you saved chasing the wires, shooting !
     
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  17. MikeG22

    MikeG22 CLM

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    Ok I found it. Was able to find it popping out and running to what turned out to be a far wall. Found a blank plate well painted over that's been behind a painting pretty much since the house was purchased. It's jankey though, like a lot it seems these previous owners did. 14/2 (white casing, white/black/ground), each with 125 across it. Into a single outlet box. This is the breaker: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-BR-20-Amp-2-Pole-Circuit-Breaker-BR220/100207223

    So it should not have been more than a 15amp circuit right? Single pole 15 amp would be the appropriate for the wiring in place, correct? Would running like that for a dedicated appliance that took say 8 amps max, but needed 220v makes sense from how they did it if they had a spare 20amp one and figured it didn't matter since only one thing would ever be plugged in and they were being cheap?
     
  18. selogic

    selogic

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    Should have been on a 15 amp breaker . Not sure of their thought process .
     
  19. wjv

    wjv RIP Stan Lee.. . .

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    Septic pump?
    Crawl space pump?

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  20. quantico

    quantico 1911 lover Millennium Member

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    Pull out junk wiring. Fires are expensive. Only pull in 12 gauge. Cause 20 amp is actually useful.
     
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