use toner device to trace wiring

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Old 01-21-16, 01:00 PM
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use toner device to trace wiring

I have an odd situation. Lighting in a large sanctuary is recessed cans (qty=38) in a 20-25ft high ceiling. Lamps are metal halide with ballasts remotely located in a room some distance away in another part of the building. While each ballast was numbered, we can't find a drawing that shows the corresponding map to the installed fixtures. I have a good guess but no easy way to prove it. Several bulbs or ballasts are bad and figuring which ballast controls which fixture is the problem. Not trying to solve the bad bulb vs. bad ballast problem right now. I am trying to do the mapping of ballasts to fixtures.

My plan was disconnect the leads to each fixture, one at a time. Then, use a toner device and connect to the black and white leads of each fixture from each ballast (AC power off of course). I should be able to put the toner probe on the end of pole and reach it up to the socket in the ceiling. If it tones then I found the right one.

Will this work?

- Peter
 
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Old 01-21-16, 01:11 PM
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I had a similar thought for the diagnostic procedure. Sounds like it's worth a try. My thought was to try it with a simple non-contact tester which might work. The Fox and Hound might work too like you're thinking. Are the fixtures wires in metal conduit? That could really kill the range on the tracer.
 
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Old 01-21-16, 01:29 PM
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It is a commercial building so I suspect they are in conduit. bad news on the range.

For the non-contact tester solution, I would just use a battery to power the one fixture (9volt battery?) and then use a non-contact tester to check it?

What is the fox and Hound?

- Peter
 
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Old 01-21-16, 02:26 PM
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Fox and Hound is a name for a toner/tracer. I think it might actually be a brand.

The non-contact tester would need the circuits to be powered up as normal to detect them. You could unhook all of the ballasts, then reattach them one at a time. The ones with burned out lamps you would need to use the tester on a pole to try to find which dead bulb has power to it if no other lamps turn on when you connect the ballast.
 
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Old 01-21-16, 05:04 PM
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You could isolate the fixtures in groups by shutting off a breaker and marking those fixtures which went out, and move on until you have them all marked, and then work each group that way.
 
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