Tracing a wire that is dead: no tripped breaker

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Old 10-17-18, 01:36 PM
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Tracing a wire that is dead: no tripped breaker

So I had an wire connected to a baseboard heater that no longer works.
I thought the thermostat or heater died,but I find that there is no current in the supply wire.

No breaker has tripped, checked any gfci just in case. I checked to see if any nearby outlet boxes might have might have a loose connection, but no luck.

Is there any tool that will make that will trace the wire path outside of x-ray vision?
 
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Old 10-17-18, 01:49 PM
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How large is the heater or do you know if it is 120v or 240v?

Are there other baseboard heaters in the home? If so then they are sometimes daisy chained one after the other so you can check the other heaters to see if they are getting current.
 
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Old 10-17-18, 02:14 PM
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It's 120v, and by itself.
 
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Old 10-17-18, 05:11 PM
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That makes it tougher since it could have been tied in almost anywhere. If you have a crawl space you could go for a cave crawl and try to follow the wire. You can also try looking closely where the wire enters the heater and maybe see what direction the wire leads.
 
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Old 10-17-18, 06:51 PM
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I'm guessing you have no idea what circuit that heater was on so now you don't know where to check.

A good lesson learned..... identify EVERYTHING in your house. Write down what is on what breaker so that when something like this happens.... you'll have a clue where to start.
 
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Old 10-17-18, 06:54 PM
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there is no current in the supply wire
You are measuring current or voltage? A load (such as a heater) will draw current and there will only be current if there is a load on the circuit. Voltage is present all the time unless there is something that interrupts it.

If the heater is by itself it should be fairly easy to track down. Start at the breaker or fuse and check if you have 120 volts at the breaker and then neutral bar. If you do, check to see if you have 120 volts at the thermostat. Next would be the heater. Be sure to measure between hot and neutral.
 
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Old 10-19-18, 01:16 PM
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So, I think the baseboard heater is 220v, I found a label in the inside of the heater labeling it 220v.
So the supply wire has a black,white and ground. I don't know if it's 120 or 220v since the white isn't covered in black tape to indicate it as hot, and neither has voltage.

I found a junction box that was way overcrowded but inside were 2 hot wires from separate directions but one breaker shut them off. It's a single pole breaker. Another weird thing about this breaker is that the switch is blue all the others are black except the a double is red.

Should I open the electric panel to see of there are two wires from that one breaker?
 
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Old 10-19-18, 03:43 PM
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Hi, what does the double pole red one control?
Geo
 
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Old 10-19-18, 04:13 PM
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It's the oven. Someone labeled the sheathing "220v" with marker, but didn't label the neutral as hot.
 
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Old 10-20-18, 05:34 AM
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Are you saying you only have one double breaker (two pole breaker) in the panel and that is for the oven?

First you must verify that the heater is 240v and not 120v. If 240v and the only two pole breaker in the panel is for the oven it is very possible that the person who hooked up the 240v heater ran to two individual breakers in the panel and not to one two pole breaker. I have seen this done before. If ran to two individual breakers (one on top of the other) then a tie bar should have been installed to connect the two breakers so if one trips it trips the other one. But even then I have seen installations of 240v where someone hooked one wire to one breaker and the other wire to another breaker not even next to it (but on a different leg to get the 240v).

Also, are you sure there is only one breaker panel in the home?
 
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Old 10-20-18, 03:25 PM
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I took the panel cover off. The single pole breaker was double tapped.
 
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Old 10-21-18, 01:48 PM
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The single pole breaker was double tapped.
That is of no help at all.

Do you mean the two pole breaker was double tapped ?
If yes.... that IS a major safety problem.

Have you confirmed if this is a 120v or 240v heater ?

We cannot see what you have there. We are relying on your descriptions to help you.
 
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Old 10-21-18, 02:31 PM
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A picture of the breaker box with cover off will help us. Be sure to show the doubble tapped breaker so we can see what you are talking about. How to add images.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-21-18 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 10-21-18, 03:41 PM
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The heater is 240v. The junction box that is near the baseboard heater has 2 black wires on separate 12/2 coming in, those 2 hot wires are controlled by a single pole breaker. That single pole breaker is double tapped.

Should I switch out the double tapped single breaker and replace with it a tandem breaker. I know that is not a good long term solution, I probably need to upgrade the service to 200A.
 
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Old 10-21-18, 03:57 PM
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Where is the other end of those 2 Black conductors connected?
Geo
 
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Old 10-21-18, 05:43 PM
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those 2 hot wires are controlled by a single pole breaker
If the heater is 240v. There are two wires supplying it with power. Those two wires must go to a two pole circuit breaker. That two pole breaker may have one handle but it's still two poles.(two screw terminals)

On the other hand..... it could be 240v and they are using two different single poles breakers not next to each other. That would need to be addresses also.
 
 

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