Locating Outlet Covered by Cabinet


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Old 07-29-22, 05:34 PM
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Cool Locating Outlet Covered by Cabinet

The cabinet guys installed over the disposal outlet....somehow. I'm positive it existed before they came.
So I'm getting a question if it can be located or narrowed down behind the back panel. Any way to do this?

 
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Old 07-29-22, 05:47 PM
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Is there actually a receptacle or just a box with wiring ?
A strong magnet could locate a metal plate.

A stud finder may detect it and if AC is present.
I've seen a handheld AM radio used to locate a receptacle by sliding it over the wall.
The static changes over the receptacle.
 
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Old 07-29-22, 05:51 PM
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Id probably try to unscrew the cabinet faces and take the screws out of the back. Then try to tip the cabinet forward just enough to locate it. Try not to pull the face frame out at the bottom... only tip the top... when you find it, measure the distance the top edge is from the top of the cabinet then tip it back and replace the screws. Then make your cuts in the back with an oscillating tool.
 
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Old 07-29-22, 06:02 PM
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OR.... to go along with X's idea.... get the cabinet guy to do it for you.
 
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Old 07-29-22, 07:24 PM
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Don't think XSleeper's idea will work as counter top is already installed.

Another option would be using endoscope. Push endoscope in the hole around water lines. You can enlarge the hole a bit as needed.
If you have a picture before cabinet was installed, it would be a big help as well.

When all else fails, Just cut a large hole in the back and patch this hole with underlayment plywood or 1/4" sanded plywood. It will look ok if you cover entire back (might have to do in 2 pieces) and stain with natural color stain. Cabinet installer should at least do this part since it is their mistake.

I also see your drain line is at the bottom of the cabinet. Make sure you add air admittance valve. Otherwise, you will end up with S trap, which is illegal.
 
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Old 07-30-22, 05:37 AM
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Hi, you may be able to use a straight edge or level and go over the surface, if there is a plate on the box it will bulge out and the straight edge will rock a bit, I also like Xs idea, have the installer locate it.
Geo🇺🇸
 
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Old 07-30-22, 06:10 AM
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Is that an interior or external wall behind the cabinet? The endoscope idea from the back side might be an option.
 
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Old 07-30-22, 07:18 AM
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Don't try the removal of the cabinet yourself. Bad idea! But if you can, get the installer to do it.
If that fails the endoscope is a great idea. They are cheap and easy to use. Or you can go a bit more expensive and get the Walabot "X-ray" that will show pipes, studs and electrical lines inside walls without holes or ripping things apart.
 
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Old 07-30-22, 07:22 AM
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If you had a working disposal prior to the cabinet install then you definitely have an outlet or possible live wires behind that backing.
Why would a contractor do such a stupid thing? Always look over their shoulder while they work.
I always make that clear that I will be watching them work before signing a contract. Tell me now if you can't work like that.
 
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Old 07-30-22, 11:44 AM
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Thanks for all the ideas guys. I think I'll start with PJ's idea of the strong magnet because I know it's a metal outlet box for sure. (Not certain if outlet was removed.) And then the radio idea, also.

And yes there's an outside wall behind the cabinet.

Would a tone generator help me?
 

Last edited by Gen; 07-30-22 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 07-31-22, 06:53 AM
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Using the tone generator sensor or even a radio or even a real stud finder, see if you can convince yourself that there was a slightly different behavior in one small spot along the hidden power line. Then you would have an educated guess where to cut a hole in the cabinet back.
 
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Old 07-31-22, 08:54 AM
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Connect a tone generator to the wire leaving the switch box, going to the garbage disposal outlet. Use the receiver to trace wire. You should be able to detect where the box is located, or at least a close idea of where it is.
I like the magnet and AM radio ideas too.
 
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Old 07-31-22, 09:16 AM
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You know for the price of under $20 you can buy a cheap endoscope and be absolutley sure with nothing more than a tine hole to be made. And you would be surprised by the many times it comes in handy for other things. Especially for those hard to find drain glogs.
 
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Old 07-31-22, 09:17 AM
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If you know the line is live you may be able to find the outlet using a cheap voltage detectors
 
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Old 07-31-22, 09:24 AM
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Think about this. If you're young enough and into DIY projects and since your profile says you're experinced in electronics and similar, it's worth the $ for the Walabot. I wish they had this out when I was younger. Just a thought.
 
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Old 07-31-22, 10:05 AM
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Talking



Read your profile.... Being a Seabee, figured you might appreciate this! Semper Fi, from a Marine to you! LOL

Helped you narrow down where the outlet may be....
 
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Old 08-01-22, 02:31 AM
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I'm finding it very hard to believe that the guys who put in your cabinets were not aware of the fact that receptacles or electrical boxes can not be concealed. I am very sure that they must have run into this at least a few times already in installing other cabinets. I think maybe they were just trying to take a short cut so they did not have to deal with the delay of someone coming in to do something about the electrical before they could install the cabinet and get paid.

I would certainly have them come back and take care of it.
 
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Old 08-01-22, 06:02 PM
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I'm not so sure was the cabinet guy's fault, and FYI, it's not my house.

What I believe went down...the 1st cab guy who is very meticulous, started installing cabinets and he was test fitting them before the counters went in. Meaning he put it temporarily in place over the outlet, figuring to take it out the next day and continue.

Only trouble is the HO wigged out for other strange and less than clean reasons and the contractor was booted off the job and couldn't continue.

So then the next cab guy, unknowing, comes and screws the cabinets in place and installs the counter.

So my vote is to blame the HO, since he was the most disturbed of the involved parties, and, being it was his house, should have known there was previously a disposal with an outlet down there
 
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Old 08-01-22, 06:23 PM
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Well at least that explains a lot of the confusion.

 
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Old 08-02-22, 03:03 AM
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Gen, where do you fit in in all of this?

Sounds to me like the HO should deal with this issue. Someone has to pay for the mistake.
 
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Old 08-02-22, 08:16 AM
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How did it happen that you, a renter, were doing renovations in the (someone else's) house?
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 08-02-22 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 08-02-22, 07:42 PM
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No I'm not renting the place, nor doing any renovations, nor am I the HO. I've been trying to tie the pieces together, and smooth everyone out in the process so the house CAN be rented at some point--with me overseeing the rental.

I'm also curious about things-- it's how I learn. I want to see a good outcome as well. But the HO, unless he wakes up, is likely to be facing a house lien for a broken contract, with the first contractor.
 
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Old 08-03-22, 02:23 PM
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The contractor should have been advised of problems and shortcomings and deficiencies as soon as they happened. Then, before the contractor in question was "fired" a "complaint letter" listing the uncorrected problems and deficiencies should have been written and given to him.
 
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Old 08-03-22, 08:19 PM
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Contractor was 'advised.' And he would have happily corrected any legitimate issue, and offered to hang around and do so. But I don't believe there were any real problems, (just HO confusion) as I know him to be pretty confident and meticulous.

The HO threw him out anyway. Locked the contractor out of the house, and wouldn't even let him get his tools and equipment. (He had to call the sheriff in order to get his stuff back)

So the contractor basically said 'fine,' and sent a bill for all of the work...a few months worth, as there was no periodic billing. The HO balked at the bill and now he'll be facing a lien on the house.

Thing is the contractor is also confident about issuing liens and has done it once or twice before successfully. The last time was against an attorney who refused to pay for unknown reasons.

Maybe the attorney thought he was too smart or something, but lost in court anyway and had to pay around 50K.
 
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Old 08-03-22, 08:21 PM
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If I were you I step away from this whole mess.
 
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Old 08-04-22, 02:33 AM
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I agree with Norm201. Step back; way back. It may be in slow motion now, but it's a train wreck all the same.
 
 

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