Best way to trace a wire from a light>switch that goes underground.

Old 10-07-18, 04:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Best way to trace a wire from a light>switch that goes underground.

I have a carport that has 4 lights that go to a switch then that switch goes underground (cement). It may go to the house it may go to the store house. House has two breakers, storehouse 1. None if the breakers have it labeled. As a result ofI like to figure out where this wire is going.

Other notes. House was built in 57, there are plenty of dead and covered up switches, I've replaced them all. It doesn't appear that the carport lights aren't getting power.

An electrician couldn't figure it out but was gonna have me spend 1900 to swap all the old switches out. So I've moved on
Old 10-08-18, 04:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,451
Received 131 Votes on 120 Posts
Want to unhook the wire that goes undeground (the hot wire powering the switch)? Tape the end and curl it up in the switch box. Then run a brand new line (such as 14-2 Romex) and create a new 15 amp branch circuit for those lights. You can add other things to that branch circuit as time goes on. As you string the cable, leave an 8 inch diameter loop-the-loop at each location where you think you might want to add a receptacle or add a junction box for a branch off to a new light.

Alternative: Find the branch circuit breaker that powers that switch this way:

Turn off all branch circuit breakers. Then turn one breaker on and try all lgiths and receptacles to see which ones work. Label all that are working. Then turn off that breaker and turn on the next breaker. Repeat. Write down in a notebook what breaker powers each light and receptacle and built in appliance.

The above part could take a few hours but fortunately you can do it yourself. An electrician will take just as long and therefore will charge you a lot to do it for you even if he does no other work.

To find the route of the wire in the cement yourself, you can get a tone generating circuit tracer kit. Unhook the wire from the breaker that powers that circuit and that switch. Clip on the toner. Use the sensor (the other part of the kit) to trace the wire.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: