Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-24-2008, 11:30 AM   #1
New Guy
 
O.C.Inc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Burlingame, CA
Posts: 29
Rewards Points: 25

Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


I'm a GC and a customer had a bedroom ceiling re re sheetrocked and he installed wiring for ceiling speakers a couple of years ago. NOW he wants to install the speakers and has no record of where the wire is..... There is NO access above ceiling..
How can I find them?
I was thinking of a toner used in telephone work???

Ideas?
Thanks! Patrick
__________________
Union Carpenter/Super started my own shop.
O.C.Inc. is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   
 

Old 08-24-2008, 11:54 AM   #2
New Guy
 
O.C.Inc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Burlingame, CA
Posts: 29
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


A good customer of mine had a roof leak years ago, re rocked the ceiling and had some inwall speaker wiring placed in the ceiling. He since lost the diagram, so I have no way of finding it without a sawzall...
I was thinking of a telephone tone generator or I have that cheapo 120V locater found in Depot stores but I don't think they would be strong enough. The wires are supposedly above the insulation...


Suggestions??
Thanks!
Patrick

__________________
Union Carpenter/Super started my own shop.
O.C.Inc. is offline  
Old 08-24-2008, 12:12 PM   #3
Pro
 
dlcj's Avatar
 
Trade: home builder carpenter Central Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: valley grande, al
Posts: 789
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


Has he forgotten where he wants the speakers to be? Get him to decide on the locations and start there. The wires should be there if he has not completly changed everything around. If not then at least you needed the holes there anyway for when you do find the wires. I dont know of any other way unless you use something like the utility companies use to locate underground wires, pipes, etc.
dlcj is offline  
Old 08-24-2008, 02:01 PM   #4
Pro
 
GregS's Avatar
 
Trade: Low Voltage
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Posts: 1,449
Rewards Points: 502

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


So if it's in the ceiling above the insulation, why not go into the attic and locate it? Should be sitting right there shouldn't it?

Otherwise yes, use a toner and a reverse-induction pickup.
GregS is offline  
Old 08-24-2008, 02:06 PM   #5
DGR,IABD
 
mdshunk's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical; Commercial and Residential Service
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central PA
Posts: 9,682
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


A toner and probe is what I normally use. Matter of fact, if you pump music through those wires at a high volume, that sometimes works better than putting the toner on the head end. Try the toner first, but keep that in mind if you're having trouble. Just for information's sake, you can use the 'probe' part to "listen" to anything being pumped through an audio wire. Be that a phone conversation, PA music, 60hz hum, etc. Easy way to "tap" a phonecall without any actual mechanical connections. I use this technique to troubleshoot a dead PA speaker. Just listen to the cable at various points to figure out where the bad junction is.
mdshunk is offline  
Old 08-24-2008, 02:18 PM   #6
Pro
 
mickeyco's Avatar
 
Trade: Squirrel Handler
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,432
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


Question: Should you check for continuity between the wires first in case whoever pulled them stripped and tied them together for pulling purposes?


.
__________________
Some people climb mountains. I take out the trash. But we both do it for the same reason.
mickeyco is offline  
Old 08-24-2008, 02:33 PM   #7
DGR,IABD
 
mdshunk's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical; Commercial and Residential Service
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central PA
Posts: 9,682
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyco View Post
Question: Should you check for continuity between the wires first in case whoever pulled them stripped and tied them together for pulling purposes?


.
Yeah, but if you use a toner first, your tone will go to nothing right off the bat right at the toner, so you'll know if that's the case right away. I think the installers who prewire this stuff know better than the keep the ends tied, but it's hard to say for sure. Some LV installers are just a notch above Piltdown Man on the evolutionary chart.
mdshunk is offline  
Old 08-24-2008, 04:18 PM   #8
Pro
 
GregS's Avatar
 
Trade: Low Voltage
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Posts: 1,449
Rewards Points: 502

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdshunk View Post
Some LV installers are just a notch above Piltdown Man on the evolutionary chart.
Some electricians are the same way when it comes to LV
GregS is offline  
Old 08-24-2008, 04:21 PM   #9
DGR,IABD
 
mdshunk's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical; Commercial and Residential Service
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central PA
Posts: 9,682
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


Quote:
Originally Posted by BuildingHomes View Post
Some electricians are the same way when it comes to LV
Agreed. A man's got to know his limits. What is normally the case is the guy actually think's he's doing a good job, but it couldn't be more messed up.
mdshunk is offline  
Old 08-27-2008, 12:03 AM   #10
Pro
 
Aiken Colon's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction Supplier
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 200
Rewards Points: 150

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


I personally do not stock or carry these, but I am pretty sure you could get away with this:

http://www.idealindustries.com/prodD...?prodId=62-140

Pretty cheap too. Based on cost, I am guessing you would be able to find it for around $35-$40

If you wanted a nicer and a little more powerful one you could go with the 33-862 or 33-864. They are the same, the 864 comes in a pouch and the 862 in a case. I will let ya in on a little secret they are the same price cost wise, so if you decide on one of those, I would think the case one would be nicer.

I am assuming it is a one time deal so you might want to check out amprobe also. They are owned by Fluke, but are way more economical.

Good luck

JJ

Last edited by Aiken Colon; 08-27-2008 at 12:07 AM.
Aiken Colon is offline  
Old 08-27-2008, 12:41 AM   #11
New Guy
 
O.C.Inc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Burlingame, CA
Posts: 29
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


I found them by using a tone generator I borrowed from a retired AT&T employee. The tone was very weak as the wire was above the insulation, but with a dead quiet room I found them!
Patrick
__________________
Union Carpenter/Super started my own shop.
O.C.Inc. is offline  
Old 08-27-2008, 06:08 AM   #12
Electrical Contractor
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NY State
Posts: 2,331
Rewards Points: 1,046

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


Duplicate thread.
On going thread here: http://www.contractortalk.com/showthread.php?t=43733
__________________

Speedy Petey is offline  
Old 09-01-2008, 08:16 AM   #13
Member
 
TMG1's Avatar
 
Trade: Builder / General Contracting (including Plumbing & Electrical)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 40
Rewards Points: 25

Re: Finding Speaker Wires In Ceiling


Fluke has a nice toner and probe http://www.flukenetworks.com/fnet/en...Probe/Overview
if you're not in a rush check out ebay they're selling these cheap especially if youre using this once only - why but it new?

TMG1 is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Suspended Ceiling Costs ?? SBI Drywall 4 08-22-2008 09:50 AM
Ceiling Fan , Medallion and Extension Box joejack NEC Discussion 4 05-11-2008 10:14 AM
Stretching wires 18 inches? Mike Finley Electrical 34 11-30-2006 06:35 AM
paint coming off the ceiling lornmastro Painting & Finish Work 6 06-02-2006 12:31 PM
Drop ceiling question Eric K Remodeling 5 12-16-2005 06:47 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?