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Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Patience is a virtue
Beth Stackpole   8/19/2011 9:15:28 AM
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Clear cut example of how patience, a practical eye to problem solving, and some tried and true detective work pays off and helps avoid a big clean-up job down the pike.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Patience is a virtue
Rob Spiegel   8/19/2011 9:22:33 AM
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I agree, Beth. This is a pretty clever solution. I beleive this blog is appropriately named Sherlock Ohms, since the solutions usually come from deductive logic in the spirit of the original Sherlock.

BobGroh
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Platinum
A neat solution!
BobGroh   8/21/2011 11:54:36 AM
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Got to say that was a neat bit of trouble shooting! But it certainly leaves me wondering what the heck the box was doing buried so far back of the wall board surface. 

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Contracors?
Tim   8/21/2011 6:58:06 PM
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It was a great solution to what could have been a difficult situation between the electrician and the drywallers.  Though, it was a little careless of the drywaller to lay board over the electrical box.  Usually, they look for those things.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Cool post.
jmiller   8/21/2011 9:15:54 PM
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That was one of the coolest stories I have heard in a while.  Way to go MacGyver!  Next time, if you could try and find a way to use chewing gum foil.

Scootercat
User Rank
Iron
But But
Scootercat   8/22/2011 9:13:45 AM
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Interesting trick...but, how could you discern the box from the wiring leading to it?  Seems like the noise would emanate from the buried wiring and the buried box you were looking for....

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
The buried electrical box
William K.   8/22/2011 9:15:23 AM
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I agree with Beth, but Bob is right to question why the box was so far back that it could have drywall run right over it and not need a cutout. That is just plain poor work quality. Having done a whole lot of reworks of other peoples installations, it is clear that lazy construction practices make everybody else's work more difficult for many years to follow. 

Of course, I am aware that if the box needs a cutout then the sheetrock installer needs to do more work, which does make the whole job take longer, but if the electrician needs to fight with a box that is set back to far, that also takes more time as well.

j-allen
User Rank
Gold
Re: But But
j-allen   8/22/2011 9:27:01 AM
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It is clever to use a portable radio with a ferrite loop antenna to detect the brush noise, but I agree the signal would not be significantly stronger at the box than along the wiring leading to it.  Perhaps once this method had located the general area, one might use a metal detector, an RF based stud-finder, or even a pocket compass to find the exact spot.  All this assumes that the electrician was not so sloppy as the dry-waller and used a traditional steel box. 

donevol
User Rank
Iron
Re: But But
donevol   8/22/2011 10:41:40 AM
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Most likely the direction or quantity of feeder lines changes at a junction box. Another option is that the electrical bos is/was metal, acting as a shield to reduce the noise radiation.

herbissimus
User Rank
Silver
Re: But But
herbissimus   8/22/2011 11:09:16 AM
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in the old days we would just roll all the wires into the box, but later the electrical code required that for the rough-in to be complete the wires would be connected as they would be when the installation was complete except for the wiring device (outlet), so the hash would propagate from box to box, no problem. also a set of plans could locate the box to within a few feet, then use the transistor radio from there. the box location would usually give off a stonger signal due to the ball of wire in the box.

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