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Topic:
Need a Really Good Wire Toner
This thread has 25 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Thursday June 25, 2009 at 22:37
sofa_king_CI
Super Member
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Hey everyone, I'm looking for a really good wire toner. I have two jobs where i have only a very vague idea where the wires are and they need to be found. One of which I'm going through some thick stucco.

We already have this, but it doesn't say how deep it can trace wires to:

[Link: lashen.com]

But it's not doing us any good.


I found this kit from Greenlee that claims 3 feet of depth
[Link: mygreenlee.com]


Also found this from Test-um:
[Link: jdsu.com]


Does anyone have any experience with any of these or something else to recommend?
do wino hue?
Post 2 made on Thursday June 25, 2009 at 22:39
edizzle
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have you learned your lesson yet? document, document, document. i video every job, period. it will save your ass more than you will ever know.
I love supporting product that supports me!
Post 3 made on Thursday June 25, 2009 at 23:07
CCD
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Nah...not to be rude or mean or anything but........ honestly you just need someone that knows how to use a regular old toner. Just get one of these... 701K Tempo Tone Generator and Wand and ground one lead then hook the other to your wire and it will scream bloody murder. Caution...they will sometimes hop from one wire to another.
Post 4 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 00:07
anyhomeneeds
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Jed is right, I've been using the same one for a few years now, and it works perfectly.
"You can't fix stupid."
OP | Post 5 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 02:15
sofa_king_CI
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That is how we use the toner that we have. Perhaps i need to drive a rod in the ground and route some 12 awg wire to where my wires are.

And, when is giving advice rude? If you can tell me how to improve something I'm doing, I listen, I can take the heat. If its helping me be better at what I do, then please, educate.

Seriously, what do you usually ground to when in a house?

As for documenting, we didn't run these wires, this is a retro job for us. I take radius points or other measurements on any wires being buried in a rough-in.

Honestly, I personally have only traced a wire once and it was quick and easy. I know its best to ground one of the wires, but I haven't tried REALLY grounding it on this one. The one time that I did have to tone out was a year and half ago!
do wino hue?
Post 6 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 02:24
edizzle
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ground to the ground of an electrical outlet. really boosts tone.
I love supporting product that supports me!
Post 7 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 03:05
Ernie Bornn-Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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The alligator clip of your normal toner will stick nicely into the ground jack of a power outlet. If there's no outlet near where you need to connect, carry around an extension cord. Betcha wish you had three wire cords now, huh?

The problem, of course...if there's metal mesh in that stucco and the wire runs near it for any length, you'll get tone all over the wall. If the stucco is wet, same thing. If the wire is behind insulation with a metal moisture barrier, same thing.

TECHNIQUE
When you ground one side, the other side puts out a signal that can often be traced a couple hundred feet.

Adjacent wires will pick up the tone. If they are connected to something that grounds them, even through a largish resistance, they won't pick up tone. So... connect everything you can to the system before you go looking for that one wire.

Let's say you're in a spot where you've got five wires that have run parallel for sixty feet and you want to know which one the toner is on. Splay the wires across your hand, hold them at an even distance, and touch your skin to the insulation as equally as possible on all wires. With the other hand, take the wand and touch the insulation of each wire. Be sure you don't touch hands at some point in the process as it will change the volume of the tone. The tone on one wire will be anywhere from a bit to a lot louder than the rest; you'll also hear buzz on the other wires.

With the stucco, if you're comparing places, either touch the wand to the wall every time, or don't touch it at all. Don't shift your feet. In other words, maintain ONE VARIABLE: the place at which the wand touches. Touch the wall and lift one foot, the tone might go up or down, confusing your search.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 8 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 18:35
Germanicus
Long Time Member
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that goes in the file cabinet for future reference....thanks
Post 9 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 21:25
CCD
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Some of could probably give some others here a schooling on all the cool things a Tempo toner set will do. I rarely break out the old Fluke VOM any more unless I am testing something delicate. In many cases a Tempo will replace a meter and a buttset.
Post 10 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 21:36
tweeterguy
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No electrical ground present? Have a helper hold the other lead from the tone generator. Works better IMO.
Post 11 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 23:35
39 Cent Stamp
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Post 12 made on Friday June 26, 2009 at 23:59
Ernie Bornn-Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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On June 26, 2009 at 21:36, tweeterguy said...
No electrical ground present? Have a helper hold the other lead from the tone generator.

Completely true, but since you can carry a ground around with you in an extension cord, there's no need to do this.

Works better IMO.

That's not true. It works, but not better. It's important to know that this works, though, because the things a toner can do are not at all intuitive.
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 13 made on Saturday June 27, 2009 at 13:39
GerryA51
Long Time Member
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Having someone hold the other lead of the toner does work great, ive used this many times. What works even better is if you have a new guy and tell him he has to stand on one foot and spread his arms out in different directions to act as an antenna, then make sure you snap a picture of him with your phone and post it in the office.
Quality over quanity, that's how I make my mistakes....
Post 14 made on Saturday June 27, 2009 at 16:59
tweeterguy
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I don't know Ernie, in my experience the human ground (I prefer 39cents version...going to look into getting one of those) works more reliably. The tone on the other end always sounded clearer and less "hot" is the only way I can describe it compared to clipping onto electrical ground. I always assumed it was due to the helper being isolated from the electrical ground in the home that will be transmitted all over the place.
OP | Post 15 made on Thursday August 20, 2009 at 20:34
sofa_king_CI
Super Member
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Well I tried both methods and I didn't get anywhere. Even when I go on the back side of the wall where i KNOW the wires are, it doesn't tone. The toner is working for sure. It screams like a mother if I'm a foot from the wire leads and even starts to pick up a tone if I'm standing about 4 feet away, very faint though.

But through the Stucco, it just doesn't work. Anymore suggestions?!?
do wino hue?
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