# How do electricians find power leakages and where the problem is without breaking the wall? (I have one working on my house rn and he found the leakage with the power out)

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How do electricians find power leakages and where the problem is without breaking the wall? (I have one working on my house rn and he found the leakage with the power out)

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You put a little power through circuits in the breaker box. If it comes back all fucked up, you know that circuit has the leak

Electricity doesn’t “leak”. Electricity travels in a circuit, meaning it has to have a path to return to where it’s coming from. If there is a “short circuit” it means that the electricity found another way to “return” from its source. This can cause electrical problems, or even a fire.

Electricity also has to have a solid, unbroken path from its source to the place it is to be used. This is called continuity. An electrician has tools that can test for continuity, or an unbroken path, through an electrical circuit, using independent electrical signals they send out and receive from their own tools.

Power doesn’t really leak. Not entirely sure what you’re referring to?

I assume you mean an earth fault, or even earth leakage current.

That is when there is “leakage” current from live to earth.
This happens when insulation breaks down. In a healthy system the live and earth should be completely insulated, no current flows. If there’s damage then you can send current down the live wire and measure what comes out the earth wire.

Once you know which wire has the fault you can either rip open the wall to repair the fault or disconnect the wire and run in a new one.

While i don’t know that this is what your chap has done, there are devices which i thought were called meggers but are apparently time domain reflectometers that bounce a signal down the wire and time how long it takes to come back. That tells you how far it is to the break. As far as I’m aware there isn’t anything magic that can trace a cable in walls? If there is, reddit, please let me know.

One of the tools is a meter that detects magnetic fields – electrical current creates a magnetic field, so you can use a sensitive detector to “trace” the energized wire. If it stops unexpectedly, you have likely found the break or “short”.

There are many ways to do this. People have mentioned meggers, but also a simple multimeter will do it. You’re really just searching for a broken circuit, very easy to find. You could use an outlet tester even. If the power is completely disrupted somehow in the wall, you’ll find it in no time, but if it’s a small nick in the wire, maybe not. You have other options like an Infrared scanner, which will show you hot spots in a wall. Sometimes a damaged wire is warmer when it’s in use.

Really it’s situational, there is no single tool that will help you find a fault. Unless you count your brain.