How do I find a broken wire.

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by mm, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. mm

    mm Guest

    I have a 100 foot orange extension cord that doesn't work.

    Usually when I cut one in half with a hedge trimmer, it's fairly easy
    to find the defect. And then I fix it.

    Other times I use pins to check continuity near the plug or socket,
    where cords usually break.

    But this time the problem is somewhere in the middle! If I worked for
    the electric compnay, or the cable company, or even probably the gas
    company, I'd have some clever tool that find open circuits in the
    middle of wires, even underground.

    Is there something I have around the house or can buy cheaply that
    will do this?

    I found for only 45 dollars an Armada Tone Probe, that works with a
    tone gneerator, but I guess I want some method that is cheaper!
     
    mm, Feb 24, 2011
    #1
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  2. The cheaper method is to throw it out and buy a new one for $6, you aren't
    going to buy a time domain reflectometer to fix a cheap extension cord.
     
    General Schvantzkoph, Feb 24, 2011
    #2
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  3. mm

    NotMe Guest

    If there is one bad section there will be more. What's more troubling is
    that an 'almost bad' section is the most dangerous as that can cause a fire.

    There are tricks to find the broken wire but if you know how you should then
    know the false wisdom of making the repair.
     
    NotMe, Feb 24, 2011
    #3
  4. mm

    mm Guest

    I only use this cord outside, where a fire would not be a problem,
    plugged into a GFI cirucit.

    So could you tell me the tricks for finding the open in the middle of
    the cord?
     
    mm, Feb 25, 2011
    #4
  5. mm

    mm Guest

    I've never seen a 100' extension cord for 6 dollars. This costs more
    like 40 dollars.
     
    mm, Feb 25, 2011
    #5
  6. General Schvantzkoph, Feb 25, 2011
    #6
  7. That thing wouldn't be good for more than maybe a worklight, corded drill,
    or string trimmer. I certainly wouldn't try to run a circular saw on it let
    alone a compressor. For real work @100' you need at least #12 preferably
    #10, at least then a worm drive Skil framing circular saw would work
    properly without risking motor damage.
     
    Daniel who wants to know, Feb 25, 2011
    #7
  8. mm

    NotMe Guest

    You may not plan to do otherwise but that does not forestall someone that
    does not know what you did from trying to use it on a heaver and unsafe
    load.

    Recall I *KNOW* what I'm doing and would not 'fix' this extension cord
    myself nor would I let anyone near or dear to me near this patch job.

    Last the tricks work only if you know, well, what you're doing. The fact
    that you ask is a clear indication you don't know and could very well harm
    yourself or others in the process.

    I'm not trying to be a horse's rear end but those are the facts.
     
    NotMe, Feb 25, 2011
    #8
  9. mm

    NotMe Guest


    You may not plan to do otherwise but that does not forestall someone that
    does not know what you did from trying to use it on a heaver and unsafe
    load.

    Recall I *KNOW* what I'm doing and would not 'fix' this extension cord nor
    would I let anyone near or dear to me near this patch job.

    Last the tricks work only if you know well what you're doing. The fact that
    you ask is a clear indication you don't know and could very well harm
    yourself or others in the process.
     
    NotMe, Feb 25, 2011
    #9
  10. mm

    mm Guest

    How can I recall this when I know nothing about you?
    Oh, yeah, sure.
    I read a lot of "facts" on the net.


    Yes, it's hard to believe that the copper wire just broke for no good
    reason, so if it broke in one place it must be totally deteriorating.
    As you put it, "If there is one bad section there will be more."

    A) I don't think copper does that.
    B) The insulation could be falling apart everywhere, but it's not,
    and the cord is not shorted. It's open.
    C) When I find the location of the break, I'll likely know a lot
    more about what happened.


    I apologize to everyone. I posted this in the wrong ng, and it was
    OT. I asked elsewhere and got some very good ideas, including the use
    of a non-contact voltage indicator, the use of an AM radio to pick up
    interference from the cord, and feeling the cord for a bump where it
    was bent sharply and the wire broken, but the insulation has partially
    recovered.

    I don't know if any of these will work but it will be fun trying, when
    it's warmer and I can stretch out the 100 foot cord.

    And even the suggestion to keep cuting the the cord in half and have
    one good 50' foot cord, one good 25 foot cord, one good 12 foot cord.
     
    mm, Mar 3, 2011
    #10
  11. mm

    NotMe Guest

    True but then you lack common sense.

    It's does and that failure is documented in both fire and insurance claims.
    Like I said IF you knew what you were doing it would not be necessary to
    ask.

    True but not everything,
    I'd vote for that but with the qualification the longest element be less
    than 1 ft long.

    Would you take a bungee cord that had a stress failure, tie a not at the
    break and jump from a bridge with that 'fix'?
     
    NotMe, Mar 4, 2011
    #11
  12. mm

    mm Guest

    A very funny post. Thanks for the chuckles.
     
    mm, Mar 4, 2011
    #12
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