Anyone have a Circuit Tracer with signal generator?

Got home last night to find a house wiring problem. Breaker is good and delivering power, but it doesn’t get to the refrigerator. Inconvenient. Patched an extension to another outlet, but need to trace where the circuit is open.

I’ve got a simple circuit tracer that works when the line is energized with house current, but it is of no use here.
Need a circuit tracer with it’s own self powered a signal generator. Anyone have one they could loan me for a day?

Dave Velzy

Tone & probe? I can’t seem to find mine right now. I have a bench signal tracer/injector for audio and RF, but I don’t think that’s what you need.

Anyway, this is something hive should have anyway - super useful. I’ll add it to electronics warden list.

You can also use an oscillator and a telephone tap. I have both of those (portable too).

This broken circuit has me frustrated. The wiring seems to be open somewhere between the breaker panel and the first outlet.
That path leaves the breaker and disappears up into a wall 3 feet from the box along with an arm sized bundle of other wiring. I’ve opened the panel and verified the breaker is good and the leg out is hot.
The first outlet on the circuit is the Fridge. It’s dead. No switches, no GFI are in between. I’ve searched for animal damage, but the brick house appears tight.

This afternoon, I did a crazy hack and made a male-male extension cord to run live current into the dead circuit at the fridge outlet and power my Sperry plug in circuit tracer. As you may guess,.the cheapo circuit breaker tracer lost the wire tracing signal inches from the outlet. Grrr. It did get all the way back to the panel on the circuit I powered it from. Yeah, don’t send a boy to do a … So I’m still looking for a professional quality circuit tracer, None of the tool rental companies have this for rent. (Liability?) Or failing to find one to beg or borrow, an electrician who owns one and can use it.

Here is a question. Could the HIVE13 Rigol DG1022 signal generator drive enough power to be traced by a cheap receiver? Assuming the receiver tune frequency would be generated by the DG1022. Couldn’t quickly discern this from the manual.

Your help is appreciated.


Well, I’d de-energize everything and use a tone tracer:

These used to be more expensive, not any more…

The rigol will do it, but it’s nice to have the inductive probe with built in amplifier.


Yes a wire tracer should work.

Lan WireTracker Tone and Probe Wire Tracer

They are mainly use for LAN wiring but they will work on non-energized wiring also.

I would be careful doing your “back feed” setup. You could energize something that shouldn’t be (like a water pipe).
Something obviously became disconnected. Most likely some termination like an outlet or junction box.