How to Find Hidden Electrical Outlets

Elizabeth Punke

Electrical outlets could be strategically placed anywhere throughout your home. If you have recently bought a new home, or have had renovations done by a professional team, there is a good chance your outlets might be covered by a wall. By locating your hidden outlets, you can have peace of mind knowing all of your electrical wires are accounted for. Also, you will have more power sources to work with while cooking and cleaning, for example.

Electrical outlet with light switch.
  1. Locate your breaker or fuse box to begin tracing wires. Turn the power off to the home so you avoid electrocution while working closely with wires. Select a set of poitive and ground wires that run from the box to the rest of the home.

  2. Connect the red wire from the tone generator to the red wire from your home electricity. If your electricity wire colors are not the standard colors, you should know this connection is for positive wires. Clamp down the tone generator wire to the home wire.

  3. Connect the black wire from the tone generator to the black wire in the house. This is the ground wire, not the negative (standard white) wire. Some ground wires are bare copper wires without wire sheathing over them. Connect the wires with the clamp from the tone generator.

  4. Turn the tone switch on and move the hand-held tone generator across the wall. The tone will be strong as long as you follow the route of the wire. If you move away from the wire, the sound will cease. You will eventually come across a hidden outlet that is noticeable in the wall, or one that is hidden.

  5. Slide your level across the wall where the wire runs and look for a lump about 2 by 4-inches. This is most certainly an outlet. While the power is still off, use a utility knife to slice open the wall beside the lump to expose the outlet. Cut out the entire outlet before restoring power.