How to locate a disconnect in electrical wiring?

More than eighty percent of electrical wiring problems are related to wire disconnects. Wires are the basis of current flow in the circuit, and current flows from a switch to switch and from switch appliances through wires.

When you face disconnection of current supply, it is better to check the wire maybe there is a break of wire which causes stoppage of current flow in electrical wiring.

It is not a complex task, but sometimes it becomes tough to locate a disconnect in electrical wiring. Most people hire professionals for that task, but you can easily locate the disconnection problem in electrical wiring with some guidelines.

It is a common problem that with use over time due to excessive current wires becomes damaged or worn and sometimes breaks, making a wiring system useless and need repairing.

What are the causes of wire disconnect in electrical wiring?

Many causes change from situation to situation, but here I will detail some common causes of wire break in an electric circuit.

Faulty electric Outlets

Most electric wires damage caused by faulty electric outlets, so when the sockets are not properly grounded, they may wear the wiring. When an outlet becomes older, it becomes weaker over time, making the wiring weak behind them.

Overtime due to losing sockets current flow disturbs, which cause a break of electrical wires.

Old electrical wires

Sometimes the old electric wires are used to save money that could not perform well in the long run, causing the wire break to disconnect the wiring system. On the other hand, when your wiring becomes too old, its wires’ strength and resistance become weaker, which causes wires to be worn out and breakage?


Overload is also the common reason for electric wires break out when the more load pass through the wires it can cause burning of wires and cause disconnection of the circuit.

There could be many other causes of electrical wires disconnection, but the above three are major reasons for the breakage of electric wires.

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How to locate a disconnect in the electrical wire?

There are following simple steps which helps you to locate a disconnect in the wires easily.

Step one

In the first step, you will need to arrange the required equipment for working. To test the wires, you will need a digital multimeter. It will help you to measure resistance, voltage, capacitance and amperage.

After that arrange for all the safety measures, you should wear gloves on hand, and if there is a risky wiring system, you should also wear insulating clothes. It is also essential to wear nylon boots to make you protective from any unwanted instance.

Step two

Once you have arranged multimeter and wear all the protective gear, start your work, but switch off the devices before starting your work.

No needs to worry about the test the multimeter will auto provide the energy to perform the test. So it would help if you switched off the wiring circuit to make it safe for you.

Step three

Now take your multimeter and set it to the continuity, you can set that function from multimeter settings. After that set the multimeter and lead it around the wires and go slowly to the other end and note the multimeter readings.

You will need to careful to note the readings, at that point where you detect that the resistance becomes zero, it means there is a breakage of wire.

If your multimeter does not show zero resistance, then it means there is no breakage in the wire, you should complete the checking till next end. Only the zero reading is the indicator that the wires have disconnection.

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What are some helpful tips for locating a disconnect in electrical wiring quickly?

  • First, make a check of your device which does not show the current flow may be your wires are ok, and the problem is with the device.
  • Second, you should switch off the circuit to make it secure and worry free checking.
  • If you have old wires in your wiring, then it is good to check the portions containing old wires. There are more chances that the disconnect will be in old wires due to wear and tear their resistance become low.
  • If you have installed different wires in your wiring system, you should check the weaker wires first to early locating the disconnect in electrical wiring.
  • For the long wiring system, it would help complete a task perfectly to divide the whole system in small range systems. Check them one by one to meet the complete task.
  • It is also a good idea to first check the switches, sometimes due to losing switches they cannot supply current and we think there is a problem with wires while there is no problem with wires.

How to fix the disconnected wires?

If you have found the disconnection in the electrical wiring, then there is a need to repair and fix the problem for your devices’ smooth supply of power.

You can cut the wires and can install the new wires on the place of the broken wires. Try to use good quality wires which make it protective.

When you make joints of new wires then join them properly and firmly and do not forget to cover them with some insulation material such as tape or plastic covers to make it secure.

If your wiring system is not too long and you can easily bear the wire replacement cost, it is good to replace the complete wire with a good quality new wire to make your wiring system smooth.

Final Thoughts:

It is a common problem with the electrical circuits that due to several reasons such as overload, weaker wires, faulty outlets wires break, which causes disconnection of an electric circuit.

You can easily locate the disconnect in electrical wires just with a multimeter but wear safety gears. When you find the disconnection, then you can replace these wires with a new one on required places or change the whole wire if there are many disconnects in the wire.

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