How to Locate Ceilings Fixtures

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

Carpenter Tip – Insulation Support Rod – Probe Trick

As a carpenter,  I am often called to install something after the fact, that is after the walls or ceiling is installed.

This tip is useful if you find yourself needing to drill through a wall, ceiling or anything where you can not see where you are drilling into.  this is a very useful tip when trying to figure out how to locate ceilings fixtures.

How to Locate Ceilings Fixtures

Reduces Exploratory Holes

It also saves you considerable time in patching exploratory holes in walls and ceilings.

I chucked a metal wire,  insulation support rod into my cordless drill and send it up through the plaster and attic ceiling floor boards. These rods drill through almost anything so take care and try to make sure there is nothing buried in the wall like a pipe or wires that could be damaged.


Probe Trick

After measuring a few times to find the rooms center I send a wire rod, or “probe,” up through the ceiling to find it’s location and see if it was viable.

This probe is a neat trick I learned from HVAC installers.

Care must be taken when using this tip. The rod will go through copper or plastic pipes, wires and other items you don’t want to think about. Check for hazards first, drill slow and have someone watch for the rod on the other end.

This tip allows me to probe in finished ceilings without causing a lot of damage, this hole is easily filled with spackle and can be made invisible to the eye.

Leave the Probe In Place

Once the rod is inserted I un-chuck the drill and go see where the other end popped out.

How to Locate Ceilings Fixtures

In this situation I was relocating a ceiling air conditioning vent and needed to know where the center of the room fell in relation to the floor joists above in the attic. My hope was that the rod was between two floor joists so I could fit between the joists, and center the vent in the room.

The photo below shows the rod projecting out of an attic floorboard at the tip of the pencil. A package of these insulation rods sells for under ten dollars.

How to Locate Ceilings Fixtures

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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