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How to Locate Ceilings Fixtures

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.

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.

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.

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