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Old 12-11-2012, 06:24 PM   #1
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best way to find out which breaker belongs to the circuit


hello,
i'm working on a house that has a full circuit panel and only about 5 breakers are labeled. short of shutting power down to the whole house, what's the best way to figure this out. i know there's specialty tools on the market, but is there another way...like purposely tripping the breaker through an outlet? any help is greatly appreciated. thank you!


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Old 12-11-2012, 06:32 PM   #2
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best way to find out which breaker belongs to the circuit


plug in a radio and turn it up loud...

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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best way to find out which breaker belongs to the circuit


Make sure to remove the batterys first.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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And if you have kids....it's a good way to get them involved and teach them something at the same time.....

If you have boys and a couple of radios.....it's actually kind of fun....they make it into a game....

The plug in a lamp or radio....you turn off breakers until you find the one that kills the light/radio.....move to the next outlet.

Lights are easier.....you just turn everything one....then kill breakers until the lights go dark. In most cases, the lights will be in groups.

Where it get real fun is GFIC's.....there never seems to be any rhym or reason to how those are run.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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best way to find out which breaker belongs to the circuit


the customer works from home. the trial and error method won't work, unfortunately. otherwise i'd shut the whole thing down.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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the customer works from home. the trial and error method won't work, unfortunately. otherwise i'd shut the whole thing down.
it will take you less than half an hour to label the panel, im sure the homeowner can deal with that.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:04 PM   #7
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best way to find out which breaker belongs to the circuit


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it will take you less than half an hour to label the panel, im sure the homeowner can deal with that.
i'll give it shot. she does seem slightly more reasonable than most homeowners. it really is the best way....and that panel has to be labeled.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:35 PM   #8
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best way to find out which breaker belongs to the circuit


And an extra radio can save a little time too(one station on talk another on music )
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:19 PM   #9
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best way to find out which breaker belongs to the circuit


just buy a GB get-1200 ckt tracer.or digital ckt detective mod htp-6.only bad thing,only good on live ckts.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:29 PM   #10
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best way to find out which breaker belongs to the circuit


Get yourself one of these;
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0002T...dir_mdp_mobile
You will find it useful.


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Old 12-11-2012, 11:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neight
like purposely tripping the breaker through an outlet?
Let's pretend you construct a no-load, short-circuit device with the intention of using it to trip a breaker. Then lets assume that not one single breaker trips. Now what are you going to do? Tear the house apart and look for burned wires, or a smoldering fire? Change out all the breakers with new?

Better to not take this approach.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
.....

If you have boys and a couple of radios.....it's actually kind of fun....they make it into a game....
Lots of cell phone plans have unlimited Talk, or unlimited Mobile-to-Mobile, or unlimited Family Talk. If you have two phones on one of those kind of plans, you don't even need a radio.

By the way, girls work just as good as boys at this.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:55 PM   #13
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best way to find out which breaker belongs to the circuit


When I first moved into my house 20 years ago, I sketched out the entire house and mapped all of the electrical outlets and lights. I shut off breaker #1 and went around the house and noted what was on it. Turned #1 back on and went to #2, and so on.

Of course I have since lost the map, and it is probably obsolete anyway since the panel has been upgraded since. My memory and the labeling the electrician did are good enough to get the right breaker on the first try normally. A lamp, pencil and piece of graph paper are all you need - just don't lose the paper once you are done. I use a $4 tester just to make sure power is off and it is wired correctly when back on.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:04 PM   #14
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I mark the number on the back of the switch cover. Not perfect but works very well.

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