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Skelleyman 10-22-2012 10:45 AM

Circuit Finder and Tandem breakers??
Hi Guru's,

Does a circuit finder such as this one work well on the tandem/duplex breakers as well?

The breakers in my panel have been messed with and moved around so many times over the last 28 years (Not by me, I'm only 32) that nothing is labeled correctly anymore. We purchased the house 2 yrs ago now. We have 6 or 8 tandem slots utilized down the bottom of the panel and I want to re-label everything including the tandems correctly. I found a good template here that I can use:

Also, any suggestions on brands for circuit finders will be appreciated.
Thank You,

jbfan 10-22-2012 10:57 AM

It will be hard to isolate a tandem breaker with most testers.
What I do is use a radio, then turn breakers off until the radio quits, then move from receptacle to receptacle to map out the breakers.

Jim Port 10-22-2012 11:00 AM

I have never had a breaker finder work well with a tandem breaker.

bpm 10-22-2012 12:06 PM

When I bought my house I also had the problem of my panel being poorly labeled, or incorrectly labeled in many cases. I found the most reliable way to figure it all out was to turn on lights, plug things in, etc. and just switch off breakers until I knew what each breaker controlled. With two people it wasn't too time consuming.

Oso954 10-22-2012 12:50 PM

If you use jbfan's radio method, you only need yourself.

I use essentially the same process, but with a clamp light and an extension cord.

bpm 10-22-2012 01:15 PM

My problem was that I also needed to determine breakers for overhead lights and other things that I couldn't test with a radio. Otherwise, I agree that the radio approach works fine.

Oso954 10-22-2012 01:32 PM

1 Attachment(s)
for overhead lights

Skelleyman 10-22-2012 02:06 PM

Thanks All for the great advice. I think that's what I'll do, turn everything on except Range, Dryer and Microwave since I already know which circuits/breakers those belong to. I'll use a radio on receptacles and just have my wife walk around upstairs while I'm down at the panel and communicate over the cell phones. Then she can let me know when a light goes out, fan, radio, etc... I'll use the tracer for things I can't find or are unsure of. It's only like 2000sq ft, open/garden style and one floor so it shouldn't take too long.

Plus, I guess this is the only way I'll identify whats on the tandem breakers since it doesn't look like the tracer does a good job of identifying what's on those circuits?

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