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Discussion Starter #1
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!


-nate-
 

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Make sure to remove the batterys first.
 
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JOATMON
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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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Discussion Starter #7
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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neight said:
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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.....

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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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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