Advice/Tips for "Mapping" the Breaker Box

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Any quick tips or inexpensive tools to aid my quest to finally map out which breakers control what?
thanks everyone!
JohnH
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http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&product%5Fid "-113
...Jim Thompson
--
| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
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I've seen something similar at HD and Lowe's, but I don't recall how much -- could be cheaper than RS (whose products are seldom a bargain except when they are on sale).
MB
On 02/05/04 06:00 pm Jim Thompson put fingers to keyboard and launched the following message into cyberspace:

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this case, though -- I have a similar tool that I bought at Lowe's for the same price as on the RS web site. Works great.

-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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to me, the biggest effort was walking up and down the stairs to move the "loud radio". Wife or kids definitely needed to minimize that.
wrote:

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Buy a package of those little colored dots. Flick a switch, and walk around with a lamp to see which outlets don't work anymore. Flick switches to. Put a colored dot on every outlet that doesn't work. Switch colors for every fuse.
This is a bit faster than walking around with a clipboard, as writing requires you to put down the lamp, and pick up a pen between outlets (you can hold the stickers and the lamp in the same hand).
Later, tally up everything on the clipboard.
Just my 2 cents.
John

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and a pair of $20 radios.
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While the little $30 Radio Shack thing is cute, it still means you have to go from circuit to box, and back and forth and back and forth for each circuit. Have the wife, or your kid, or a friend take a lamp, plug it in, and start flipping breakers. Obviously there will be some for 220 appliances and the main, but the others should be pretty easy. If you have a multi-level home, maybe you know someone with walkie-talkies.........or tell your helper to yell loudly.
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tuta wrote:

into an outlet and turn it up loud enough that you can hear it from the breaker box location. Start turning off breakers and when the radio quits mark that one down, then go move the radio to the next outlet. Lights are fairly easy. Once I get the outlets figured I turn on all the lights, turn off a breaker I haven't already gotten mapped and go through the house to see which lights are out.
Bill Gill
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As for the electrical sockets, get a radio that plugs in. Plug it in, turn it up good and loud so that you can hear it through the house. Flip breakers till the radio goes off. Now you know which breaker controls that socket.
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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Well I wouldn't call it inexpensive, but the tools I used were the wife and kids. They were standing in different rooms watching for the lights to go out. Joe
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I used a circuit tester, my kid, and his walkie-talkies. He thought it was a game.
tuta wrote:

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In addition to the various methods that others have offered to determine which breakers controlled what outlets/lights/etc.
I created a simple Excel spreadsheet and after noting each outlet (room/wall), light, appliance device and leaving a column for the breaker number, I was able to readily sort the data by breaker number. Now, a quick glance at the spreadsheet and I know what breaker controls what...
Of course I took this all a step further and identified the device operated and noted the current (Amp/Wattage) requirement and was able to total the entire circuit....
Oh well..
Rick
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Short of sub-metering, it doesn't get any analer than that!
I wonder if analer is a word? :-)
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It is now!
Sub-metering? What that? Maybe I'd be interested in that ;-)
Rick
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snipped-for-privacy@SPAMcostbook.com says... ~
~ ~ > Any quick tips or inexpensive tools to aid my quest to finally map out ~ which ~ > breakers control what? ~ > ~ > thanks everyone! ~ > ~ > JohnH ~ > ~ ~ In addition to the various methods that others have offered to determine ~ which breakers controlled what outlets/lights/etc. ~ ~ I created a simple Excel spreadsheet and after noting each outlet ~ (room/wall), light, appliance device and leaving a column for the breaker ~ number, I was able to readily sort the data by breaker number. Now, a quick ~ glance at the spreadsheet and I know what breaker controls what... ~ ~ Of course I took this all a step further and identified the device operated ~ and noted the current (Amp/Wattage) requirement and was able to total the ~ entire circuit.... ~ Piker! I scanned the instruction manual for each device, compressed it, and pasted it into the spreadsheet.
Rick
(just kidding)
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Crap!
I HATE going last!
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Rick wrote:

outlet and light fixture on it, with the circuit breaker that operates it, then put the plan in the breaker box. Now all I have to do is open the box, check the floor plan, and turn off/on the appropriate breaker. Of course if I am working on the outlet I then check to make sure it is really off.
Bill Gill
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Ideally this should have been done by the electrician when the house was wired. Too late for that now...
So, do as the other's suggested, get a helper and start flipping breakers.

I didn't use a floorplan, but my breaker panel is labeled well, telling what is on each circuit. I even have the wire size listed and the wattage of each electric heater (this was all to help me with the installation as well).

Another old trick I have heard of is to write the breaker number on the back side of the cover plate. Then if you need to work on the switch/outlet, you can pull the plate and see which breaker controls it.
Still, a well labeled breaker panel is the best option.
Anthony
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: : Another old trick I have heard of is to write the breaker number on the : back side of the cover plate. Then if you need to work on the : switch/outlet, you can pull the plate and see which breaker controls it.
And test that the power is actually off before attempting to repair... No matter what.
Electricity is probably the 'only' construction component that you don't want to make mistakes with...
Rick
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