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).
On 02/05/04 06:00 pm Jim Thompson put fingers to keyboard and launched
the following message into cyberspace:
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
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.
Yankee ingenuity if ever I saw it.
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
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
It may take a while, but I use a radio. Plug it
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.
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
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
~ > Any quick tips or inexpensive tools to aid my quest to finally map out
~ > 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.
Well, I made up a floor plan and marked each
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.
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
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.
: 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
Electricity is probably the 'only' construction component that you don't
want to make mistakes with...
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