I live in a 30 yr old home and I am getting ready to remodel the
kitchen. New cabinets, counter, lights, etc. I will be replacing a
single overhead fluorescent with lots of recessed ceiling lights and
adding undercab halogens. I may move or add more sockets. A few walls
with sockets and 3-way light switches will be moved.
I will probably add one or more new lines to the panel to handle the
additional lights but I need to map the existing circuit(s) so I know
what I'm removing and moving. I think some of the switches are
"middle of the run" to the rest of the room (and even other rooms in
the house) so I'm not sure where the circuit begins and ends. Other
than trial and error (disconnect something and see what happens in the
rest of the room/house), is there a logical way to trace and map the
beginning, middle, and end of the circuit?
I use the Fluke injector/receiver trace tone kit. I do a lot of side
jobs for home automation pre-wiring, networks, security, coax,
intercoms, video, home theater, whole-house sound, phone, etc.
sometimes I only have a day before the drywallers come so I just home-
run every room to the basement, then use the tracer to come back and
label the wires later. It also works on live powerline wires with no
contact necessary, it's basically an RF injection with a detector for
the other end. Home Despot sells the Fluke, there is a better one
(the one with the small gray boxes) name escapes me. Then there is a
real cheap small red one that is a piece of crap, dont buy that one
(name escapes me). HD has them all.
The cheapest way is to turn off one circuit at a time and mark as much
stuff as you can. I use post'ems. You might miss one or two, but you
can find them pretty easy after you elimate the bulk.
ie turn off circuit 1. Label everything that is off 1. Turn 1 back
on and turn off 2.
If you can find a similar floor plan online, you can use it to roughly
mark the locations and circuit numbers.
The double pole breakers will almost always control 1 thing only.
wait till tear out then when stuff is exposed you can lbael the wires
with a sharpie (feed,sw leg, etc). and then rewire as needed. i
wouldnt worry where it starts and ends just as long as everything gets
picked back up.
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