KNOW YOUR TOOLS
How To Use A Circuit Breaker Finder
A HANDY LITTLE TOOL
Let Us Teach You About Your Circuit Breaker Finder
At TVE, we created a video that shows you how to use a circuit finder. This is handy little tool to have. On average, 90 percent of the houses I go into, the panels are labeled incorrectly. If you are constantly getting frustrated about which breakers to turn on and off, a circuit breaker finder will save you a lot of headach. To use the tool, all you have to do is plug the device into the circuit you want to find. The plug in device acts as a receiver . Once you have that in, go to your panel and take out the finder. The plug in device acts as a receiver. Hold the finder up to the panel and move it up and down the breakers until it beeps. Once you hear a rapid succession of beeps you have found the circuit. Now, lets say you are trying to identify a lighting circuit. You can do this by placing leads on the switch and repeating the same process you did with the outlet.
This finder allows you to identify all your 120v circuits. But if you are labelling your whole panel you will also have to identify your 240v circuits. When you get to the 240 volt circuits in your panel, you will notice that the breakers are 2 pole breakers. These are usually your appliances and utilities. Your range, oven, hot water heater, dryer, and air conditioning unit. For these items that require 240 volts your breakers need to span over both phases of the panel, each 120 volt leg to get 240. These circuits are pretty easy to identify because there usually isn’t that many of them and you can simply turn the appliance on and then flip the breaker to see if it’s the right one or not.
After doing these steps and using the circuit breaker finder, you should have a complete and correctly labelled electrical panel.
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