Mapping Your Home Electrical Circuits

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Electrical CircuitsMost homeowners are completely clueless about using their circuit breaker box. In fact, some do not even know where they are until something happens. It is important to be familiar with the insides of electrical boxes.

Fortunately, you can map each circuit using an electrical branch circuit identifier, as saysHere are some tips to make it easy for you and the next owner of your home:

Create a chart

Most circuit boxes come with a diagram of the circuit breakers and fuses, but usually there is not enough space to write down a complete description. You can make your own chart that lays out the circuit breakers as they appear on the box. You can even take a picture and label each breaker or fuse according to room and electrical branch.

Use clear labels

Avoid using cryptic descriptions or codes that will be hard to understand. Use indelible ink and simple descriptions for your descriptions. You can use the numbers stamped on the metal of the cover as a reference if they exist, or you can make your own. Tape the reference numbers you made up on the circuits themselves, and tape the chart inside the panel cover, or in front.

Be specific

Some electrical items may have a separate circuit breaker, such as an air conditioner or water heater. Specify which air conditioner you are referring to avoid confusion. If certain circuit breakers are not in use or functional, you should label them, as well.

Be systematic when tracing your circuit breakers. You may not be able to get everything done in one go, and you may have to do some things twice. It can be frustrating, and it can take a lot of time and effort. Nonetheless, the use of an electrical branch circuit identifier can make the chore easier. Moreover, you do not have to repeat the process if you do it right.

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