Monday, June 23, 2014

Labeling (mapping) your electrical service panel (aka breaker box)

Map Your Electrical Circuits
Mapping the circuits in your home is done to verify or identify which circuit breaker in your service panel controls what branch circuit in your home.  Follow the steps below:
1.     Sketch Your Breaker Box (Service Panel) - Draw a quick sketch of the breakers in your service panel and assign a number to each circuit breaker in your panel.    
                          
2.     Draw a floor plan of your home.  Use a full sheet of paper for each floor.  (see example below)
3.     Note location of all devices - Using the codes listed; record the location of all receptacles, switches and lightsAlso show, by using a dotted line, which switch controls which light.  Note: Make sure all receptacles are working and turn all light switches to the “on” position.
          
4.     Turn off Breaker # 1 – turn off the power to the first circuit by switching off the breaker. 
5.     Find all devices with NO power - Walk through the house, checking lights and receptacles.  If a light doesn’t work or a receptacle does not light your tester the device is on that circuit.  Note: Do not forget the garage, attic and outdoor lights and receptacles. 
6. Mark on your floor plan - On the map write a 1 (or corresponding number) next to each dead receptacle, switch or light.
7.     Mark your circuit breaker - Write a short description of the circuit on an adhesive label and place it next to the breaker.
8.     Turn the first circuit back on.
9.     Repeat Steps 4 through 8 - Map the remaining circuits by repeating the steps above for each breaker in your service panel.  NOTE:  It may be easier to color code each circuit once you have completed the mapping.
Completed Mapping of Circuits
10.  Store completed map – Place the completed map of your circuits in a plastic sleeve and secure it on the inside of the door to your service panel for easy access in the future.

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