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Circuit Breaker Labeling: Get to the Circuit You Need Later, Fast

circuit-breaker-labelingWe would never tell you how to service your electrical system on your own. Electrical jobs should always be left to the professionals, for the integrity of your home, and—most importantly—for your safety. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t know how to and when to access your electrical panel when you need to. Also known as your circuit breaker box, your electrical panel is tasked with dividing up the electrical power in your home amongst circuits.

You might have noticed that in past homes, your Cincinnati, OH electrical panel was clearly labeled so you could find which switch led to which outlet or appliance quickly and simply. But what about your current home? Is your circuit breaker labeled—and even if so is it labeled correctly?

Grab a Helper, Electric Circuit Tester, Paper and a Pen

Fortunately, it’s not hard to create your own labels and to figure out on your own which circuit breaker connects to what. So grab a family member, a friend, or even a friendly neighbor, and get to work! Keep reading to learn more about how exactly to create your labels, and if you have any uncertainty don’t hesitate to give our team a call.

  • Step One: Make sure that nobody in your home will be inconvenienced by a momentary power outage. It’s probably best to complete this task on a mild-weather day so you don’t have to turn off your HVAC system.
  • Step Two: Number your circuits if they aren’t already. You can do this either by sketching the layout on a paper with numbers next to each one or by using small stickers on the actual circuit panel itself.
  • Step Three: Shut off your breakers one-by-one until they are all in the “off” position.
  • Step Four: Have your partner go around your home, checking appliances and switches as well as outlets. If you don’t have an electric circuit tester to check the outlets with, take something like a small lamp or appliance that plugs in (even your cell phone charger would do) and have them test it that way. Remember, one circuit could lead to multiple appliances and even multiple rooms.
  • Step Five: Get Labeling! Once your helper confirms, write down where each corresponding circuit leads based on the number system you used in step two.

Why Is This Helpful?

Once your breaker box is appropriately labeled, you’ll be able to use it as needed without any guesswork. This is helpful if you have an appliance on the fritz and need to shut off its power, you need to reset power to any room or appliance, or even if you are having a new appliance installed.

Potential Issues

In some homes, you might find that a switch or outlet doesn’t seem to respond no matter what circuit breaker is on, or that you have a circuit breaker that doesn’t seem to lead to any outlet or appliance. This may be due to the removal of a large appliance such as a central HVAC system, or could be due to faulty wiring. The best thing to do in this scenario is contact a professional electrician, just to ensure it’s not a larger problem that needs attention.

Servall Electric Company has been “Creating Sustainability through Bright Ideas” for over 6 decades.

Contact us today to see what we can do for you and your electrical system.

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