As a homeowner, or even as a renter, it’s important to understand the very basics of the electrical system in the home in which you live, so that you know what to do when something goes wrong. One component of your electrical system where this is especially important is your Cincinnati, OH electrical panel—also known as your circuit breaker box. This is what’s responsible for dividing up the electrical power in your home into circuits.
You may have moved into homes in the past where the electrical panel or fuse box was already labeled, so that you could easily find which switch led to which outlet or electrical appliance. However, your current living space may not have come with this useful guide, and therefore the onus might be on you to create one.
Fortunately, this is not a difficult task. You’ll want to grab a piece of paper, a writing utensil, and a housemate of the human variety (your dog won’t be much help).
The Task of Labeling Your Circuit Breakers
This is a pretty simple thing for two people to do together. But first, be sure to check that nobody in the household will be inconvenienced by the temporary power outage. Also, it bears mentioning that you might want to do this during the day for better natural lighting, and when the weather outside is fairly mild so that any interruption to your heating or cooling efforts won’t be a huge deal.
Next, if your circuit breakers are not already numbered, now’s the time to do so. You can use a sharpie if the breaker panel is light colored, or you could even just use stickers or write the numbers down with a sketch of the panel on that paper we mentioned getting.
Now comes the fun part! Shut off each of the breakers one-by-one. You might want a flashlight for darker rooms or areas of the home—or, of course, you can use your phone. Then, turn on one circuit at a time, and ask your housemate to wander around the living space, testing outlets, appliances, switches, and lighting to figure out which circuit leads where. It’s important to keep in mind that one circuit might lead to more than one outlet or switch, in multiple rooms.
Once your electrical panel is labeled, you can use it as you need to without any guesswork, making it safer and more convenient. When an appliance in your home stops working, for instance, you can try resetting the associated breaker to see if that fixes the issue. When all the breakers are appropriately labeled, this can be done with ease!
Potential Road Blocks
You might find that some breakers do not seem to lead to any switch or outlet, and/or that an outlet doesn’t seem to work no matter what breaker is on. This is a good time to give our professional electricians a call so that we can inspect your wiring and make sure there isn’t a problem, but it’s likely you have nothing to be concerned about.
However, understandably if you have the outlets in your home to support more appliances, then you want to be able to use them! Give us a call for any rewiring services you may need.
Contact Servall Electric Company today and learn how we’re “Creating Sustainability through Bright Ideas.”