Welcome back, and thank you for returning to learn more about your home’s electrical circuits. This week, we are discussing an easy way to map a house’s electrical circuits. Of course, our experienced electricians here in Central Florida are equipped to do the job for you, or with you.
Mapping out your home’s electrical circuit breakers:
In our last blog, we mentioned that receptacles are usually on separate circuits than lighting and major appliances. Dryers, washing machines, and microwaves are on dedicated circuits. Keep in mind, if your panel has old breakers, turning them on and off can break them.
According to the Spruce, obsolete circuit breakers may be difficult to replace. Now, we will go step by step for mapping out your electrical circuits. Let’s start with step one.
Looking at an electrical panel straight on, you will see a main breaker handle at the top of the panel. Underneath, there will be two columns. On the left of the two columns, there will be stickers or label areas where you will make notes.
Step two involves locating any large double voltage circuit breakers. Flip one of these breakers on. To determine which electrical appliance it supplies power to, turn on each electrical appliance. Do not forget things such as the fuel pump or furnace.
Continue the same process:
Repeat this same process with other large circuit breakers. Do the same with the major appliances. If you are doing this process with your electrician, to learn the process, plug in a small lamp or some other small device into a standard room receptacle.
Turn the breakers on and off until you find discover which one turns on the device. Then, leave the breaker on. Have a helper, or the electrician may have you do this step, plug the device into other receptacles.
Correctly label your home’s circuits:
At the end of testing each receptacle, take note of which breakers control the receptacles. It helps to color code your floor plan map. For example, one breaker on the panel may have a blue dot. All the receptacles controlled by this breaker will have blue dots.
This simplifies the process. But on the inside of the breaker panel door, label with words, so it is quick to refer to. Repeat this entire process switching on room lights, one by one. Note the circuit breaker that controls each set of lights.
Avoid high voltage breakers:
All of the breakers with numbers fifteen or twenty stamped at the end of the breaker switch will be the ones you end up labeling. No need to test the breakers with thirty, forty, or fifty stamped on the end. These are the high voltage breakers for appliances like water heaters, clothes dryers, and electric ranges.
You do not plug anything into these outlets anyways. Make sure to make notes on the panel while its fresh in your memory. You do not want to get these mixed up.
Next time, we are going to share how to do this throughout your entire house thoroughly. As always, our Central Florida electricians based in Sanford, Florida will do this entire process for or with you, so you have a better understanding of your home’s electrical circuits.
Thanks for stopping by, and come by next week to continue this in-depth explanation! In the future, we will also dive into commercial breaker panels.