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Bob_M
 
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Default Locating Circuit Breaker(s)???

As a result of two major renovations and an upgrade to 200A service it
seems that the handwritten identification of circuit breakers is quite
incorrect.

Finally I decided the time has come to identify them and label them
correctly for easier location when a particular circuit needs to be
switched off.

I tried one of the cheapie circuit breaker wands from HD and needless
to day it didn't work very well at all and was returned. I then
searched the internet and finally purchased a GB Instruments GET1200
Circuit Tracker pair. It seemed to offer a cord mounted wand with a
narrow pointer connected to a receiver with about 12 LED's for signa
strength and it appeared I was all set to go.

This morning I actually had to change a ceiling fixture so the power
needed to be cut. Great! I plugged in the separate transmitter in a
wall outlet in that room and went to the basement with my receiver and
cord mounted wand. Boy - was I read to solve all my electrical
problems.

Unfortunately, the received indicated that EVERY circuit breater in
the main box was "THE ONE" I was looking for. The audio and visual
indicators couldn't have been stronger. There's got to be something
wrong. Finally I removed the transmitter module from the wall socket
in the particular in question and to my surprise, still each breaker
was indicated "The One". I think there must be some serious
interference causing this.

So, does anyone have any experience with the product and in eighther
case, are there any electricians reading that can elighten me as to
why there is so much interference?

What was going to be a rather simple task has now turned disappointing
and troublesom.

Thoughts???

Thanks
  #2   Report Post  
Greg O
 
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To sort out breakers in a panel I use a high tech device, a radio! Plug it
into the outlet, turn it up so you can hear it in the mechanical room and
start flipping breaker untill it goes off. Same with light fixtures, but I
have a light socket adaptor to plug the radio into.
I have been on construction sites and seen electricians do the same! One
electrician commented a simular experiance with the high tech circuit
tracers, he claims a loud radio has yet to fail him!
Greg


  #3   Report Post  
Greg
 
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Isn't there a sensitivity control? These thigs seem to be a bit touchy between
no indication and "the one".
  #4   Report Post  
RBM
 
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I'm a thirty plus year electrician. I bought one of those GB toys a year
ago. It seemed to work OK the first time I used it, but never again. I think
it was just pot luck the first time. I remember stud finders being about as
accurate when they first came out.
"Bob_M" wrote in message
news:1103401616.33eb14590f66b794fff46337daba017b@t eranews...
As a result of two major renovations and an upgrade to 200A service it
seems that the handwritten identification of circuit breakers is quite
incorrect.

Finally I decided the time has come to identify them and label them
correctly for easier location when a particular circuit needs to be
switched off.

I tried one of the cheapie circuit breaker wands from HD and needless
to day it didn't work very well at all and was returned. I then
searched the internet and finally purchased a GB Instruments GET1200
Circuit Tracker pair. It seemed to offer a cord mounted wand with a
narrow pointer connected to a receiver with about 12 LED's for signa
strength and it appeared I was all set to go.

This morning I actually had to change a ceiling fixture so the power
needed to be cut. Great! I plugged in the separate transmitter in a
wall outlet in that room and went to the basement with my receiver and
cord mounted wand. Boy - was I read to solve all my electrical
problems.

Unfortunately, the received indicated that EVERY circuit breater in
the main box was "THE ONE" I was looking for. The audio and visual
indicators couldn't have been stronger. There's got to be something
wrong. Finally I removed the transmitter module from the wall socket
in the particular in question and to my surprise, still each breaker
was indicated "The One". I think there must be some serious
interference causing this.

So, does anyone have any experience with the product and in eighther
case, are there any electricians reading that can elighten me as to
why there is so much interference?

What was going to be a rather simple task has now turned disappointing
and troublesom.

Thoughts???

Thanks



  #5   Report Post  
Duane Bozarth
 
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Default

Roger wrote:

... Takes only minutes per room to map the whole house.


And you get a good workout, besides!

Realistically, if it's a good sized two- or three-story house, the
breaker panel is in the basement (or even better, the attic, and yes,
I've seen it), and you're by yourself, the tester in the baseboard route
can get to be quite time-consuming.


  #6   Report Post  
Roger
 
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Unfortunately, the received indicated that EVERY circuit breater in
the main box was "THE ONE" I was looking for. The audio and visual
indicators couldn't have been stronger. There's got to be something
wrong. Finally I removed the transmitter module from the wall socket
in the particular in question and to my surprise, still each breaker
was indicated "The One". I think there must be some serious
interference causing this.

So, does anyone have any experience with the product and in eighther
case, are there any electricians reading that can elighten me as to
why there is so much interference?

What was going to be a rather simple task has now turned disappointing
and troublesom.


Another tool with an elaborate answer to a question no one has asked: a tool
box stuffer of extremely limited use. Return it!
I just get my wife or friend to "be" the wand. She either watches ceiling
fixtures etc go out, then tells me status on the cell phone or cheap walkie
talkie. We also use a lamp-socket/plug adaptor (with the prongs on one end
and the bulb socket on the other), screw a light into it, and walk around
the baseboards/walls and tie the circuits to the breakers. Can also use a
$1.99 two wire outlet tester.Takes only minutes per room to map the whole
house.


  #7   Report Post  
Greg
 
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The old "trip it and see what turns off" is a good plan if you plan on spending
all day mapping the panel and all night resetting all the clocks, VCRs, coffee
makers and other stuff that doesn't like losing power.
..

  #8   Report Post  
willshak
 
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On 12/18/2004 3:47 PM US(ET), Greg took fingers to keys, and typed the
following:

Isn't there a sensitivity control? These thigs seem to be a bit touchy between
no indication and "the one".


I bought a "Circuit Detective" from Radio Shack" on-line. $30.00
It works pretty good.
I used it trace a circuit for an outlet that I was tapping off for a new
outlet. It found the breaker.
It only has an outlet plug for the transmitter. I also had to remove a 3
way switch and box to put in a double switch box to add an additional
switch for the newly installed outlet. I was hoping that I could use it
to trace the circuit of a light fixture, but I didn't have a screw in
outlet for a standard bulb socket handy, so I don't know how well that
would have worked. Through the old method of having someone call out
when the light went off as I pulled breakers, I found the breaker that
controlled the kitchen ceiling labeled as "front door light".
  #9   Report Post  
PoCambo
 
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From: Bo

Finally I decided the time has come to identify them and label them
correctly for easier location when a particular circuit needs to be
switched off.


easiest way i find have someone stand at the box,then you go around whole house
turn on every light switch,then have the person flip one breaker see what goes
off,label it,flip another label it etc.takes less then an hour
  #10   Report Post  
Bob_M
 
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On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 14:46:40 -0600, "Greg O"
wrote:


To sort out breakers in a panel I use a high tech device, a radio! Plug it
into the outlet, turn it up so you can hear it in the mechanical room and
start flipping breaker untill it goes off. Same with light fixtures, but I
have a light socket adaptor to plug the radio into.
I have been on construction sites and seen electricians do the same! One
electrician commented a simular experiance with the high tech circuit
tracers, he claims a loud radio has yet to fail him!
Greg


Wow! Thanks for all the "great" ideas. Looks like I may have wasted
my $$$ and the radio trick or assistant is the best way to go. I was
hoping to be able to "scientifically" solve this situation.

Oh well... maybe my son-in-law, a new home owner, might not mind
getting a "circuit tracker" in his Christmas stocking!!!

Thanks again - all.

Bob


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Joe Doe
 
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Default

In article 1103401616.33eb14590f66b794fff46337daba017b@teran ews,
Bob_M wrote:
Finally I removed the transmitter module from the wall socket
in the particular in question and to my surprise, still each breaker
was indicated "The One". I think there must be some serious
interference causing this.


Thoughts???




I do not know about the particulars of your particular tracer. I was
lent one made by Sperry. It has a dial which allows you to adjust the
sensitivity of the receiving unit. At its most sensitive it lights up
all breakers as you mentioned. On the Sperry, the switch you use to turn
the receiving unit on is a dial switch and you use it to adjust the
sensitivity. If you dial it back it stops squaking at all breakers and
isolates the correct circuit. This worked on almost every circuit I
tested (one exception that I posted about here a few weeks back). In my
area it costs about $27. I would not buy one but found it convenient to
use.

Roland
  #12   Report Post  
--={Flyer}=--
 
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Default

On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 14:46:40 -0600, "Greg O" wrote:


To sort out breakers in a panel I use a high tech device, a radio! Plug it
into the outlet, turn it up so you can hear it in the mechanical room and
start flipping breaker untill it goes off. Same with light fixtures, but I
have a light socket adaptor to plug the radio into.
I have been on construction sites and seen electricians do the same! One
electrician commented a simular experiance with the high tech circuit
tracers, he claims a loud radio has yet to fail him!
Greg


Uhhhh... if you use a portable radio, make sure you take the batteries out of it
first.

Tom (with hair like Kramer) Flyer


  #13   Report Post  
Bill
 
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Default

Bob_M wrote:

As a result of two major renovations and an upgrade to 200A service it
seems that the handwritten identification of circuit breakers is quite
incorrect.

Finally I decided the time has come to identify them and label them
correctly for easier location when a particular circuit needs to be
switched off.

I tried one of the cheapie circuit breaker wands from HD and needless
to day it didn't work very well at all and was returned. I then
searched the internet and finally purchased a GB Instruments GET1200
Circuit Tracker pair. It seemed to offer a cord mounted wand with a
narrow pointer connected to a receiver with about 12 LED's for signa
strength and it appeared I was all set to go.

This morning I actually had to change a ceiling fixture so the power
needed to be cut. Great! I plugged in the separate transmitter in a
wall outlet in that room and went to the basement with my receiver and
cord mounted wand. Boy - was I read to solve all my electrical
problems.

Unfortunately, the received indicated that EVERY circuit breater in
the main box was "THE ONE" I was looking for. The audio and visual
indicators couldn't have been stronger. There's got to be something
wrong. Finally I removed the transmitter module from the wall socket
in the particular in question and to my surprise, still each breaker
was indicated "The One". I think there must be some serious
interference causing this.

So, does anyone have any experience with the product and in eighther
case, are there any electricians reading that can elighten me as to
why there is so much interference?

What was going to be a rather simple task has now turned disappointing
and troublesom.

Thoughts???

Thanks


And while you are checking them, why don't you make a
sketch map of the house and mark the map so you can just
glance at it and see which breaker to turn off to kill
any particular outlet/light.

Bill Gill

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MG
 
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wrote in message
...
I have done pretty much the same thing except I took one of those old
buzzer type doorbells and matching transformer and mounted it on a
piece of wood with a long cord and lightbulb adapter. Plug it in, and
turn off breakers till it stopped buzzing. On that same board I
mounted a handybox with an outlet, and the wires coming from that
outlet have a set of aligator clips in case I want to test a wire stub
or a suspicious breaker.


Now you got me curious. What is the use of the outlet with alligators?
Can you explain? Is the outlet connected to the buzzer primary, I doubt it
with the dangling alligators, or is a separate circuit all b y itself.

MG



That outlet also doubles as the place I
store my ground tester (one of those things with the 3 colored LED's).
The board has a handle to make it easy to carry too.


Mark


On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 14:46:40 -0600, "Greg O"
wrote:


To sort out breakers in a panel I use a high tech device, a radio! Plug it
into the outlet, turn it up so you can hear it in the mechanical room and
start flipping breaker untill it goes off. Same with light fixtures, but I
have a light socket adaptor to plug the radio into.
I have been on construction sites and seen electricians do the same! One
electrician commented a simular experiance with the high tech circuit
tracers, he claims a loud radio has yet to fail him!
Greg




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Mike Rocket J. Squirrel Elliott
 
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On 12/18/2004 12:52 PM RBM wrote:

I'm a thirty plus year electrician. I bought one of those GB toys a year
ago. It seemed to work OK the first time I used it, but never again. I think
it was just pot luck the first time. I remember stud finders being about as
accurate when they first came out.


They're better now? I've got, like, three. One is a magnet on a pivot
which my Dad used to find nails, presumably driven into studs. Yeah --
like that works. Half the time the original nail was sufficiently off
the stud centerline that every nail I drove in afterward hits air. The
other two operate on some mysterious principal possibly employed in fish
finders or divining rods. They have various colored LED lamps on them.
With their help I have found blintz-shaped areas on walls that seem to
move around mysteriously depending on which finder I am using. My latest
technique is to smash a paint-filled balloon near the wall. The blotches
of paint indicate the location of studs with about the same accuracy as
my stud finders. I can then proceed to pound in nails with confidence
that I will find plenty of "wall air."
--

Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
71 Type 2: the Wonderbus
84 Westphalia: "Mellow Yellow (The Electrical Banana)"
KG6RCR
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