Circuit Safety Tip

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical, Safety

Best Way To Label Home Electrical Circuits

I recently learned a new electrical circuit safety tip that works really well. Turning off the circuit breaker for the circuit you’re working on is the first electrical safety rule to follow. So being able to identify the circuit you’re working on quickly and accurately is very important.

circuit number

I don’t know about you but even with the circuit breaker panel labeled it’s not always easy finding the circuit you want to de-energize. So that’s where this circuit safety tip comes in handy.

Go around the house and label the back of the cover plates with a sharpie marker. The label should match the circuit number that is labeled on your circuit breaker panel. The best way to do this is turn off the #1 breaker and test each circuit (you can use one of these Fluke 1AC-A1-II Volt Alert testers that I use), if the circuit is dead then label the cover plate.

By labeling all of the cover plates in the house it will make your job much easier when you need to kill one of the circuits to work on it. Obviously, once you’ve shut down the circuit you should ALWAYS test it again to make sure the electricity is shut off to the circuit.


About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Brooklyn Row House says:

    I had every outlet in my house mapped out on a piece of paper next to the panel until an electrician moved a bunch of breakers around to add a 30a breaker for my split-unit A/C.

    The fix: number your breakers too. That way it doesn’t matter what slot it’s in. You can pick up sticky wire labels at Radio Shack

  2. Deux Hirondelles says:

    Now that is an excellent idea…@brooklyn: I’ve always been a fan of a clear map posted at the breaker box and never thought of that possibility.

    So, thanks to both of you!

  3. NV says:

    Both VERY GOOD ideas! Need to do that as we continue to add outlets.

  4. ethan@OneProjectCloser says:

    This is an amazing idea!!! I will admit that I’ve shocked myself several times because I think that I’ve already got the correct breaker and didn’t bother to test. I test em now though.

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