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Get Organized and Label Your Electrical Panel

Knowing which areas of your home are serviced by which circuit breakers is crucial in case of an emergency. You never know when you might need to shut off the power. Labeling your electrical panel can save time and confusion during a crisis. If you open your electrical panel and can’t make heads or tails of it, check out this panel primer before you try to label anything. Then, grab a friend, and get ready to get organized by labeling your electrical panel. How to Label Your Electrical Panel With each circuit breaker accurately labeled, you’ll be able to quickly control the electricity flowing to any area of your home or business with the flip of a switch. Partner up. Designate one person to check lights and flip switches in each area of the home or business, while the other remains at the electrical panel. This is the most efficient way to handle the process. Buy some blank sticky labels to apply on each switch, or use a label maker. Either of these options is easier than taping small strips of paper to each circuit breaker. To begin, turn on all the lights in the home or building. Then, turn off every circuit breaker in the electrical panel (but not the master switch). To do this, you will typically push each switch all the way toward the outer edge of the electrical panel. Then, turn on one breaker at a time by pushing one switch toward the middle of the panel and note which room’s light fixtures turn on. Label the electrical panel accordingly. If you turn on a switch and no lights illuminate, the circuit breaker may serve an appliance or other dedicated circuit. Test outlets with a small lamp or handheld device to see if power is flowing. Large appliances such as clothes dryers, washing machines, water heaters, and ovens often require double pole breakers due to the high amount of power they require. For these appliances, you may need to label two breakers for one device.

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