A rainy-day project – labeling electrical outlets

Here’s a fun rainy-day project for those visiting nieces and nephews – labeling the electrical outlets.  A first person is stationed at the circuit breaker panel.  A second person is roaming the house, carrying a label maker and a lamp.  These people are using walkie-talkies, if needed, or better yet, if they have amateur radio licenses, ham radio handy-talkies.  The lamp is plugged into an outlet and is turned on.  The person at the circuit breaker panel switches off the breakers one by one until it is determined which circuit breaker powers the outlet.  A label is printed and applied to the cover plate of the outlet.  (For example in this case it is breaker number 15.)  The process is repeated until every electrical outlet has been labeled.

For extra credit, a third person can sketch a map of the house and the outlet locations plotted on the map.  The map can then be posted next to the circuit breaker panel.

When the project is finished, everybody can make popcorn and watch a movie.  A fun activity for the entire family!

3 Replies to “A rainy-day project – labeling electrical outlets”

  1. However, if you want an efficient approach, use a circuit breaker identifier. Plug in a transmitter into an outlet and use a non-contact probe to identify the controlling breaker.

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